Interview: Jillian Rose Reed

From the interview archives.

Elena of Avalor has already been renewed for a 3rd season; that’s exciting! How have you enjoyed the experience so far?

It is such a fun job! Voicing a character on an animated show has always been a dream of mine. Not to mention, Elena is such a strong role model for young girls, so that’s a plus!

Do you think you’ll be seeking out more voice acting in the future?

Absolutely! It’s definitely something I would love to continue to do. 

Tell us about your Naomi, how does she help Elena?

Naomi is Elena’s right hand girl and BFF. She’s strong willed, tough, and she balances Elena out. Not to mention, she’s always there for her when she needs a friend. 

We get to hear more of your singing chops in this series, have you always been drawn to music?

I have! I grew up doing musical theater, and although I never saw singing as a career option, it’s fun to play with during jobs like this! 

Do you play any instruments, or are you trying to learn any?

No, I tried to learn the guitar when I was younger. My hands were too small to figure out most of the chords, so my boyfriend stole my guitar. He puts it to much better use. 

Speaking of your boyfriend, you and Marty at one time were regularly posting cover songs on your YouTube channel, are we going to see some more of that in the future, or perhaps, an album of original songs?

YouTube is a difficult platform to conquer, so we switched it over to Instagram. Now we treat them like little surprise videos for our fans. I think in the future we’ll be doing more music together, but we haven’t thought about an album yet. We don’t rule anything out! 

What song can you just not stop belting these days?

“There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” by Shawn Mendez. I love him. We’re also working on Marty’s new album, so I’m constantly singing those songs as well! 

You played the role of Tamara Kaplan on MTV’s Awkward for 5 seasons, how did you keep the character fresh for yourself each season?

I learned more and more about T every year; little things that I found in myself, or my friends kept brining her to life. She was also growing up and going through things I’ve already been through, so that made it more fun! 

Tamara is super outgoing but seems impulsive and likes to follow the drama, in what ways would you say you’re similar to her?

We’re both very outgoing, sassy, and opinionated. I tend to be a little more thoughtful and less impulsive though! 

Being a teenager can certainly be difficult at times, how do you personally deal with social pressures?

I don’t! I decided a long time ago that I don’t care what anyone thinks. I’m 25 years old, my best friend is my mom (don’t tell my cat), and I go to bed at 9:00 PM. My friends make fun of me, sure, but I’m living a life that I love. Find what you love, do what you love, and who cares what other people think! 

What’s something you do that others might consider weird or awkward?

I can’t sit on my bed wearing the clothes I’ve worn all day. I might be a slight germophobe. Marty think’s I’m weird.

I’m sure you’re very close to your cast mates at this point, who was the biggest goof ball on set?

That’s a hard one. Probably the boys! Brett and Beau were always pranking each other and us! 

You recently participated in Glitter Magazines #SelfLove campaign, why was that important for you to do?

Answer: Self-love is so important because we don’t have enough of it. I’m so proud to say that Glitter has also partnered with Breaking The Chains Foundation, a global nonprofit that I’m lucky enough to be on the board of. Breaking the Chains focuses on changing the conversation around eating disorders and uses art as a form of recovery. Self-love goes hand in hand with our mission! 

When you find yourself being, let’s say, unkind or hard on yourself, what do you to switch perspectives and make yourself feel good again?

I work out! Exercising, like boxing or weightlifting. It lets off steam and helps me re-center myself. Not to mention, punching a bag feels great!

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