Close-up: An Interview With Jill Morrison

Actress Jill Morrison steps up to the plate as we chat about her upcoming role in Benchwarmers 2, memories of Mean Girls, her dream team of actors, and much more.

Q: ‘Benchwarmers 2’ arrives on 29 January. How much fun was it working on this project and being part of a team that included the likes of Chris Klein and Jon Lovitz?

A: I was so lucky to be cast with some of my dear friends, and we just laughed so much.

In between filming, we would play baseball. It was seriously the best. I have always been a fan of Jon Lovitz (I also fell in love with his dog, Jimmy). He made me laugh, of course.

As well, I was able to talk to him about his years as a comedic performer, the people he has met and his friends. It was very surreal, having grown up watching these people he was talking about. I wanted to be in comedy because of him and his friends, just watching him do his thing was special.

Chris Klein is also a wonderful human. He is so open and kind. We had amazing conversations and he taught me a lot. He’s funny, full of humility and gives to everyone. I have never seen the lead of a film compliment and thank the background performers on a regular basis. It made for a very fulfilling, fun shoot.

I have also worked with the director, Jon Rosenbaum, a number of times and he always makes the set fun, warm and productive. He’s also a comedic genius so watch out for a hilarious movie.

Jill and the cast of ‘Benchwarmers 2’

Q: You play Milford. Can you tell us more about your experience playing her? I hear she likes to be referred to as ‘The Milf’.

A: Haha yup! She likes to be called ‘The Milf’. Although I’m not quite sure she knows what that stands for. My goodness this was a fun role to play. Milford is kind, thoughtful, and not so smart. She loves life, her friends, and no matter how much she may suck at baseball she enjoys every second of it.

It’s wonderful to play someone who is pure, silly, and smiles in the face of challenges. It makes me happy to make people laugh. And there are so many funny people in this movie!

Q: If you had to choose four actors to be on your dream ‘Benchwarmers’ baseball team, who would they be and why?

A: What a great question. Four actors of my choice to be on a baseball team. Without a question, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep (I have to, this is my fantasy!), Allison Janney, and Chris Farley! (rest in peace).

Farley is one of the comedic geniuses that formed my comedy as a kid. Watching Tom Hanks act teaches me how to be better and I love his persona. I admire Janney’s ability to act in anything, and with such skill. Meryl just makes me smile no matter what, she’s an enigma to me and I love her.

Q: ‘Project Blue Book’ also starts this January. Tell us about Faye and getting the opportunity to step into this period piece?

A: I did feel like I stepped into another time period whenever I was on set, everything is so authentic. When you are on a set that has such a high calibre, and so many amazing artists creating it, it is the most wonderful thing in the world.

The directors were incredible, such storytellers. To work with Michael Malarkey, Aiden Gillen and the rest of the cast was almost an out of body experience! I stayed focused but was also in awe.

Faye plays the assistant to Captain Quinn (Malarkey) at Project Blue Book on the USA Air Force base. Top secret stuff! I loved this because it is a period piece which is so delicious to do. The UFO topic is something that is a universal obsession that I think we can all relate to. To wonder what is out there.

Q: The show follows the UFOs phenomenon between 1947 and 1970. Have you ever had an interest in aliens?

A: I think I have had a healthy interest in aliens. I admit to loving stories from people I know over the years who believed they saw spacecrafts and I never had a reason to think they were lying. I really think anything is possible and I actually can’t imagine believing we are the only ones here.

I do believe they don’t want to hurt us, but maybe that is optimism! Not sure! That being said, give me an alien movie and some popcorn and I’m a happy gal.

Q: I can’t believe it has been nearly 15 years since ‘Mean Girls’. Can you share any fun memories of your time working on the film and what ‘Mean Girls’ means to you?

A: I can’t believe it’s been 15 years since Mean Girls too! Mean Girls has been a huge blessing in my life. It was my first job, so I was pretty scared in all honesty. Doing my part in front of so many people. It’s been really fun over the years to see the reaction to crying girl.

Mark Waters, the director, was fantastic. He really challenged me. I did that scene probably 30 times without cutting in between, while he threw direction at me. It was riveting! I was pretty sharp from just coming out of theater school so I’m glad for my training.

It was very special to work with Tina Fey and to hang out with her and Amy Poehler at the wrap party. Amy was dancing in front of me hilariously and I felt like I had front row tickets to SNL. It’s so cool to see what the movie became.

Q: I believe you now split your time between LA and Canada. Does that offer a nice change of pace for you?

A: It’s great to have the opportunity to go back and forth between LA and Vancouver. I love being in LA to study comedy and for some of the opportunities that arise there. It’s always nerve-racking and exhilarating to be driving hours through traffic from audition to audition.

Vancouver is familiar, and the casting directors have seen me grow and become who I am. It’s nice to be in Vancouver because the work is steady, and always pretty awesome.

I hope to continue to do the back and forth and see what opportunities arise. The great thing about coming from a busy city like Vancouver, is our resumes look pretty good down south.

Q: What are your hopes for 2019? Any other upcoming projects you can share with us?

A: My hopes for 2019 is to keep growing as a person. To be more grounded and transparent, so that my work becomes richer and more versatile.

I can’t wait to do more comedy, to do more drama. I have been cast lately as a badass, Supergirl and Van Helsing. I would like to spend more time working on my skills as a badass with stage combat skills.

I’m ready for new challenges. I’m about to film some fun Hallmark stuff. So I’m looking forward to that! I love that network and the sweetheart stories that are told.

Title image by Liz Rosa

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