The Buzzcast got the chance to catch up with former ABC Daytime starlet, Jessica Morris. The actress played the role of Jennifer Rappaport on “One Life to Live,” up until the character met an untimely demise in Llanview. She recently was seen in the Amazon Prime mini-series, “Ladies of the Lake.”
Here is our interview with Morris below, where we talked about her daytime roots, upcoming projects, and more.
Na’Vell J. Lee: When we talk about GOOD crazy, some of the women on, “Ladies of the Lake,” are hilariously crazy. I want them to be my friends, but don’t want them to be my friends.
Jessica Morris: You can’t do them wrong, or upset them in any way. You would then have to be scared for your life.
NJL: The series stars you, Lilly Melgar, Martha Madison, who I absolutely love, and Marie Wilson.
JM: They are all pretty good. I sort of just met then when we began shooting. They are all so talented, grounded, and smart women. It was an honor to be a part of this.
NJL: It was phenomenal to watch, and see the chemistry between everyone. It also was great to see you reunite with John-Paul Lavoisier. It was fun for me, for obvious reasons.
JM: Our characters here are so much different than our characters from “One Life (to Live).”
NJL: What can you say about your character? In the second part, she really came into her own ground. I never thought she was the type to stand up for herself. She finally had confidence in herself. While she did shady things, she was very confident in doing her shady things.
JM: I think in that moment where she stands up for herself, it’s more because of the traumatic experience with the miscarriage. Her husband is basically kicking her while she’s down. He’s cheating on her right in front of her face. He doesn’t care. She was feeling desperate and down, and felt she had nothing left to lose. When you get to that point, you are not afraid to do just about anything.
NJL: The dark humor in this series was so good. I couldn’t get over how hard I was laughing. Does that made me sadistic?
JM: Not at all. That was exactly the reaction we wanted!
NJL: You mentioned earlier you learned a lot from these ladies. What was the one main thing you learned from them?
JM: I feel that Martha is so intelligent, and I love her strength. She brings that into the character she plays, which is really cool. I admire her for that. I think Marie is so cool. I feel we can sit and talk about new age stuff, and I feel like a better person because of her. She is so kind. With Lilly, she is such a great actress. I know she directed a little bit, and I kind of wish she would do more of that. There were a couple of scenes where Lilly had to make eye contact with me, and had such a compassionate gaze. She would say a couple of words, squeeze my hand, and the tears would be there. She has that way about her, and you feel so connected to her. That was really great.
NJL: We got to throw it back a bit to when you first came on the scene as Jennifer Rappaport on “One Life to Live.” I wouldn’t have called her a bad girl when she first appeared. I think she became a bad girl when Natalie came along.
JM: It was all Natalie’s fault. Jennifer seemed to have the gotten the blame for everything. I do think she had some good inside of her. However, she is one of those people that if things don’t go her way, she freaks out.
NJL: My favorite episode was “Trading Places” that took place on July 4, 2001. That was amazing!
JM: I remember that episode!
NJL: I was in tears from laughing so hard.
JM: We couldn’t even get through the scenes because WE were laughing so hard.
NJL: I couldn’t even imagine what it was like on set for you all filming that! Roger Howarth, especially, as Erika Slezak’s Viki…I was done! I needed tissues!
JM: What a brilliant idea for an episode. That was so great.
NJL: Not to mention, your character introduced us to Kathy Brier’s Marcy.
JM: I loved her! I remember when she first came to audition, and we read a scene together in Frank Valentini’s office. She was so hilarious and adorable right from the get-go. We knew right then she was perfect!
NJL: I have to mention, your death scene was very intense. I didn’t really watch it at all. When it went on YouTube, I still couldn’t bring myself to watch it, mainly because I was so against.
JM: Watching yourself, even though you are playing a character, die was very upsetting. Even with the dramatic voiceover that I had…it just felt so real.
NJL: What else has been going on? I heard you have done some movies that may be coming out soon?
JM: Yes, I recently did one where I was the female lead in. It’s a comedy that tells a great story about people trying to make it in Hollywood. They are up against so many challenges, and they decide to ban together. It’s very inspirational that makes you feel good. I also just finished a thriller, which is still in production. I also have done a handful of Lifetime movies. I did, “The Wrong Student,” “The Wrong Roommate,” and I am shooting, “The Wrong Man,” next week. It’s all wrong. (laughs)
NJL: What did you think of when “One Life” went off the air, then came back, then went off again?
JM: I think because I had already left the show, it didn’t affect me as much. However, I felt really sad for everyone who lost their jobs. When they tried to do the online version, a part of me hoped it would succeed, but also felt they were trying to hold on to something instead of trying something new. It had been on for so long, why couldn’t they make a new soap? I am all about moving forward. However, when you lose a job that you had for years and year, that you were loyal to, is very upsetting.
NJL: Is there anybody in this business that you hadn’t had the chance to work with, who would it be?
JM: I was on the show with Kassie DePaiva, and we did share a dressing room for a while. We didn’t have a ton of scenes together. Our storylines didn’t cross that often. She’s such a beast and soulful actor, that I would love to do something with her. That would be amazing! Also, I was much younger at the time. Now, I feel like I appreciate things in people even more. If I knew what I knew today, I think I would have picked her brain about things and give me advice. I would have had her be my mentor. She did help me with a lot of things, but I started on the show when I was 20/21 years old. My mind was all over the place, I’m going to be honest. Now, I appreciate those types of things more, and that is what I would have done differently. If I were opposite Kassie, I think we would have great chemistry.
To follow Jessica Morris on Twitter and Instagram: