Today’s guest is awesome on so many levels that it’s a challenge to do her justice.
But I’m sure going to try.
Before you say anything, there’s nothing wrong with appreciating an actress for her talent and her beauty…
Jessalyn Wanlim cut her acting teeth on that most soapy of soap operas, All My Children, and as many actors will tell you, there’s no greater thespian boot camp. Daytime dramas teach a mimic discipline, impeccable timing, teamwork and above all, how to give great “shocked dramatic face”.
Not content to wow the daytime crowd alone, Jessalyn appeared in Gossip Girl, a show that I must admit I’ve never watched but I’m guessing is centered on a chatty young lady and her impossibly-good-looking circle of friends, hangers-on and frenemies, of course. More TV and film work followed (including role son some of the coolest showes ever, like Modern Family and NCIS: Los Angeles) before this gal broke her career wide open by breaking into the world of the “Clone Club” on Orphan Black.
This show – if you’ve been living under a nice rock for the least few years – is a global phenomenon. It asks the really ginormous questions, like:
- What does it truly mean to be human?
- Is humanity something that can be manufactured in a lab?
- How many roles can one actress play before her brain shorts out?
In the Orphan universe, Jessalyn is Evie Cho, “the CEO of the BrightBorn corporation, a Neolution-driven fertility company with dubious intentions.”
Chilling stuff, kids. Fortunately, Jessalyn is one of those actors who can easily switch from “evil” (remember, villains rarely consider themselves villainous) to “good” in a heartbeat. And like many of the “greats”, she can say more with her eyes than a hundred pages of dialogue. And for Jessalyn Wanlim – and all of us – the best is yet to come.
She’s an integral part of CBC’s new comedy line-up, as one of the four main characters in the sure-to-be-a-smash-hit sitcom, Workin’ Moms. The show focuses on four women in a mommies’ group wanting to have it all as they juggle relationships, insatiable babies, horrific co-workers and postpartum depression. The show was created by Black-ish star Catherine Reitman, the daughter of iconic Hollywood director Ivan Retiman, who will be writing, directing and starring. Heck, she’ll probably even cook for the cast and crew; the chick’s a dynamo!
Everyone here knows how I feel about CBC, right? And so I don’t need to say that I admire the hell out of this young lady for landing herself this gig. It appears I’ll never break into my country’s national broadcasting corporation (unless it’s with a tank) so I envy anyone who can.
I think it’s safe to say, Jessalyn has a lot to look forward to in the next year. For today, though, let’s get to the 5×5 goodness, shall we?
ONE) You’ll be playing a mom on CBC; would having a Clone Club be the ultimate (awesome) “mom cheat” – or a nightmare? (Assuming an evil corporation wasn’t hunting your clones, of course.)
A clone would be the absolute ultimate mom cheat ever, but I’m pretty sure the baby would only get more confused to call her mommy. And that would be bad, right?
(Mom #1 and so on, could work, I suppose.)
TWO) Is playing a villainess liberating and cathartic or exhausting?
Villains are EXHAUSTING but the most fun to play….it’s so bad it’s soooo good!
THREE) If you could have a cartoon sidekick for a day who would you pick and why?
Tazmanian Devil fosho… I need to run some people over really badly so he’d be very useful to me muahahahaha
FOUR) As a father I’ve been watching my daughter struggle to establish her own identity in a world that holds females to impossible standards; as a successful actor (with girl parts) what do you think is the greatest challenge facing women these days?
Being a woman will always be hard because we will be fighting for equality while birthing a child (if that woman so chooses to do so) and cooking the family dinner on a nightly basis (if that woman chooses to do so as well).
I think the greatest challenge is not losing yourself through it all… finding time to take care of yourself when we as women as so programmed to take care of others. It’s tough having girl parts!
(I don’t doubt it. But girl parts rock.)
FIVE) What one superpower would most improve your life, Jessalyn Wanlim?
I need to be able to fly like Superman. I hate driving and public transportation. I just need to fly everywhere.
(I hate heights, but that would be awesome.)
Well, that’s it, folks. As many of my exes used to tell me… GET OUT!
But seriously, you do need to leave now. Thank you so much for being here to witness Jessalyn’s superb answers and funky, fun attitude.
See you in the lobby, kids…