5×5 With The Hook: Jennifer Marsala.

Jennifer Marsala of NBC’s new smash series, Taken, holds a very special place in 5×5 history.

Or should I say “Hookstory”?  No?  How about “Jennstory”?

Fine, let’s move on.

Jennifer is not only on a hit American television series – adapted from one of the greatest action films of all time and a personal favorite of mine – she’s funny as hell, bright as Niagara Falls at night, and cuter than the proverbial button… she answered my queries in record time. (Kenna James held the previous record but someone had to take her down sooner or later.)

If all that wasn’t enough, Jennifer’s was the first 5×5 conducted publicly over Twitter. At first I was concerned the 141 character limit would prove too big a challenge for this blogging bellman, but luck and a brilliant guest saved the day.

Speaking of today’s guest, in the small-screen version of the Taken universe Jennifer Marsala is Riley, an agent with a shadowy US government agency – so you know she has a lot of secrets – but she’s been generous enough to reveal a few of her own secrets with all of us today. Ain’t she sweet? 

If you haven’t seen it yet, Taken is as big a thrill ride as its source material; the story is fleshed out and expanded with plenty of intrigue and action. Bryan Mills’ background as a special-ops soldier wired to protect others in any circumstance comes back to haunt him as his sister is murdered by a crime lord destined to become the series’ Big Bad, putting Bryan on the radar of the aforementioned government agency. Cue Riley and her cohorts, led by the awesome Jennifer Beals and plenty of gun play and nail-biting chases and battles.

But Taken is only the latest hit show to highlight Jennifer’s talents. My daughter, the world’s most passionate Grey’s Anatomy fan, was uncharacteristically excited about my blog when she realized Jennifer guest-starred on “one of the saddest episodes ever!” I was a cool blogging dad – for two minutes, at least.

Then, when my kid realized Jennifer also guested on Castle, I was the cool dad again. Briefly, naturally. Speaking of her credits, Jennifer Marsala’s acting resume is a how-to guide in how to win hearts and minds by appearing in the hottest TV shows available to mankind.

And now, friends, let’s hear from the lady herself…

ONE)  You’re the sweet-but-tough-as-nails tech support on Taken but do will we get a chance to see Riley in the field before season’s end?

Yes! Riley gets out in the field in the next episode. But she’d like to be out there more so fingers crossed for season 2!

TAKEN — “Off Side” Episode 103 — Pictured: Jennifer Marsala as Riley — (Photo by: Panagiotis Pantazidis/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

Jennifer Marsala reacts to seeing my blog for the first time, “What have I done to my career? And my life?”


TWO)  What is one of your “particular set of skills”, Jennifer?

Writing limericks, playing tambourine, throwing parties & nearly always being off key when I sing. All very useful skills.


THREE)  You’ve been married for a few years now (in case you forgot) what’s the weirdest thing about being a spouse?  (Marriage really is the undiscovered country and I’ve seen you perform stand-up so I know you have the comedic chops to run with this.)

I like being married. It’s fun to have someone around to annoy whenever you want. I just wish he cooked.


FOUR)  My daughter is the ultimate Grey’s Anatomy/Castle fan; can you share a behind-the-scenes tale from either production?

In Grey’s I played a character giving birth to twins. So I basically screamed/cried for five days straight.

FIVE)  Do agents of off-the-books government agencies still have to pay taxes?

I’m not sure. But the actors who play them sure do!

(You see President Trump? Actors may be responsible for “fake fiction” but they’re decent, tax-paying citizens who are paying through the nose to make America great again.)


Well, was I right or was I right? Jennifer Marsala rocks, doesn’t she? I want to thank JM for being here today. (We’re tight now, so she doesn’t mind if I call her JM. I hope.)

See you in the lobby and on the telly, kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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8 Responses to 5×5 With The Hook: Jennifer Marsala.

  1. curvyroads says:

    Cool interview…and I like “Hookstory”!

  2. davidprosser says:

    Cool interview Mr ‘Down with the dudes’ man. You’re getting some great guests Robert , someone must be shielding your reputation. Carry on like this and you’ll be on TV soon.

  3. Jennifer Rocks. You are so right Hook. Nice job to you too.

  4. umashankar says:

    Yes, sir! I am quite taken by Jennifer Marsala!

  5. She definitely rocks! 🙂

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