Getting Awkward With Jillian Rose Reed
by Oriana Schwindt
Jillian Rose Reed
The secret’s out! In Tuesday’s midseason premiere of MTV’s Awkward the whole world found out about Jenna (Ashley Rickards) cheating on Matty (Beau Mirchoff) with hipster Collin (Nolan Gerard Funk) — and for once it wasn’t because bestie Tamara (Jillian Rose Reed) blabbed to someone she shouldn’t have. Reed called TV Guide Magazine to dish about what this means for Palos Hills High’s worst secret keeper.
TV Guide Magazine: Tamara’s boyfriend, Jake (Brett Davern), is Matty’s best friend. Will he see Tamara as an accomplice to Jenna?
Jillian Rose Reed: It’s all super complicated —
she’s really between a rock and a hard place! I definitely think it’s going to cause some trouble for Tamara and Jake. Whether it all comes to the surface or it’s just this underlying tension, I think it’s going to be hard for Jake
to understand that Tamara is loyal to Jenna but still loves him. She wants him to know everything, but she just can’t.
TV Guide Magazine: Have you ever been in the same position as Tamara?
Reed: Oh, my gosh, I really haven’t! I feel like my friends, luckily, have been really loyal people, thank God, because I don’t know how I would have handled that.
TV Guide Magazine: Jake and Tamara somehow have the most stable relationship on the show.
Reed: They’ve had way less drama than the Jenna-Matty relationship, that’s for sure. I think it’s because they’re opposites, which makes them really love each other and really work. They’re completely different,
and they’re both set in their ways. They know what they want out of their high school life, out of their relationship.
TV Guide Magazine: How good are you at keeping secrets?
Reed: I can keep a secret, but I also confide in my boyfriend. You’re supposed to trust them not to tell anybody else, so it gives you the relief of getting that gossip off
TV Guide Magazine: The writers seem to love giving you tongue-twisters.
Reed: The thing is, they know I can memorize really well, and they know I can get through it, so they give me these paragraphs, and I swear they get bigger and bigger every season. They’re just like, “Okay, we’ll give her all this, we know she can do it in two takes.”
TV Guide Magazine: Have there been phrases or acronym explanations that have been almost impossible to get through?
Reed: Hmm. I don’t know if there are certain phrases, but there have definitely been paragraphs that have just been so long, like, an entire page of just me rattling about something. And there’ve definitely been times where I’ve had to take more than a couple of takes.
TV Guide Magazine: Has the way you talk in real life been influenced by the way Tamara speaks? And vice versa?
Reed: Oh yeah. There’s a little bit of both of us in each other. I brought the fast-talking to the table. I’ve always been someone who talks extremely fast and have been extremely articulate. And our entire cast uses Tamara’s phrases now. We are always using “DTR” ["define the relationship"], we are always using “amazeballs.”
We have such amazing writers that come up with these things; they’re very in touch with what teenagers say and want to hear. I went on vacation last week to my high school’s homecoming game, and I was having a conversation with some of the girls on the pom team. I walked away, and my friend who’s my age, we just looked at each other and went, “What just happened? What were they talking about? Who are these boys? Who are these other girls?” It was kind of awful but also really interesting, you’re wondering what’s going on.
TV Guide Magazine: It really is funny how quickly you can get sucked back in.
Reed: Oh yeah. I wanted to know all their problems, I wanted to tweet with all of them. I wanted to be in it.
TV Guide Magazine: This is the last batch of episodes with creator Lauren Iungerich running the show.
Reed: Yeah, you know, it’s gonna be different. But our new showrunners [Chris Alberghini and Mike Chessler] are so brilliant, and our new writers are really great, so I’m excited. I think Season 4 is going to be fantastic. And Lauren’s got other stuff going on, so I wish her the best of luck. But we’re really excited about the change, we’re excited to see how it unfolds.
Awkward airs Tuesdays at 10:30/9:30c on MTV.