Jillian Rose Reed is a busy young woman to say the least! She is best known for her role on MTV's Awkward, now on the second half of its fourth season. She has also been venturing into film and can be seen in an upcoming movie, Confessions of a Womanizer, alongside actors Andrew Lawrence and Gary Busey. When Reed is not acting, she is giving back. Reed decided she wanted to help raise awareness for those affected by eating disorders in a unique way. She is currently the official celebrity spokesperson and producer of “Breaking The Chains,” a global nonprofit, artistic-based charity that aims to provide awareness, understanding, and support for those affected by eating disorders. Reed is also a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association Los Angeles Chapter, a nonprofit that personally hits home for her. An involved, inspirational, and positive role model, Reed is definitely a smart and sexy star!
Photo Credits: Photographer-Danny Hernandez, Makeup-Allison Noelle, Stylist-Mercedes Contreras
iaam: For those who don't know you, could you give three words that describe yourself?
Jillian: Crafty, adventurous, and happy.
iaam: How did you first get into acting? When did you realize acting was the right career for you? Who has inspired you personally and professionally?
Jillian: I started acting when I was very young and in musical theater in my hometown. I never really had a defining moment when I realized I wanted to do this – I just have always felt it was right. I've never wanted to do anything else! Personally, I'm extremely inspired by my family. They've always believed in my big dreams. It keeps me going! Professionally, I'm inspired by funny women. I hope to have the career of Tina Fey or Jennifer Aniston.
iaam: Awkward is now on the second half of its fourth season. Has this journey helped you grow as a person? What's it like to work on the set with Ashley Rickards, Beau Mirchoff, and Molly Tarlov?
Jillian: Awkward. has helped me grow as a person and an actor. I've learned so much about myself through this process. It has helped me figure out what I want out of my career, and to understand who my true friends are. My cast members are my family – working with them is a dream come true.
Photo Credit: MTV
iaam: Do you have anything in common with your character on Awkward., Tamara Kaplan? Do you have a favorite memory or favorite moment on the set of Awkward.?
Jillian: I do! We’re pretty fun, loving, and we both like adventure. We also both talk fast! One of my best moments on set was my dance routine in season two. I choreographed it with Nikki and Desi!
iaam: Growing up, were you a tomboy or a girly girl?
Jillian: Total girly girl! I went through a phase where I only wore my tutu!
iaam: Who would be in your dream cast? Who is your favorite celebrity crush?
Jillian: My dream cast would include Paul Rudd and Sandra Bullock. My celeb crush changes all the time! Right now I have a girl crush on Ariana Grande…that girl can sing!
iaam: You have an upcoming film, Confessions of a Womanizer. What was it like working with Andrew Lawrence & Gary Busey? Do you have a preference of film over TV?
Jillian: I prefer TV because I like being in people's home every week and being able to develop a character over time. However, I do love film and hope to do more of it. Confessions was an awesome experience. Andrew was the best leading man and an awesome actor and Gary was a blast! He had everyone cracking up.
iaam: What is your all-time favorite TV Show and movie?
Jillian: My all-time favorite show is Friends and my all-time favorite movie is The Holiday. I'm a sucker for a good chick flick!
Photo Credit: MTV
iaam: You're very passionate about giving back. How did you get started with "Breaking the Chains?” Why are eating disorders a favorite cause for you? What is the mission of “Breaking the Chains?” How can people get involved with your campaign @4BreakingChains?
Jillian: I was asked to get involved by our executive producer, Debra Hopkins, who has been in my life since I was young. Not only is this a passion piece for her, but being a woman in this industry, I felt like it was important for me too. Our mission is to change the face of eating disorders. We want to shed light on this disease using art, music, and pictures – positive images of love and light! Right now you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates. We have a lot of things in the works!
iaam: According to NationalEatingDisorder.org, half a million teens struggle with eating disorders or disordered eating. How important do you think it is for media to promote more diverse body shapes? What do you think can be done to diversify the types of women in fashion and media, etc.?
Jillian: It's extremely important that the media not focus on body types at all but instead on loving yourself. Eating disorders are not about what people "look like" on the outside. They're all about the struggle they face on the inside. The media should be promoting body-positive messages about feeling good in your own skin! We've come a long way. It's so nice to see companies using normal-sized people in their marketing. I hope that continues.
iaam: Here at iaam we believe smart is sexy. This means we value independence, intellect, and kindness over looks alone. What do you think is sexy?
Jillian: I think confidence is sexy. I'm so tired of people being afraid to say, "I'm smart, I'm pretty, I'm awesome!" We should be able to say that about ourselves. That is sexy.
Photo Credit: MTV
iaam: We heard that your older brother has Type 1 Diabetes. How challenging it is to deal with Type 1 Diabetes daily? Can it be reversed? What made you get involved with the American Diabetes Association?
Jillian: My brother was the reason I got involved with the ADA, and now all of the people I've met through the organization keep me there. Living with Type 1 has its challenges. My brother has to monitor his sugars and inject himself with insulin daily. There's currently no cure for diabetes, but by living a healthy lifestyle you can prevent Type 2.
iaam: According to NIH, about 208,000 young people under twenty years of age have been diagnosed with diabetes. Most of them have Type 1 Diabetes. What would you tell teenagers about the disease? Can a healthy lifestyle help avoid diabetes? Why should young people pay attention to Type 1 Diabetes?
Jillian: Type 1 Diabetes is not preventable and often is diagnosed in young people, but you can avoid being diagnosed with Type 2! Leading a healthy lifestyle is the most basic, important factor. Eat right and exercise!
iaam: We know that you enjoy shopping at vintage stores! How do you incorporate vintage style into your fashion? What's one accessory you can't leave the house without?
Jillian: I really just wear what I love! I don't really follow any specific styles or trends. If I like it and want to wear it, then I'll wear it – even if that means pairing something brand new with something super old! I can't leave my house without my combat boots! That's what you'll see me in the most!
iaam: What is your favorite type of music? Who is your favorite artist or band? Top two songs on your playlist right now?
Jillian: I listen to a lot of singer/songwriter type of music, but I’m a sucker for pop too! Right now I'm really into Jason Mraz's new album. My boyfriend, Marty Shannon, is one of the most talented musicians I know! He has that bluesy feel, it's really awesome.
iaam: What else do you like to do for fun? What's one thing that most people don't know about you?
Jillian: I'm a total homebody. My idea of a fun night is cleaning my apartment, and then sitting in my clean apartment while I watch bad reality TV and eat snacks. I also love trying new restaurants, hiking, bowling, and scrapbooking!
iaam: What is your advice to teens about life in general?
Jillian: Stop taking it so seriously! Your life would be a lot easier if you laughed a little more. Stop beating yourself up – just love yourself.
To see more of Jillian, watch Awkward on Tuesdays at 10/9c on MTV. Get all the info on Awkward and watch previously aired episodes on the website.
Get the latest updates from Jillian. Follow her on her Twitter @JillianRoseReed!
Also, check out her campaign @4BreakingChains!
“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
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