BWW Interview: Jenna Leigh Green Chats Guesting on THE RESIDUALS, TONYA & NANCY at NYMF
If you are of a certain age, you undoubtedly spent part of your Friday nights casting spells with Sabrina the Teenage Witch, her aunts Hilda and Zelda, their talking cat Salem, and Sabrina's arch-rival Libby. As many Broadway fans know, Westbridge's meanest cheerleader was played by the wonderful Jenna Leigh Green, who has gone on to spend some time with another witch, Elphaba, and has appeared on stages and screen ever since.
Now, the multi-talented Green has dropped by BroadwayWorld's web comedy THE RESIDUALS in the new episode "The Dark Side." In the episode, Green plays an actress who seems to be rather annoyed by her easily excited boyfriend, Lance (Patrick Jones). Watch the new episode here, and check back with BWW on Thursday, July 9th for exclusive outtakes from "The Dark Side."
Recently, I had a chance to chat with Green, who is currently rehearsing for a new musical about Olympic figure skaters Tonya Harding (played by Tracy McDowell) and Nancy Kerrigan (played by Green) for this year's New York Musical Theatre Festival. You can purchase tickets to TONYA & NANCY: THE ROCK OPERA here.
BWW: Thank you so much for chatting today, I know you are probably pretty busy right now.
J.L.G.: Yes, totally crazed.
Well, let's get to it. From what I understand, your RESIDUALS co-star James Tabeek (Devan) got you involved with Season 2. How do you know James, and how did he convince you to come on board for a guest spot this season?
I love James so much. We actually refer to each other as husband and wife as we lived together for a year in hotel rooms across the U.S. And Canada touring with WICKED. It doesn't get much closer than that. James had mentioned the web series to me when they were working in the first season and it sounded absolutely hilarious so I said yes immediately when he asked if I was interested in making a cameo appearance in Season 2.
Your character on THE RESIDUALS is Lance's girlfriend, Heidi, and she seems less than thrilled to be in a relationship with him, but the back-and-forth that you have with Patrick is really funny. Can you talk a little bit about Lance and Heidi's relationship?
Well thank you! It was a really fun day and all really quick so we took advantage of grasping at any improv skills and just bouncing little quips back and forth. It's scripted, but loose. As for Lance and Heidi's relationship, I actually think it's funnier for people to make their own assessment. I've thought of a ton of different reasons she would be dating someone she obviously can't stand, but I think it's funnier if the viewer comes up with their own reason. It's just odd in every way.
THE RESIDUALS is essentially about the craziness that actors go through at commercial auditions. What is the most bizarre thing that you have witnessed or been asked to do at an audition, whether it was for TV, a movie, a musical, or anything else?
Oh God, I feel like I've had a million crazy auditions, but now that I'm on the spot they all mesh together. Let's see, well ya gotta love some of the random things you're asked to do at commercial auditions, like, "Ok, laugh. Now."
Just laugh out of no where. I suck; like the absolute worst fake laugher. I didn't book that one. Pretty much any horror movie audition is ridiculous. You're generally screaming a lot, in a sexy outfit, over and over. Yet, I still go cause I'm dying to do a horror film! Auditions on a whole are terrifying and weird. I applaud anyone who loves them, I wish I was one of them.
You've done a few guest spots on webseries over the last few years, and it seems like more and more really talented people are choosing to create things specifically for the web. What is about this new genre that's letting them do that? Is it the ability to make something on their own without having to wait for someone else to give you permission; is it the freedom to take a project in whatever direction you want?
I think both of those statements are true. I love that we are in an age where the ability to create is an option no matter how large or small one's budget is. There is so much talent and creativity floating out there and it's an absolute joy to be a small part of the fun.
Finally, I have to ask about TONYA & NANCY: THE ROCK OPERA. You are playing Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in the show at NYMF this month, and it sounds absolutely amazing. Can you tell me a little bit about the show; is it more of a comedic parody of the situation surrounding the skaters, or is it serious attempt at telling their rather bizarre story?
Yes, we open Thursday the 9th so we are in our final days of rehearsal. The show is crazy and fun and a total roller coaster. It's definitely a comedic look at the infamous scandal, but we aren't making fun of anyone. You don't have to, the story is unbelievable enough that you don't need to make anything up for entertainment sake. The show has crazy rock music and fun operatic elements, but also has a ton of heart; and of course laughs. Lots of laughs. Hope to see everyone there; if you can score a ticket! (laughs).