This past month I had the pleasure to talk with Jolene Purdy, one of the stars of FOX’s new sitcom DO NOT DISTURB. You may remember her from her first professional gig : DONNIE DARKO. (which by the way she scored right out of the gate – it was her first professional audition!) An award-winning singer, Jolene went on to win the top honor at the British Arts Awards. Now she shares both her acting and singing talents with us in her newest role.
Jennifer Jonassen: You play a model! Hooray! Tell us a little about your character on, DO NOT DISTURB.
Jolene Purdy: Molly is an aspiring singer. She wants to work upstairs in the hotel where she can perform in the bar and where she thinks there are connections for her career.
Jennifer Jonassen: You are a very accomplished singer! Will you be singing on the show?
Jolene Purdy: Yes. I will be singing in bits and pieces throughout the show.
Jennifer Jonassen: Any CD’s from Jolene Purdy to look forward to in the future?
Jolene Purdy: I would love it! I definitely see something happening with my music.
Jennifer Jonassen: Very cool! Your character Molly is also an aspiring model & I loved the fact that in the first episode you were the one who hooked up a traditionally thin model with an agent! Have you ever modeled yourself?
Jolene Purdy: (laughing) when I was younger I think I took some pictures that I thought were “model pix” but I never really got into it. I’m kinda short. And you know most plus size models aren’t that big.
Jennifer Jonassen: Sadly true. Hopefully this is starting to change. What are some of the challenges of being a plus size actress?
Jolene Purdy: Everyone around me is about 5’9″ and size zero!
Jennifer Jonassen: (laughing) yes that pretty much sums up Hollywood in a nut-shell!
Jolene Purdy: But you know when I have been a much smaller size I actually work less.
Jennifer Jonassen: That is true; I have found that being larger can definitely be an asset too. You have a niche and you definitely stand out… What is your dream role?
Jolene Purdy: Tracey Turnblad on Broadway!
Jennifer Jonassen: You would be perfect!
Jolene Purdy: Marissa Jaret-Winokur has been such a role model for me!
Jennifer Jonassen: What do you think of the term plus-size?
Jolene Purdy: Well pluses are positive!
Jennifer Jonassen: And how do you describe yourself in terms of size?
Jolene Purdy: Bootilicious! Just kidding! I like “curvy”…
Jennifer Jonassen: What would you tell a young girl struggling with body image?
Jolene Purdy: You know I was so confident when I was younger. Then I started dieting and getting off the diet. Then dieting again…
Jennifer Jonassen: When did you lose that confidence?
Jolene Purdy: When boys started coming into the picture. I have two younger sisters and I talk to them a lot about the issue. They’re both curvy and going through puberty. They have so much to deal with in terms of applying to schools and hormones changing! I tell them that they really have to love themselves because there are so many people out there who will try to tear you down. Embrace who you are… Don’t let them confuse you. Isn’t the average size a 14?
Jennifer Jonassen: Yes. And I’ve heard it said that Marilyn Monroe was a size 16.
Jolene Purdy: And you know what? I have friends who are dancers who say they wish that they had a little more on top and behind! (laughing) The grass is always greener!
Jennifer Jonassen: My favorite thing about the first episode is that you get the last moment and it is a sexy one at that!
Jolene Purdy: In another episode, it shows me wearing a low cut top, and I get to be very sexy!
Jennifer Jonassen: That is so great to see represented on TV… you are another maverick in that department. I know I speak for a significant demographic when I say we want to see Molly singing upstairs a lot!
Jolene Purdy: Throughout my career I have been told I am too heavy, too short, too Asian, too white… This role is my answer to all of these “too somethings.” It’s great because now I am the perfect amount of everything!
Jennifer Jonassen: Indeed you are Jolene!
Make sure to check out Jolene on DO NOT DISTURB on the Fox network… and if you missed any episodes, you can download them online at www.fox.com/donotdisturb