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Jillian Rose Reed is Anything But a ‘Big Fail Mary’

When it comes to awkward moments, Jillian Rose Reed from the hit MTV show Awkward has had more than a few. “During filming we had a party scene where I was setting up tables and chairs in a dress,” Reed said. “I bent down to pick up the chairs and I totally flashed the camera. Luckily I was wearing nude shorts, but because they were nude everyone thought they saw my butt!”

Reed plays best friend Tamara on Awkward, and she’s not the typical ‘best friend’ character you normally see on television. ‘Tamaraisms’ like ‘chillaxitive,’ ‘lesbutante,’ and ‘dramacakes’ steal the show. “My hands down favorite one has been the same since season one — ‘a big fail Mary’ is when something goes incredibly wrong and I don’t think any other phrase has topped that yet,” Reed said.

When it comes to creating characters, inspiration strikes Reed easily. “I draw from my own life,” Reed said. “I talk really fast and I’m spunky just like Tamara is, but a lot of it was character work based off how I felt this person would be. And a lot of it was right there written for me, and I just really had to bring it to life.”

She showed her range of performance in the hit television show Weeds, where she played a goth character. Reed says the role is one of her favorites to date, “It was such an honor to be on that show and play such a strange character who is totally opposite of me,” “I think in the future I’d like to play something supernatural. Maybe the ‘cute girl’ that no one knows is an alien? Is that a thing? If it is, I’d love to play that!”

Her charm and down to earth attitude shows how thankful Reed is for her career success. “I think being in the entertainment industry is extremely difficult,” Reed said. “We’ve all had moments where we feel like the world is against us, and in this industry, sometimes those come around more often. Luckily, I’ve had the protection of my family while growing up in this business. They always support me and offer me advice. They keep me grounded and normal.”

Reed moved to LA in her early teens and worked her way into the industry. “Looking back at the years I spent learning, and trying my hardest, is a good reminder of where I am today,” she said. “It’s hard to be negative when you’ve achieved so many of your life goals. I have a loving family and great group of friends. I have no time to be negative.”

She’s also thankful for all of her fans. “The most important thing I’d like to say to each and every fan is thank you,” Reed said. “Without every one of them, Awkward wouldn’t be on the air, we wouldn’t be an award-winning show, and I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today. They made my dreams come true and I’d like to thank every one of them!”

By Caelan Hughes


Jumper and Fringe Vest: Novella Royale // Jewelry: The Shangri-La


Kimono and black pants: Novella Royale // Jewelry: The Shangri-La // Shoes: Zooshoo


Dress: Novella Royale // Jewelry: The Shangri-La // Hat: Vintage

Photography by Michelle Paulsen

Assistant: Abbi Cooley

Hair: Stacey Barnes

Makeup: Audrey Ramos

Wardrobe: Jacqueline Sapigao