JESSICA MORRIS TALKS ‘LADIES OF THE LAKE’ & BEING HERSELF 166

Best known for her role as Jennifer Rappaport in One Life to Live, Jessica Morris had a very busy but successful 2017 and following the announcement that her most recent show, Ladies of The Lake, has now renewed for a second season, fans will be seeing a lot more of Jessica in the coming months. ThisIsTheLatest chatted with Jessica to find out more about her childhood ambitions, her thoughts on social media and her love of all things ‘cheese’.

TITL: At what age did you first realise you wanted to be an actress? Has that always been your ultimate ambition or did you have other career dreams going up?

Jessica Morris: I made the definite decision to become an actress at around age 16. Before that, I wanted to be a dancer and had taken classes since I was a young child. And I was toying around with becoming a psychologist. Studying human behavior is incredibly interesting to me and luckily that activity still exists in my acting life.

TITL: When it came to pursuing your career, which actors/actresses did you admire and was there one film or TV series that ultimately made you think ‘Yeah, that’s what I want to do?’

JM: It wasn’t one actress or film that made me want to become an actress myself. I just always loved getting swept up in a story and imaginary world. The actors always looked so glamorous and free and I yearned to have an outlet like that where I could express all of the feelings that I had inside.

TITL: You’re perhaps best known for your role of Jennifer Rappaport in One Life to Live. Just how much did that role and the show change/impact your career trajectory?

JM: Well, it got my career started and I’m so grateful for that. I also learned so much about myself as a person and an actor. It helped to build my confidence.

TITL: 2017 was a particularly busy year for you, with December in particular bringing you to much wider attention thanks to two TV movies, A Christmas Cruise and The Wrong Man airing on December 16th and 29th respectively. Were you ever at all apprehensive about taking on ‘Christmas’ movie related roles given that they occasionally get a bad, or ‘cheesy’ tagline of sorts? What drew you to the roles and what was the viewer response like?

JM: I wasn’t hesitant at all. I love cheese! Who doesn’t? Cheddar, Brie, Christmas movies, bring it on! It got a great response and I think that sometimes people appreciate a light-hearted, easy-to-watch movie like that, that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

TITL: How did you get involved in your current project, Ladies Of The Lake? What was it about the show and the character you now play, Crystal Amhurst, that drew you in? 

JM: I was offered the part of Crystal on Ladies of the Lake and I thought the character was so entertaining and that she had many layers. I was also drawn to the fact that the female characters became very empowered at the end, even if it was in a criminal way.

TITL: How excited/relieved are you now that the show has been renewed for a second season?

JM: I’m very excited to go into production on Ladies of the Lake season 2. It is going to be sexier, edgier and much more action-packed.

TITL: Of all the industry professionals/fellow actors and actresses you’ve worked with over the years, who do you feel you most clicked with and do you have any funny moments or stories from sets you could share?

JM: When you film a movie, or shoot a TV show, you become so close to the other actors and the crew. You see them every day for many hours and share emotionally intimate moments with them. Also, the adrenaline is pumping and moods are elevated because most people there are doing what they are most passionate about. So, after every production I feel like I’ve met my new soul mate or new best friend. But after the high wears off, you are happy to just stay in touch with some of them. Best case scenario, they actually do remain one of your best friends. Like Melissa Archer, who I worked on One Life to Live with, or some of my other best friends, Robin Sydney and Roopashree Jeevaji who I also met on set.

TITL: Are there any other projects in the pipeline you can tell me about?

JM: I’m just finishing up my second draft of a script that I will also star in.

TITL: How do you feel about social media, and do you pay much attention to what users post, both positive and negative, on sites like Twitter?

JM: I think that social media is a great tool for actors. Everyone has a right to their opinions but I don’t think it’s cool for people to post negative comments. I just don’t understand the mentality behind wanting to make someone else feel bad. It’s totally different if they are talking about the character. But if it becomes personal, I think it’s disrespectful and unnecessary.

TITL: What’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said about you/your work?

JM: I’ve luckily gotten a lot of wonderful feedback from fans on social media. It’s amazing when they tag certain shows or networks, basically pushing ideas to try and help move your career forward. It’s way above and beyond and makes me feel so supported to have people that I’ve never even met believe in my dreams like that. It means so much.

TITL: What advice would you give to anyone looking to follow in your footsteps? What three things/skills would you say they need to master or acquire? 

JM: I would say that they need to learn how to be vulnerable and open in front of the camera, but hard as a rock off camera. It’s a strange dichotomy. But finding that balance is key to surviving the industry.

TITL: If you were to win an Oscar and had only thirty seconds to deliver your thank you speech, what would you say and who would you dedicate the award to? 

JM: I would thank the people who have had faith in me, even in times when I have lost it in myself. My mom, my manager, my friends who have encouraged me. There is a long list!

TITL: Finally then, whose career would you most like to emulate and what would you most like to be remembered for in terms of your work and career?

JM: I don’t want to emulate anyone. I want to be me. I want to be known for that. For showing a part of myself that hopefully makes people feel something when they watch me.

For more information on Jessica Morris, visit her website or follow her on Twitter. Header photo credit: Tim Schaeffer.

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EXCLUSIVE: STERLING INFINITY PREMIERES HIS NEW TRACK “#HYPNOTIZED” 58

Having first discovered his passion for song-writing and performing in gospel music, Sterling Infinity’s voice soon earned him attention from anyone fortunate enough to witness him on a stage and he quickly moved from performing in churches to playing historic and iconic venues such as Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall.

Now, here in 2018, Sterling has embraced his love of pop music and intertwined it with flashes of R&B and house styles, to create the persona and the sound that so many have come to know and love. With an empowering, captivating vocal prowess – a seemingly effortless range and a stunning rich vibrato – Sterling’s career continues to go from strength to strength as more and more music fans on both sides of the Atlantic discover his gift for themselves.

With comparisons to the likes of much loved and much missed icons including David Bowie, Freddie Mercury and Prince, Sterling Infinity is now set to launch himself further onto the global stage with the release of his self-titled deluxe edition album on July 20th. In the meantime, ThisIsTheLatest are delighted to premiere his new and deeply hypnotic single “#Hypnotized (Pyramid Black Remix)”, about which Sterling says:

“When I wrote and arranged the track, I wanted to write something that was timeless and would never be dated – that people of the future would still love the beat and rhythm. For me, house music is timeless. This is synth-rock meets house.”

Give “#Hypnotized” a listen below and for more information on Sterling Infinity, visit his website, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

KENDRA BLACK PREMIERES NEW SINGLE “DANGERLESS” 93

Kendra Black, an Italian born, classically trained ballet dancer, is most certainly making her mark on the music world. Having received considerable attention from media outlets and music fans on both side of the Atlantic thanks to her single “Rude”, which featured Snoop Dogg, Kendra Black’s career has continued to rise ever since. Now, following the release of her debut EP The Edge in December, a collection which was produced by the acclaimed Trend Def Studios team, Black is launching into the summer months with her new track “Dangerless” which ThisIsTheLatest are delighted to premiere.

Asked about the inspiration and power behind the song, Black said: “The beauty of ‘Dangerless’ is that the track inspires the courage to build your reality by finding the strength in love, rather than losing yourself into lifestyles that are often damaging and destructive.”

With performances in France, the Caribbean, Monte-Carlo and the US already under her belt, Black is currently on a Spring US tour, impressing crowds all over the country. As her EP continues to win over fans both old and new, the rest of 2018 is certainly looking good for this gifted performer.

Check out “Dangerless” below and for more information on Kendra Black, visit her website, give her page a like on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.