The Nine’s large cast includes many of our favorite TV veterans and some fresh faced newcomers. One of the latter is Jessica Collins, for whom The Nine is her first full time acting gig out of Julliard, after the requisite Law and Order and a Ghost Whisperer. She knows how lucky she is to jump right into work out of school.
Interview: Jessica Collins on The Nine
“I have to say it’s all luck,” said Collins. “I’d like to think it was talent, hopefully. My school was a great foundation. It sort of opened a lot of doors. I got really lucky.”
That foundation gives her an edge over many of the young actresses just trying to be famous. “Julliard is a brilliant place. It’s very hard and it’s four years of 14 hour days, six days a week with homework. But when you have a passion, I know my passion for acting is immense, and you live for it. You love going there and you love working.”
On The Nine, Collins plays Lizzie Miller, a hospital social worker engaged to Jeremy Kates (Scott Wolf). We already know that Jeremy had a romantic moment with Franny Rios (Camille Gauty) during the crisis, which gave Lizzie second thoughts about revealing her pregnancy. So far that’s been the focus of the first three episodes.
“Hopefully more will be revealed. She’s a social worker and she’s new, I’m pretty sure, to LA as well. She’s selfless. She loves what she does. She likes helping people. But there’s more of her that we don’t know.”
Establishing this character over several episodes has already required Collins to draw on her schooling. “It gives you a vocabulary. I can much more easily articulate what it is that I do instinctually. It lets me define it. It lets me put boundaries on it and it lets me shape it.”
Drama has also given Collins experience in playing characters whose past is a mystery, as we will find out more and more of the 52 hour crisis as seasons go on. “You read Chekov and you wonder what Masha has been through in the past 18 years. You wonder why they dream of going to Moscow but you never quite know. It’s the same.”