In the world of MTV’s Awkward, which follows the confused lives of teenagers, Tamara knows what she wants. She’s Jenna’s (Ashley Rickards) best friend and as we’ve seen in the series she’s not above using Jenna’s romance with popular boy, Matty (Beau Mirchoff), to gain entrance into the cool crew – even if it’s only to take “red cup photos.”
“She definitely is always trying,” Jillian Rose Reed, who plays Tamara, tells The Hollywood Reporter about her desire to break into the inner circle.
“In the last episode, what ends up happening is, Sadie ends up putting poop in the hot tub that we’re all in,” she continues. “So in the next episode you see Tamara kind of try to get revenge on Sadie for that. You can see her finally getting fed up with everything that Sadie puts us through, and she tries to get back at her.”
Born in Hollywood, Fla., Reed and her family moved to Northfield, Mich. Her acting career started when she was seven years old and by twelve, she had done about 27 different children’s musicals. Before Awkward, Reed has appeared on several TV shows, including Showtime’s Weeds, NBC’s Community, ABC’s The Middle, and HBO’s Hung.
We already know that fans will meet Tamara’s mom and the boy she keeps mentioning, Ricky Schwartz. Now, Reed tells us what we can expect from her character going forward, including a chance to use her singing talent (kind of) and the mystery “care-frontation letter” writer.
The Hollywood Reporter: How similar to your character are you?
Jillian Rose Reed: I’m very similar to my character. I would say Tamara definitely speaks her mind. She’s super fun. She’s always down for an adventure and that’s definitely how I am in my real life, so I relate to her a lot.
THR: There have already been challenges to Tamara and Jenna’s friendship. How bad will that get this season?
Reed: You will definitely see a rollercoaster of emotions that Jenna and Tamara have to go through together and you know they’re best friends and best friends get in fights. You will definitely see that. It’s something that Tamara will end up feeling a little bit hurt by Jenna, and that will be expressed and it actually will come to a head in a very great episode that I’m really excited for. You get to see them have this conflict and overcome these obstacles in their relationship.
THR: One of our earliest theories was that Tamara wrote the “care-frontation letter,” but when she found out about it she seemed so shocked. That made us think that she didn’t write it, but is she still a possibility?
Reed: At this point everyone is a suspect. It’s anyone’s game. Anyone could have written the letter. And throughout the series you get to see Jenna questioning basically everybody and saying ‘Who did write this letter? Who did this come from?’ So yeah, it’s anyone’s game right now. You guys have to just keep on guessing.
THR: You have a really strong background in musicals. Will you be able to sing this season?
Reed: I do get to sing in the series. Tamara may not be the best singer. I’ll leave that up to you to decide. But yeah, I do get to sing. It was really fun.
THR: Is there another role that you’d really like to play or that you think would challenge you?
Reed: Well, I had always wanted to play a supernatural kind of character. I think that would be really fun like in some weird sci-fi type movie or something like that. I think that would be really cool. I got to play a vampire in a short film that I did, but I think I would want to play a character like that again. It was just cool to be something completely unreal, you know?
THR: Absolutely. What are some of your favorite TV shows?
Reed: Right now, I love Glee. I’m a Gleek. I love Gossip Girl. I’m super into the drama of that. And then my all-time favorite show is not on the air anymore but I am 100% obsessed with Boy Meets World.
Awkward airs Tuesdays at 11 p.m on MTV. Reed is managed by Discover Management.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro