We poked; we probed; still nothing. Jill Marie Jones was tight-lipped about her departure from “Girlfriends” and refused to answer any questions about the hit show.
Maybe she’s contractually obligated to keep her mouth shut, or maybe she prefers to avoid a cat fight with Miss Tracee Ellis Ross. Clearly, we all miss Toni, but Tracee’s right. “The show is bigger than one person,” she said. “The show is called ‘Girlfriends,’ not ‘Jill and Friends.’” Jill left “Girlfriends,” presumably over a contract dispute.I detect a bit of tension between the two, but we’ll never know Jill’s side of the story.
Anyway, Tracee goes on to say she was stunned to hear about Jill’s departure from the show’s producers. “I think I was mostly sad that after six years, the call didn’t come to me that said, ‘Hey, I’ve decided to leave and this is what it’s about.’ But the show will go on.”
More like, Jill will move on. Say goodbye to our beloved, self-indulgent, materialistic Toni and hello to Tonya, a timid, loving wife who enters into a killing spree with her husband.
BET.com: How would you best describe your character in “Redrum?” How are you and Tonya similar?
Jill: Tonya is the good wife; she goes to work every day; there is always food on the table; and the house is immaculate. Tonya is definitely a giver, but she lives in the body of an insecure person. As we follow her throughout the film, not only does she change physically, but there is a huge change in her personality as well.
I really identify with the confidence that Tonya finds in the film. She realizes that it is OK to have her own opinion and make her own choices.
We all miss Toni Childs, but Jill Marie Jones wants more than just “Girlfriends.” Will she get it?
BET.com: Was it challenging to step into this role?
Jill: It wasn’t necessarily challenging, because with every character that I play, I do my homework and research. What I will say, however, is that I’ve never played a serial killer before, and it was more fun than I had anticipated.
BET.com: In this film, you work with notables such as Jennifer Lewis and Terri J. Vaughn. What did you learn from them?
Jill: First of all, let me just say I am overjoyed that they jumped in the sandbox and played with me for a few days. As for Miss Lewis, I feel like I have been in class learning from that amazing woman for a few years now because she played my mother on Girlfriends. She is such a class act. Both Jennifer and Teri exude such professionalism.
BET.com: What role would you like to play in the future?
Jill: Anything that turns me on creatively and artistically. I know that might sound vague, but it’s true. I am pretty open.
BET.com: After completing your first film debut, how did you celebrate?
Jill: Well, I partied with my cast and crew at our wrap party, but I couldn’t party too hard because I was leaving for New Jersey to start another film.
She is currently filming a new movie called, “The Perfect Christmas,” which also stars Queen Latifah and Terrence Howard, as well as Morris Chestnut and Gabrielle Union.
“Redrum” is scheduled for release in 2007. Joe Torry, Snoop Dogg and Bishop Magic Don Juan also make appearances in the film.