Hey TWIST readers!
We just chatted with actress Jennifer Veal, who plays Debby Ryan's Central Park rival on the Disney Channel show Jessie! Jennifer gave us all the insider dish on working on the set of Jessie, how she deals with bullies, and the weird thing that she does for fun when she's not on set! Click "Read more" for our exclusive interview with Jennifer, and don't forget to watch her debut on Jessie tonight at 8 P.M. on Disney Channel!
Photo credit: Courtesy of Harley Kemp
TWIST: Can you tell me a little bit about your character on Jessie?
Jennifer: Well, my character I guess you could say is kind of like a young Nanny McPhee. I don't look like I do in real life. I have a snaggletooth and a mono-brow and a couple of moles, ha. So that's real fun. She's kind of like a nanny nemesis for Jessie, which is cool. They have a love-hate relationship going on and she runs Central Park, Agatha, and then Jessie comes along and rocks the boat I suppose, but it's a fun relationship!
TWIST: Would you say that you have any relationships like that with people in real life?
Jennifer: Maybe, like in a competitive sense! I guess in my industry I am quite competitive with other people but not in the way she is. She kind of throws tricks out there. I don't do that. But she's very determined, that's what I like about her.
TWIST: On the show your character is intimidating to Jessie. Have you ever felt intimidated by girls at your school?
Jennifer: I think a lot of people have. She's not a bully, but like you say very intimidating and I think that there is always that one person at school who people want to be like or the popular kid. I think that it's nice to see in the show with their relationship is that they always end up on a relatively good note.
TWIST: How do you deal with those kinds of people?
Jennifer: I mean when I was in school, I'm in an industry where I started young. I was like 11. It was bizarre to kids who didn't do what I do and I'm going off and I'm in the public eye at such a young age. Some people aren't particularly nice about that, you know? Jealousy. A lot of jealousy is involved because there are a lot of perks in what I do. I think that you just grow with it and learn with it.
TWIST: Are you similar to your character Agatha or different from her?
Jennifer: She's not similar to me in any sense, I wouldn't say really, except that she's British. I'm very different! Hopefully in the way that we look! Personality wise, she's manipulative in the wrong way. At times, she does things to make Jessie look silly or to really get under her skin, just so that she could win. I don't think it's all about winning with everything. It's like when you play anything, even a game of Monopoly, you're playing against your friends. It's not all about having to win all the time.
TWIST: When you're not working, what do you do for fun?
Jennifer: I love to people-watch! That might sound so weird, but I love going to Starbucks or Coffee Bean and just watching the people that come in and out of Coffee Bean and Starbucks, it's such a great time! You meet so many different people that it's really, really interesting. I enjoy writing. A sketch comedy is a massive thing that I love to do. I also I hang out with Debby.
TWIST: What is the vibe like on set?
Jennifer: It's a family! It's a 100 percent loving environment! Everyone supports each other. I've lived here and I came over here on my own. My mom was out here with me initially, but now I'm on my own. I don't have any family here, so when I started on Jessie, immediately, fortunately for me, they embraced me and let me join their family.
TWIST: Do you guys have any rituals on the set?
Jennifer: Before every network run-through or beginning of a shoot day, we go into the middle, the people who are going to do a scene. We all put all hands in, and we say something and go "Jessie Nation! We're taking over!"
Photo credit: Courtesy of Disney Channel