Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Interview: Jodi Lyn O’Keefe of ‘Class’

posted by Nell Minow

Class” is a new romance premiering August 14 on the Hallmark Channel, and I spoke to its star, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (“Prison Break”), who plays a single mother struggling to take care of her son assigned to an arrogant law student (Justin Bruening) who is required to perform public service in order to graduate. Ms. O’Keefe called me to talk about the appeal and the challenges of a role very different from her previous appearances.

This is very different from your previous roles — you have often played more aggressive, physical characters. In this part, the way you held yourself and moved was so distinctive.

I just tried to keep everything quiet and small.

What attracted you to this part?

I kept my niece in mind the entire time. She’s nine and she doesn’t get to see a lot of what I do.

Your character has a very close relationship with her sister, which helps us see her as someone who is wounded but still open to connections with others. Are you close to your sisters?

I’m very close to my two sisters. It was a wonderful way to grow up, with two strong older sisters who always had my back. And the actress who plays my sister is a good friend of mine, Lauren Glazier. So that part was easy for me.

You began working very young, didn’t you?

Yes, I began modeling when I was very young, catalog work and all that, and then the modeling agency merged with a talent agency and I got an audition. That was the beginning of the end for me; I was in love. I was 13 or 14 and walked into the audition and the casting director said, “What did you think of the script?” That was what did it! That was the first time somebody asked my opinion and made me think I actually had one. Before that it was “Stand there,” “Wear this,” “Look over here.” There wasn’t a whole lot of “how do you feel about the character.” I was such a huge reader I had 40 thousand things to say about the script. My mom used to have to tear books out of my hands to go to school.

What were some of your favorite books?

I read everything I could get my hands on! I loved The BFG by Roald Dahl. His books are incredible.

When this script came to you, what made you want to do it?

Class_0007U_JLO_MPC_091209-162543.jpg

It was something new for me. I wanted to see if I could do it. It’s been a long time since I’ve been the good guy. And my niece always asks why I don’t live in New Jersey. I wanted to make something she could watch. She and my nephews have been begging me for years to be a cartoon and I’d love nothing more, but until then, this is for them.

What connection did you feel to the character?

That whole “don’t judge a book by its cover thing.” And she feels confused and misunderstood. Like everyone else growing us, I have felt that way. I relied on that. And it is such a lovely, sweet, romantic story. I went with that. And I had such a great supporting cast. I fell so in love with Maxwell Perry Cotton, who plays my son, Shane. I was just over the moon about him. I could not get over him. He’s one of the loveliest kids ever, so funny and so bright, and he became more of himself every single day. It was one of the nicest sets I’ve ever worked on.

Did you have any formal training as an actor?

My training was working on a soap opera [“Another World”]. It was overwhelming at such a young age but I learned a lot. It was where I learned everything, the longest hours I ever put in, a show a day. Incredible.

What makes you laugh?

Anything inappropriate! I’m from New Jersey!

And what inspires you?

Books! Right now I am reading the books about Sookie Stackhouse. I cannot get enough of my vampires! I just re-read my favorite book, Pride And Prejudice, and I just read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which I loved.

Are you reading book books or ebooks? Have you succumbed to the Kindle?

I absolutely did! I have a dust allergy and literally for six months my mother told me I had to get a Kindle. I used to travel with an extra suitcase just for books. She talked me into it and it changed my world. And now I have an iPad! It’s the greatest thing ever!

And what do you aspire to?

It’s pretty simple. I want to keep working, pay my mortgage, spend time with my family, and take care of my dogs. I have two sharpeis and a bulldog, Penny, Ophelia, and George.



  • http://yellowdoggrannie.blogspot.com jackie

    I always expected big things from her. When she was on Another World I thought she could go on and be a great actress. She has done just that.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    You have a good eye for talent, Jackie! She’s great in this movie.

  • http://jodilynokeefe.com Jodi Lyn O’Keefe Super Fan

    JODI LYN O’KEEFE WAS AND STILL IS AWESOME ON HALLMARK MOVIE CLASS. JODI LYN O’KEEFE ROCKS!!!! Jodi was Amazing on this movie, she is a great Actress, I loved every single minute of her on this Movie Class. Jodi shows here some class. She is the best actress ever. Jodi you are really really awesome!
    Jodi Lyn O’Keefe stoles my heart since 1998 She is so Amazing, her acting is so great on Hallmark Class – Jodi Lyn O’Keefe Super fan Black Identity from Rotterdam The Netherlands

  • http://www.jodilynokeefe-fans.com/ Gretchen

    She is awesome on Class.I love her talent and everything..

  • Carol Borgquist

    Jodi is my 2nd cousin, her Mom is my 1st cousin, I lost contact over 40 years ago with her Mom , hopefully someone here can contact Jodi and have her Mom contact me….
    Thank you,
    Carol

Previous Posts

Three Views on the Challenges Women Face in the Film Industry
It is wonderful that directors like Ava DuVernay, Angelina Jolie, and Gina Prince-Bythewood gave us superb films in 2014.  But it is an indicator of the challenges still faced by women filmmakers that none of them was nominated for a major directing award. The Alliance of Women Film Journalists

posted 3:38:46pm Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Snickers Wins the Super Bowl!
The real competition at the Super Bowl is for the commercials, right? This Snickers ad is a hoot. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rqbomTIWCZ8?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:02am Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

How Did Ca Plane Pour Moi End Up in So Many Movies?
How did a 1977 song in French by the Belgian singer Plastic Bertrand become a go-to for 21st century American movie soundtracks, from big studio films to quirky indies? "Ça Plane Pour Moi" has appeared in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" and last week's "We'll Never Have Paris," from

posted 3:40:03pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

The Kitten Bowl 2015: You Can Win A Set of Kitten Cards
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5sO4NoaF89Y?rel=0" frameborder="0"] The most-anticipated sporting event of the weekend -- in some circles anyway, is this year's Kitten Bowl, Su-Purr Sunday, February 1 (12/11c) only on Hallmark Channel! [caption id="attachment_3263

posted 12:00:45pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Una Gran Noticia! Disney's First Latina Princess
The Disney princesses have their first Latina member! Princess Elena of Avalor will make her debut in the Disney Channel series "Sofia the First" before starring in her own series on the Disney channel.

posted 9:19:37am Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.