Raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, actress Jill Bennett got her start in theater and then moved to television, with roles on Days of our Lives and Beverly Hills 90210. In the next year or two, she can be seen in the upcoming movies Expiration Date and The Pleasure Drivers (where she plays a lesbian hitwoman), and in an upcoming here! Networks movie called In Her Line of Fire.
In a recent interview, Bennett spoke with us about her experiences as an out lesbian actress, why she’s always cast in bad girl roles, and what changes she’d like to see in queer films.
AfterEllen.com: When did you start acting?
AE: So when you came out in college, did you come out to your parents?
AE: So how did you get from Indiana to L.A.?
So I did Days of Our Lives and then I had a little bit of a problem for a couple of years getting paying work, and did theater around town just to keep busy, and to keep the muscles working. Doing the Vagina Monologues was a personal quest of mine. It’s is an amazingly important show to make–the message is unbelievable, and Eve Ensler is making a documentary about all the things that she’s done with the money she’s gotten from the the show. She’s an inspiration, changing the world through arts, and that’s the ideal kind of project that you want to get to eventually.
So when I saw the show, I told my manager “I have to do this!” and we started researching where the show is being done, found a producer in Chicago, and basically hunted him down non-stop until I got it. We convinced him to hire me–sent him tapes, flew out there to audition, I mean I was relentless in getting the show because this was something I have to do.
Then I had a recurring role in the last season of Beverly Hills 90210.