Sarah Jones talks playing gay in “Kendra” (Part 2)

 
 

In Part One of our interview with Sarah Jones, we talked with the actress about how she came to play the bisexual veteran nurse in Kendra. Now that all eight episodes of the WIGS series have been posted, we asked Sarah to answer some of our questions about Kendra’s motivations both personally and professionally.

AfterEllen.com: What is the relationship that Kendra has with her roommates?
Sarah Jones:
Her grandfather, he and his wife, surrogate grandfather. They took her in when she has no one and put her through nursing school and really got her on her feet, helped her out when she didn’t have anyone else. The men that she lives with in the apartment are also veterans and through that community they sort of formed this makeshift family I guess you could say where the four of them live together and help each other out. Their bond is their service that they gave to the country. It’s the kind of most common thread between the four of them is that, because they’ve all served. And then as you watch the series, as you know, there’s kind of more of an explanation of what this kind of family dynamic means to them and they’re sort of the only family that they have.

AE: Was there anything you did to play Kendra that you’ve done differently from when you play a straight character?
SJ:
I suppose the only thing that changes is that women have a very specific anatomy that is different to men but to me, love is transcendent. Love doesn’t know gender or race or religion or finances. Nothing like that. I have the fortunate blessing of being in love and being loved and I’m well aware of what love is so to me it really doesn’t matter if I’m playing a character that’s in love with a man or a woman, it’s all love at the end of the day. I know that sounds like some hippy shit but it’s genuinely what I believe.

And for me, my God! If you don’t find someone like Sydney Poitier attractive, I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman, if you don’t see how drop dead gorgeous she is, you’re blind. As far as the aesthetics go, beauty is everywhere. It doesn’t really matter what form it takes.

For me, it really didn’t feel any different although I’ve never really experienced being in love with a woman before. To me, maybe that’s a naive answer, but to me, it’s almost like someone saying “So your character, she’s a woman.” “OK, and?” And that’s sort of the same. When you love someone, when you have a crush on someone, gay or straight, the character for me is secondary. I would say the only kind of difference is that I guess the sexual love for someone looks a little different. Love is so much deeper, obviously, than just lust. I’ve never played someone that’s been attracted to both genders before but it kind of, I don’t know, it really didn’t matter to me I guess. I don’t mean that in an insensitive way. That’s what I believe about love.

AE: What does Kendra want from Leslie? Is she interested in a serious relationship?
SJ:
The way I felt when I read the script, I don’t know if it was written that way, but my instinct, it seems for Kendra it just felt nice to be loved and for someone to give her that kind of attention that she connected with. Kendra, on a daily basis has to keep her guard up, whether it’s with patients or doctors or powerplay or office politics or her past or whatever that is. She’s very guarded for the most part. So Leslie is this woman who somehow disarms her and not only disarms her but shows her affection. And I think for Kendra that’s a comfort and it’ kind of like, sort of a spark again for her. So I think that is the step that she’s open and ready to love again is more of a feeling for her as opposed to wanting a serious commitment from someone in a romantic relationship. I think Kendra is taking baby steps and so the situation she has with Leslie is just a comfort, just to be able to experience a returned affection.

AE: Why does Kendra open up about her ex-girlfriend to Macy?
SJ:
When someone like Macy actually takes an interest in her life, that’s another reason why she actually feels drawn to Macy and opens up to trust her to be a friend and I think that’s also why Kendra kind of breaks down in that conversation she has with Macy outside. Because I think that what she experienced is always sort of about to go over the edge, is always there. And she keeps herself from taking that step off the ledge and I think the recovery room helps her do that because she can’t focus on herself, she can’t think about herself. She has a job to do, she has patients to attend to, she has doctors’ orders to follow and the focus gets taken off her.

Watch all eight episodes of Kendra here on AfterEllen.com.

 
 

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