Prepare to love Glee’s Dot Marie Jones a bit more than you already do.
The woman who plays the tough yet tender Coach Beiste will play a lesbian opposite Laura Prepon in NBC’s Chelsea Handler comedy pilot, Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, according to TVGuide.com.
In the pilot, Jones will play a lesbian cellmate who befriends Prepon’s Handler when she lands in jail after a DUI. An early draft of the pilot had the part written for Roseanne Barr.
Jones is no stranger to orange jumpsuits — and playing the “muscular woman,” having done so on such series as Nip/Tuck, Hawthorne, George Lopez, Prison Break and Lizzie McGuire in addition to Glee.
In fact, Jones landed Glee after her hitting it off with Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk on Nip/Tuck and Pretty/Handsome, the incredible 2008 pilot about a married doctor (Joseph Fiennes) who has to tell his family (Carrie-Anne Moss, Jonathan Groff, Robert Wagner and Blythe Danner) that he’s transsexual. Jones played a transgender man who serves as a sort of mentor .
The actress told Back Stage that she doesn’t mind playing husky characters. “I was probably in an orange jumpsuit six times in the past three years,” she said. “At first, I didn’t want to be pigeonholed into something, then I adopted more of an attitude of who cares as long as I’m working.”
Jones will go out on a limb with her next role: Playing a gym trainer who sells Cameron Diaz steroids in the feature Bad Teacher, which comes out June 24 and also stars Jason Segel, Eric Stonestreet and Molly Shannon. “Yeah, that was a stretch,” she joked of landing the part.
But playing “big” doesn’t bother the former body builder. “People are going to go outside the box, which is why I love Ryan so much because even with Pretty/Handsome I was playing transgender but I was so proud to play that role. Just like Coach Beistie, it makes people think outside the box because look at this show, it’s such a huge success and not that many people know me,” she said in October.
When FX ultimately passed on Pretty/Handsome, Jones had a feeling that it wasn’t the last she’d hear from Murphy and company.
“It was really sad but then I thought that something would happen with it or something better would come along,” she said. “If it weren’t for Pretty/Handsome, I wouldn’t be on Glee right now. If that was a stepping stone for me to get to Glee, then by God I’ll take it.”
For those curious about Pretty/Handsome, the unaired pilot can be viewed (in several parts) online.
Are you excited at the chance to see Jones play gay, should the Chelsea pilot get picked up to series?