What can you tell me about my favorite “Mistresses” actress Jes Macallan?
—Arnold Scott, Pocatello, Idaho
Like so many actresses before her, Macallan’s interest in the arts began early, but her area of interest was dance, not acting. She made it all the way to college before a knee injury sidelined her dream career.
The Sarasota, Fla. native, 31, who is the eldest of seven—four girls and three boys—went on to graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in international business, but turned to modeling to pay the bills. Her career took her to Miami, New York and Milan before she began studying acting at the Maggie Flanigan Studio in New York City.
Macallan’s career built slowly with guest roles on shows including “Femme Fatales,” “Shameless,” “Justified,” “The Protector,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” before becoming a series regular on “Mistresses.”
Despite the fact that Macallan’s role as Josslyn Carver is the free spirit on “Mistresses,” it is not how the actress sees herself. Having considered herself an ugly duckling growing up, she is not yet used to being a swan, so she began her career wanting to play tough girl roles, like Lara Croft.
But that wasn’t how she was cast. She recalls, “I was ‘Hot Girl No. 2,’ or the day player who came in and was always taking my clothes off, in some little mini-skirt, or drunk in a bar somewhere with big hair, like in ‘Shameless.’“
What the producers of “Mistresses” say they saw in her was her earthy sense of humor, which they felt was important because her character is very loosely inspired by Samantha on “Sex and the City.”
So, even though playing sexy roles is something Macallan always fought against, ever practical, she took the role, saying, “Mama needs a job.”
Macallan lives in Los Angeles, Calif., with husband Jason Gray-Stanford and their three dogs.