Prune: How did you first get into acting?
Jessica: Oh God, I feel like I was an actor from the womb. I’ve always been creative and wanting to perform, and I think that is likely from being an only child - I would act out plays for my stuffed animals and my mom. When I was eight or nine, I told my mom I wanted to act and she told me ok, but that I’d better be the best. She had me watch old movies from the 50s and got me to love cinema and the history of it. Gone with the Wind was my favorite, and that sparked my love for acting.
Prune: Talk to us about your show, On My Block.
Jessica: On My Block Season 2 returns March 29th, I’m so excited. My character Jasmine got bumped to a series regular this season. I’ve actually never been a series regular in my thirteen years of being in this business, so I’m super excited - it was a bucket list goal. We are going a different direction than we did last season, I think there are a lot of layers that we are exploring that we only touched on previously. There will be a lot of laughter, a lot of tears, a lot of built teen emotion. I’m excited for our audience to see it because I think we did such a great job transitioning into the second season, so I hope they like it.
Prune: How do you relate to Jasmine?
Jessica: Jasmine is such a spitfire, which I feel I also am. I love to make people laugh, which I think is something she also loves to do. To Jasmine, she is more the butt of the joke than she would like to be, but we’ve all been there. I sympathize with her loyalty and want to make friends. I think that everyone can relate to feeling awkward at one point in their lives, and wanting a group of friends to accept you. I love her honesty and how true she is to herself.
Prune: You starred aside Dove Cameron on Disney Channel. What are your favorite memories from set?
Jessica: We did a show together, Liv and Maddie, for four years. She played twins, and I was her best friend when she was Maddie and her bandmate when she was Liv. It was fun to have very different relationships with the same person. I grew up with her and she’s a little sister to me, I’m so proud of her. She is killing it. I got my best friends from that set, though. They were all my bridesmaids and groomsmen. That show is so much more than just a show to me, it’s family.
Prune: You also are a member of Hulu’s BETCH. Talk to us about this sketch show.
Jessica: It’s the best. I got approached by Maddy Whitby, who is Audrey Whitby’s older sister. She is Joey’s girlfriend, and Joey was my love interest on Liv and Maddie, so it’s a funny six degrees of separation. They had already done a season of Betch before I got interested, and they asked me to do a one-time sketch. After that day they asked if I’d be willing to do all of them and I was like - absolutely yes. They even let me write on the show. It’s been such a great learning experience, especially with improv which was greatly encouraged on set. It was a very female-strong set and show. I learned so much, and we will be on TeenNick coming soon so it will be a whole different batch of audience who gets to see us. They also just became writers on the new All That. I’m looking forward to it all.
Prune: What is it like working with an all female cast?
Jessica: The days went smoother. It’s been like that for a while, I’ve been blessed to be cast in shows that are so female-strong. Collaborative is the biggest word that comes to mind. It was simply nice - a lot less yelling. My best friends were also my bosses, and in that I felt my ideas were listened to and I found a voice.
Prune: What are your 2019 plans and goals?
Jessica: I am writing and developing a show myself. The time is now more than ever, and I think I’m in a place where I will be listened to more. I cross every finger and toe that On My Block continues for many more seasons, but once it comes to an end I want to be ready for the next chapter. I want to write, I want to produce, I want to direct. I want to do it all.
Prune: Celebrity crush?
Jessica: Oh my God, I have so many. Boys boys boys. Right now, I have to say it is Jason Momoa. I know everybody feels that way, but I can just look at him and stare.
Prune: Dream costar?
Jessica: You opened up a can of worms here. Elizabeth Taylor is my everything. It would be a toss up between Elizabeth Taylor and Carrie Fisher, which is hilarious because those two women are so tied in such a strange way.
Prune: Favorite song?
Jessica: I’m all about Lizzo right now. Like, I’m obsessed with Lizzo and I’m going to have to say Truth Hurts by Lizzo is my favorite song.
Prune: What show are you binge watching?
Jessica: If you haven’t binge watched One Day at a Time, I would say you need to do that. It mirrors my childhood, my family, my life, my culture. It is my favorite show.
Jessica: You can follow me on Instagram at @jess_m_garcia, and on Twitter at @Jessmariegarcia
Photography by Nate Reinders
Interview by Dylan Rubinstein @thedylanjader