Jessica Morris leads Lifetime‘s newest original movie Pool Boy Nightmare, which premieres tonight. As the title indicates, her character Gale gets into a world of hurt after a fling with her pool cleaner. When she makes clear that’s all it was, he sets out to make her pay – by targeting her daughter.
It’s the latest in a niche that the cable network has carved out of female-led dramas, and Jessica is no stranger to the brand. She’s appeared in several Lifetime movies during her extensive career, and spoke with me about what interested her in this one and the benefit of returning to a network that she knows very well.
Brittany Frederick: You have plenty of experience in the Lifetime thriller world. Does that knowledge help you when starting a new film like this?
Jessica Morris: It helps me to understand the tone of the movie. There is much drama and suspense, but also a dash of mischievous fun.
BF: What was it about Pool Boy Nightmare that made it stand out to you as a great thriller you wanted to star in?
JM: The director, Rolfe Kanefsky, planned to make it action packed and he definitely delivered. His idea to shoot it with an edgier style is what drew my attention. With the help of talented DP [director of photography] Michael Su, I think we made an entertaining movie.
BF: One aspect of Lifetime TV-movies is their number of plot twists, such as Gale’s ex having an affair with her daughter. How did you develop her as a character and not just the subject that all these things are happening to?
JM: It was a nice challenge to do some stunts and shoot scenes with so much movement while maintaining the emotional life of the character. I just found ways to personally connect to the feelings that Gale was going through, so that it was second nature to me in some moments.
BF: The only thing that moves about as fast as these movies is the soap opera world, which you’re familiar with through your work on One Life to Live. Did that fast-paced background help you here? Or how would you compare the two?
JM: My soap experience definitely prepared me for making fast-paced television movies. I’ve been trained to be ready to give my all on the first or second take. Luckily, we had the chance to do some interesting camera angles with this one, so we got to play around a bit more.
BF: What was your favorite part of making Pool Boy Nightmare?
JM: I loved working with Ellie Darcey-Alden, who plays my daughter. We developed a nice mother-daughter bond and I’m excited to see the scenes that we shot together. She is an extremely open and giving actor, which I was thrilled about.
BF: What Jessica Morris project would you suggest people watch next after they tune in for the premiere?
JM: If you like this type of movie, I would suggest another Lifetime movie I am in called The Wrong Teacher. My character in [that] one has an affair with a younger man as well – my student, as a matter of fact. I also have another one coming out very soon called The Wrong Fiancé; keep an eye out for that one.
BF: As a fan, what makes a movie thrilling or exciting to you? Are there certain types of films that you particularly love?
JM: For me, the whole point of entertainment is to be entertained. So I like to watch anything that hooks me and keeps my attention, whether it’s a romantic comedy, a drama or a thriller. I love superhero movies because they are funny, exciting and always have a positive message about good winning out over bad.
Pool Boy Nightmare airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.