What we cover: “If you don’t take a chance, you haven’t got a chance.” – Jillian Murray
Actor Jillian Murray is an awesome example of someone on her authentic path. She knows where she wants to be, and she’s not deviating from it. One of the stars of the People’s Choice nominated CBS medical drama Code Black, Jillian’s star is shooting skyward and beyond.
When Jillian and I met at the sweet little cottage I was renting in LA, she brought someone with her, and that someone was her longtime beau, South African native Dean Geyer. Millions of fans would know him from his time on Australian Idol and then – for Aussie listeners – from his time on the TV series Neighbours. Since his move to LA, he’s been a regular fixture on series like Glee and Terra Nova he appears in Shades of Blue with Jennifer Lopez. Jillian and I were sitting at the table in the kitchen and Dean was on the couch in the livingroom. It was open-space, and occasionally we’d be talking about something and he’d yell in. So finally about half way though, I said: “Dean, pull up a chair.” And I’m glad he did, because they’re a dynamite couple and they had great banter, and it was really cool to get two perspectives on the same career and its journey. Like how they feel about auditions for one. Spoiler alert: Jillian loves them, Dean … not so much.
If you have yet to tune into Code Black, please do. The cast is insanely impressive. Rob Lowe, Marcia Gay Harden, Luis Guzman. If this cast had to bring in their combined hardware, there wouldn’t be a shelf big enough. Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, Screen Actors Guild – and these are the people who Jillian gets to work with.
One of the reasons I love to interview, and have loved interviewing since I started writing for magazines 15 years ago, is what I call the opportunity to “peek through the portal” – the chance to stick your head into someone else’s life and swivel neck around. And that was what this conversation was like for me. It was truly behind-the-scenes. What’s it like to get the call that you’re going to be a series regular on an all-star cast? What are the days and the hours like? (This is a medical drama, and Jillian, as the confident, almost-arrogant, self-assured Dr Heather Pinkney, is expected, on top of learning actual script lines and all that goodness, to master actual medical jargon and procedures.) (Side note: She’s a self-professed suture-queen as a result. She will challenge anyone to a suture-off.) All told, it’s an industry that is hard work, long days, and not as glamorous as we may think. (Despite getting to work one on one with Rob Lowe.)
This is one person’s journey – and I love that she shares so much of her story with us. And you know what? So does Dean. Really, Dean could’ve shown up and just been this random, awkward presence, but instead he was awesome. Dean and Jillian, you guys deserve all the success that is surely coming your way.