Jessica Parker Kennedy
Photographer Joshua Shultz
Stylist Angel Terrazas
Hair Ashlee Norman
Assistant Hair Chelsey Earlywine
Make Up Jennifer Faustino
Location The Dream Factory LA Studio
BY RENEE GEORGE
When it comes to getting shipwrecked on the new Michael Bay-produced pirate series, Black Sails, the best treasure you’ll find is actress Jessica Parker Kennedy. We caught up with the JPK right before her recent departure to the Caribbean island of Nassau to film more episodes as her character, Max—a sultry, mischievous prostitute. Read on and discover another side to this vixen as she lets us in on her shipmates on the series, her current playlist and who she would be if she weren’t being Max. Thankfully for us, she’s being Max.
BELLUS MAGAZINE: Congratulations on your role in the new pirate series, Black Sails on Starz Network! You play one of the main characters, Max. Tell us about your role!
JESSICA PARKER KENNEDY: Max is a young prostitute who works in a brothel in the town of Nassau. She is seductive, manipulative and very very smart. In a way she is the intelligence on the island as she is someone who regularly interacts with the many pirates of New Providence. She hears their secrets and uses them to her advantage.
BM: What was the casting process like for you? What was your reaction when you booked it?
JPK: I put it on tape. I loved the role immediately but knew it was a part they were trying to cast worldwide so I thought to myself, this is a nice dream. It was months later that I was asked to come in and read with creators Jon Steinberg and Robert Levine. I remember they didn’t say much but they did give me a thumbs up after the reading. I definitely knew I didn’t get it then. A week later I got the call that I booked it. I was flabbergasted and thrilled and thought what sorts of things do you bring to South Africa for six months?!
BM: Right! The show films on location in South Africa. What are some on set experiences you can dish about? We want deets!
JPK: Haha! Deets! I have none except that my cast mates are exquisite and I love them so much. I’m so pleased to have such outstanding people around me all the time. Having an ensemble cast is the best. We take care of each other. We’ve become a really strong family.
BM: How long have you been acting and what has the experience been like?
JPK: I’ve been acting since I was a kid but I began to do it professionally during college. I started in theater which I love but booked my first film job a few years ago in an ABC family Christmas movie with Jenny McCarthy called ‘Santa Baby’. The details of the set design and the whole process was magical to me. I always knew it was what I wanted to do and even with a small part like that, it was completely reinforced for me.
BM: Speaking of filmic things, what are some movies you’re crushing on lately?
JPK: The Cohen brothers Inside ‘Llewyn Davis’ is amazing. I love the way they just kind of dip into someone’s life and as soon as your exhausted from watching it but at the same time, want more, they dip out and the movie is over. I loved how hard this movie made me laugh.
BM: Has being in a different climate changed or shifted any health and beauty regimens or routines for you? What are your favorite must haves?
JPK: Cape Town is so hot so I try to keep makeup to a minimum. It’s more about keeping my skin in order. I love my Clean On Me body wash. I literally refuse to use anything else in the shower! I wear Orgasm blush by Naars every day. This blush is great because it looks good on almost everyone and gives your cheeks a really soft glow. Sunscreen everyday is a must! Right now I’m obsessed with Eminence products. They make an amazing Tropical Vanilla sunscreen that I use on my face everyday. I’m also obsessed with their Strawberry Rhubarb exfoliant.
BM: Do you have some tips and notes you can provide for anyone wanting to break into the biz?
JPK: Stay true to yourself. That’s the biggest one and most important to me.
BM: Current playlist…since we know you’re a travel bunny and on set quite a bit!
JPK: I listen to Led Zeppelin all the time! I love Bon Iver, Lou Reed, Lana Del Rey, Mac Miller.
BM: If you weren’t an actress, who would you be?
JPK: A traveller!
*Fitting. Sail away, Max!*
Check out the video from the Bellus Magazine Photo shoot here!