After five years on the successful MTV teen dramedy Awkward as the quirky best friend Tamara and as the voice of Naomi in Disney Channel’s latest animated series Elena of Avalor, Jillian Rose Reed has mastered the art of friendship in her performances. Whether it is art imitating life or vice versa, having valuable friendships is something that is important to her.
“I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have my friends to cheer me up when I’m down, make me laugh or act crazy with,” she says. “I think it’s important to connect with others. People need people.” She also reciprocates that behavior by making herself available for those in need. “No one can get through life alone; that would be terrible.”
An advocate for giving back, Jillian also works with charitable organizations such as DoSomething.org, Breaking the Chains and the American Diabetes Association. Her brother Matt suffers from Type 1 diabetes. “Using my platform as an actress to educate young people on the importance of getting involved in something they’re passionate about is something I take very seriously,” she says.
Live Happy recently caught up with the young actress to find out what makes her smile.
LH: HOW DO YOU LIVE HAPPY?
WHO HAS TAUGHT YOU THE MOST ABOUT HAPPINESS?
Everyone in my life is extremely positive, but I think I mostly figured out happiness on my own. I’m not sure you can teach that. I had to grow up and find what makes me happy.
HOW DO YOU MAKE OTHERS CLOSE TO YOU HAPPY?
I’m pretty much available 24/7. Even if I’m not physically there, I can always be reached. I make sure my friends know they can always call me if they need advice.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED OUT LOUD AND WHAT PROMPTED IT?
I had dinner with a great friend today. We laugh about everything!
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO BOOK, MOVIE OR TV SHOW TO LIFT YOUR MOOD?
I love the TV show Friends. I’m the girl with all the seasons on DVD. It’s definitely my go-to.
WHAT IS THE KINDEST ACT SOMEONE HAS EVER DONE FOR YOU?
Little things mean more to me than big gestures. If I call a friend when I need a shoulder to lean on, and they pick up, that’s the kindest thing.
WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?
I’m passionate about being creative, about food, about my family and my love life.
WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF A PERFECT DAY?
It would be spent on set shooting a project I’m passionate about. But, if I’m not working, then I’d say it would start with a killer workout, a good lunch and hanging with my family and my boyfriend.
Chris Libby is the Section Editor for Live Happy magazine.