Please join us in welcoming Jennifer Morrison as our latest FRĒDA Woman! We sat down with her to get personal about her acting career, her latest venture, THE BOOKSHELF and her life in FRĒDA. Read on to get to know this brilliant woman.
TALK TO US ABOUT YOU.
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs. My parents are both music teachers. There was a lot of music and art in the house and I am sure that rubbed off on me as I started ballet classes, and eventually acting classes. I loved performing and storytelling from as early as I can remember.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE ON A PROJECT?
It’s difficult to know exactly how projects are chosen. There is usually a strong gut feeling one way or the other. The biggest factor for me right now is the team of people with whom I get to collaborate. My curiosity is always leading me to new challenges and I try to choose ecosystems of creativity filled with people who inspire me.
WHAT ARE SOME ACTING MILESTONES?
I think the first big job in any arena always paves the way as a major milestone. As an actor, being cast in INTERSECTION as a kid set me up to have an agent in LA. Being cast on HOUSE definitely changed things because I was suddenly in millions of homes all over the world. As a filmmaker, my first short film and my first feature were both significant milestones. I really had to roll up my sleeves and push those boulders up the hill by myself. Don’t get me wrong, there were many incredibly talented people by my side supporting me, but I had to have the determination to convince them to bet on me and to join the team of people making those projects possible.
WHAT MADE YOU START THE BOOKSHELF?
Ever since I was a kid I loved reading and even dreamed of writing. I used to go to young writers workshops. Once I was on sets for most of my life, I realized that a great way to fill the downtime was by bringing my favorite books. At one point, I was reading 50-plus books a year. People were always asking me what I was reading and a book club sort of naturally evolved from there. I feel so lucky to have the support of the YOUNG LIONS at the New York Public Library. Because of my relationship with the library, I am able to access the authors of many of the new books that I have been reading. This access inspired me to start the podcast THE BOOKSHELF with Jennifer Morrison to really highlight the emerging voices in literature right now. It is a passion project for sure, and I feel like an overjoyed kid every time I get to chat with these incredible authors.
HOW DO YOU CREATE COMMUNITY?
THE BOOKSHELF is a big part of how I foster community within the folks who take an interest in my career. It is a way to share something with fans and helps me have something in common with people who read along so that we can build a greater sense of community. Part of that is also really supporting the up-and-coming voices in literature in order to invest in the future of great writing as well. So my hope is that I am also building a community of authors alongside the community of readers who enjoy the writing.
HOW DO YOU SPEND TIME OUTSIDE OF WORK?
The greatest priority for me outside of work is family. I missed so many things over the years because of work–weddings, birthdays, baby showers, etc., and I am in a phase of my life where it is very important for me to prioritize those things. I also love reading, and I love digging around in old films and more obscure foreign films in order to find new inspiration.
Often times women are judged more harshly for their work or are forced to prove that they can do something over and over again before people believe that they can do it. I realized several years ago that this was frustrating, but it forced me to have to step up and be better. And in the long run, it is better to be better. So that is what I say in my mind, “When faced with the repetition of proving myself, I always think this will make me better, and it’s better to be better.”
HOW DO YOU FEEL SUPPORTED FROM THE GROUND UP?
I think gentleness and tenderness always water my soul. It is a tough business that I move through and my skin is thick enough to weather the highs and lows, but when I am met with tenderness I grow, I melt, and the best parts of me flourish in the safety of vulnerability.
HOW DO YOU LIVE LIFE IN FRĒDA?
Wearing FRĒDA is a no-brainer for me. I love the aesthetic and I love the comfort. I never imagined both things could exist simultaneously. When directing, I am on my feet sometimes 18 hours a day and I wear the BROOKE Boot. People are always like, those boots are gorgeous but don’t you need a gym shoe or something to be able to stand that long? The truth is, I do not. The FRĒDA boot is designed to be lightweight and chic. It’s perfect.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR HANDBAG.
Until recently, my day-to-day bag was a ROTHY’S off-white purse with a striped strap. I do still carry it from time to time, but the new FRĒDA Miko Tote bag is perfect for my day-to-day. It is just the right size to carry my necessities plus a water bottle and it serves as a small shopper if need be.