Interview with John Marshall Jones of "Paradise Lost" on Paramount and "Morning Show" on Apple+ - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

John Marshall Jones

Interview with John Marshall Jones 11/13/19

It was very nice to speak with "JJ."  He has such a great, deep voice. And wow, what a busy man he is!

Here is the audio of our call.

Suzanne: What is your role in The Morning Show?

JJ: I play the role of Noah Jones, who is the executive producer of the South East News Network, which is where Reese Witherspoon is working in West Virginia.

Suzanne: Is that where the - I haven't watched it yet - is that where the show takes place?

JJ: Most of the show takes place in New York. Reese starts off her journey in West Virginia and has a viral video moment that gets her called to New York, and when she gets to New York, all kinds of dramatic things are happening that move her from being a field correspondent in West Virginia to sitting on the desk of the biggest morning news show in the world.

Suzanne: Okay, wow. So how many episodes are you in?

JJ: I'm in the pilot episode.

Suzanne: Okay. Now, you've worked with Reese Witherspoon before, right, in Big Little Lies?

JJ: I did.

Suzanne: What is it like to work with her?

JJ: Well, Reese is a consummate professional. She is a concerned and devoted mom, she is both a leader, a spokesperson for the cause of women's empowerment, and just a really, really impressive person to be around.

Suzanne: Oh, that's great. You have such a nice deep voice. Have you done any voiceover work?

JJ: Oh, I have.

Suzanne:  I figured you must have.

JJ: Yeah.

Suzanne: You've been in some of my favorite shows, like Grand Hotel, Big Little Lies, Bosch, The Mentalist, John Doe. Which role do you get recognized for most?

JJ: Well, I get recognized most for the role of Floyd Henderson, who was the dad on the long-running hit show Smart Guy.

Suzanne: Oh, still? Wow.

JJ: Which just came out again on the new channel, Disney+.

Suzanne: Ah, okay. That explains it.

JJ: So people around the world can now see both their favorite episodes from before, and a whole new generation of kids can now discover Smart Guy.

Suzanne: Oh, that's great.

JJ: On Disney+.

Suzanne:  Yeah, I remember that show. I actually really loved Grand Hotel, and I was annoyed that they canceled it, but I liked your character. When you filmed that show, did you know from the beginning that you were going to turn out to be the murderer?

JJ: No. No, I didn't. I didn't find that out until really the day that we shot it.

Suzanne: Wow.

JJ: Yeah. No, I didn't know.

Suzanne: That's great.

JJ: And I was really surprised. I was like, "Oh, I did it."

Suzanne:  That's funny. So tell us about your new show, Paradise Lost, and your character.

JJ: Oh, well, Paradise Lost is a mystery suspense show set in the deep rural South, in a completely corrupt Southern town. My character, known as Uncle Ronnie, has been in prison for 15 years for a crime he didn't commit. And now his niece, who has become a newspaper reporter, is digging up all the old facts from the crime in order to exonerate me, and I'm afraid that if she digs up all these old facts, she's going to dig up all my old enemies and that she'll be in danger. So I'm trying to stop her from doing it, but she is doggedly determined to get me out of prison, because she is the last person on earth besides me that believes in my innocence.

Suzanne: Wow, that sounds like a good show.

JJ: Yeah. Yeah, it does, and I'm very excited about it.

Suzanne: Okay. When does that come out?

JJ: I think it's coming out in the beginning of the new year.

Suzanne: Okay, and you're also in this Sam Raimi anthology series, 50 Stages of Fright?

JJ: 50 States of Terror, is what it will be called now.

Suzanne: Oh, 50 States of Terror. Okay.

JJ: But yes, I'm in the pilot of that with Rachel Brosnahan from Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and with Travis Fimmel from the Vikings. It's a really, really good piece.

Suzanne: It's an anthology, so does that mean you're just in one episode, or...?

JJ: Correct. I'm in the pilot of that also.

Suzanne: Okay, good. Well you, they seem to like using you to kick things off.

JJ: [Laughs] Yeah, that appears how it's working out right now.

Suzanne: So, anything else that you've got going on that you can tell us about?

JJ: Well, I have a a project called Kappa League TV on YouTube. Kappa League is the oldest and most successful African American male mentorship program in the country. It's almost a hundred years old, it will be a hundred years old in 2022, and so we're using Kappa League TV to create a larger media footprint around this incredible mentorship program. The program has a goal now of getting 140,000 young black men accepted to historically black colleges over a 10 year period. We're working diligently with that.

Suzanne:  Oh, great.

JJ: And that's, again, if people wanted to see it, they can go to and that will take them right to our channel.

Suzanne: Okay, great. You seem very busy.

JJ: Yeah. You know, you get to a certain point in life and career where you asked to be busy and be working all the time, and now it's happening. And so I just embrace it and try to go to bed early and get up early and get it all done that I can over the course of the day.

Suzanne: What do you do for fun when you're not working?

JJ: You know, I like to watch movies. I like to work out, but I like to work out outside. I don't want to be in a gym. I want to be out in the open air, maybe down at the park, just someplace where I can breathe in the environment and not be sitting in front of the computer. You know, like sitting on a bike looking at a computer, I don't want to do that. I get bored with that. But if I can walk for an hour in the sand on the beach, then that's a good enough workout for me.

Suzanne: That sounds good.

JJ: Yeah, yeah.

Suzanne: All right, well I appreciate your calling me.

JJ: Oh, absolutely. And again, I apologize for the missed connection, but definitely look forward to checking out your site.

Suzanne: All right. Thank you. No worries, talk to you later.

JJ: Okay. Take care. Bye-bye.

Suzanne: Take care. Bye-bye.

Critically acclaimed TV and film renaissance man John Marshall Jones ("JJ"), best known as the loving father from the 90's hit comedy show "Smart Guy," is slated to make a dynamic return to television opposite Josh Hartnett and Bridget Regan in Paramount Network/Spectrum Originals' highly anticipated new drama series "Paradise Lost." Set in a small town in Mississippi, the Southern Gothic drama follows the tale of a psychiatrist who moves with her family from California to her husband's hometown, only to uncover shameful secrets that irrevocably change the lives of everyone involved. A complex and compelling series, Jones will star as the captive 'Uncle Ronny,' who begins the series in jail for a crime he didn't commit. Helmed by Josh Hartnett (PEARL HARBOR) and Bridget Regan ("Jane the Virgin"), Jones is set to also co-executive produce the series with Rhodes Fishburne as the showrunner. Along with "Paradise Lost,"Jones will make appearances opposite Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell in "The Morning Show" (premiering November 1st on AppleTV+) and the Quibi/Sam Raimi directed anthology series "50 States of Fright" (premiering in 2020) alongside Rachel Brosnahan, Christina Ricci and Taissa Farmiga.
 Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Jones received his BA in Theatre Arts from Northwestern University; after graduation, he moved to Chicago and began his career in entertainment with Second City Theatre, touring all over the United States and Canada. Best known for his role as 'Floyd Henderson', the loving father from the 90's hit show "Smart Guy," John Marshall Jones has worked with such stars as Oscar winners Sean Penn, Helen Hunt, Jamie Foxx, Forrest Whittaker, Robin Williams and Steve Martin. Most recently, he starred as 'Special Agent Jay Griffin' on Amazon's hit police procedural series "Bosch" and as 'Pickle' on the fourth and final season of the Sundance TV original drama series, "Rectify." Jones has graced our screens with over 10 television series, 20 feature films, has made over 100 television episodic appearances, and made appearances on "Big Little Lies," "9-1-1," "The Fosters," "Shameless," "Glee," "Pretty Little Liars," "Bones," "NCIS" and the feature film, THE CURSE OF LA LLORNA.
If that wasn't enough, John Marshall Jones is an award-winning theater actor as well, having won "Best Actor" at New York's African American Theater Awards in 2008. He recently completed the successful off-Broadway run of "The Guest at Central Park West" for which he won the Audelco Award for "Best Actor in a Theatrical Performance". As a producer, Jones was nominated for "Favorite Film Pitch" at the People's Choice Awards in 2011, and most recently produced the feature film, THE LAST REVOLUTIONARY by Levy Lee Simon.
When he is not acting and producing, Jones has maintained a strong connection to his Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity,serving as spokesperson for the Kappa League,an outreach organization which focuses on training young men of color from 6th-12th grade for leadership roles. Jones then helped launch KAPPA LEAGUE TV in 2019, which utilizes the power of social media to aid in telling the stories of Kappa young men, for which Jones is the national spokesperson and dedicated to giving back to his community.

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