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Volume 26, Number 2 — February 2019

Don't Stop Believin'

Jayma Mays flashes the
Jayma Mays flashes the "L for Losers" sign* (and the "L" in Glee) at the series premiere in Santa Monica, Calif. High school athletes are always popular, while Glee Club members are often seen as "losers." Glee dispels that notion and showcases the choral students' talents. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Fox-TV)

The Theme Song for FOX-TV's Glee and one of its stars Actress Jayma Mays from Grundy, Va.


Don't Stop Believin' is the signature tune for FOX-TV's new comedy series Glee. It could easily be the theme song for one of its stars, actress Jayma Mays from Grundy, Va.

Glee is an uplifting series that features a soundtrack of hit music from past to present. The show follows Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), an optimistic teacher who attempts to save a high school glee club from obscurity, while challenging the students to realize their star potential.

Jayma portrays Emma Pillsbury, the school's guidance counselor who has a secret crush on Will. She also has a fear of germs and compulsive habits such as hand-washing and rug-fringe-straightening.

When Will decides to leave his teaching position for a higher-paying job, Emma shows him a video of one of the most important moments of his life — performing in an award-winning musical when he was a student in high school. She says, "That's you, Will... happier than I've ever seen you."

He admits, "That was the greatest moment of my life...because I loved what I was doing. I knew... that we were going to win. Being part of that, in that moment, I knew who I was in the world....(but) I need to provide for my family."

Emma responds, "Provide what, exactly? The understanding that money is the most important thing (in life)? Or the idea that the only life worth living is one that you're really passionate about?"

Like Emma, Jayma believes in following your dreams. After years of small parts in big projects, she is finally beginning to break out — she even earned Access Hollywood's "Newest Rising Star" title.

The first episode of Glee aired in May, then the cast headed out on a 12-day, 10-city tour to drum up more interest in the show. The full-blown series began in September.

Glee comes on the heels of Jayma's co-starring role in the blockbuster film Paul Blart: Mall Cop, amusing movie-goers as the love interest for Kevin James.

Before landing Glee and Mall Cop, Jayma made a splash on network TV in 2006 on NBC's sci-fi series Heroes. She played a cute and spunky waitress who stole the heart of time-traveling Hiro Nakamura. Good news: Jayma returns to Heroes this season — at least for one episode.

In the Beginning

Jayma earned a degree in Performing Arts from Radford University. She participated in numerous theater productions and spent one summer as an apprentice at the Timothy Busfield B Street Theater in California. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a professional acting career.

In 2004, she made her TV debut in a guest appearance on the Friends spin-off Joey, followed by a one-time role in both The Comeback and Six Feet Under. The following year, Jayma had a minor yet notable role in Wes Craven's thriller Red Eye (2005).

After her film debut, Jayma returned to the small screen as a guest star on several shows, including How I Met Your Mother, Stacked, House M.D. and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. She also had a recurring guest role in the HBO original series Entourage. In 2006, she appeared alongside Zac Efron in the made-for-TV comedy If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now and the Clint Eastwood movie Flags of Our Fathers.

In 2007, Jayma appeared in three comedic films: Smiley Face, Blind Guy Driving, and Bar Starz. On TV, she had a five-episode guest role in the award-winning series Ugly Betty, a guest appearance on the quirky comedy Pushing Daisies, and was featured on the made-for-TV movie Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office. In 2008, she appeared on the direct-to-DVD film Get Smart's Bruce and Lloyd: Out of Control.

In real life, Jayma's love life is solid. She's married to British actor Adam Campbell, her former co-star from the comedic satire Epic Movie (2007).


— Q&A with Jayma Mays

Topics: Film