From the bustling streets of Vancouver to the spotlight of Hollywood, Jess McLeod has swiftly ascended the ranks to become one of the industry’s most promising talents.
While their on-screen presence in “One of Us Is Lying” has garnered widespread acclaim, the layers to Jess extend far beyond their notable roles.
Join us as we peel back the curtain and delve into ten lesser-known facets of McLeod’s life and career. Prepare to be enthralled, as we journey into the world of an actor who continually surprises and inspires.
1. Jess’ first role was in a commercial
Born on January 25, 1997, in Victoria, British Columbia, as Jessica McLeod, they started their acting journey at a young age and has been captivating audiences ever since. Their journey into acting began as a child when they attended a young actors’ workshop. Their first audition led to a role in a commercial, and they’ve been acting ever since.
2. Jess created a secret twitter account, but their fans discovered it
Jess attempted to create a secret fan account on Twitter, but it was quickly discovered by fans due to their use of a unique profile picture. Jess appreciates the detailed attention of fans on social media, where they keep an active presence.
3. Jess is also a producer and writer
Not only is Jess an accomplished actor, but they’ve also dabbled in producing and writing. Their writing credits include “Almost Actors”, a comedic webseries based on the terrible and often hysterical archetypes you meet in acting school. They co-wrote this series with their friends Tiarra Sulyk and Athena Russell.
4. In 2007, Jess qualified for the Provincial Long Course Swimming Championships.
However, fate had other plans as they contracted Chicken Pox just a week before the event, preventing them from participating.
5. Jess co-wrote and directed a short film based on their experience in a psych ward
“A Little Vacation” is a darkly-comic yet grounded drama co-written by Jess McLeod and Eva Tavares. The story revolves around Jess, a young woman admitted to a psych ward after a suicide attempt. While she finds temporary relief from the real world within the ward, her release presents her with the challenge of navigating life without a clear path forward. The project is entirely self-funded and aims to spread honesty and awareness while promoting necessary discussion, hopefully lessening the stigma surrounding suicide and those struggling with it.
6. Jess has showcased their acting prowess in various projects.
Besides playing a series regular role in both seasons of Peacock’s series “One of Us is Lying,” based on the NYT bestseller of the same name, they also had a supporting role in Netflix’s Sandra Bullock and Nora Fingscheidt Project, “The Unforgivable” where they played Hannah Whelan, and TV series “Debris” and “Van Helsing”. Their resume counts upwards of 50 acting credits, including their two upcoming projects: “It’s a Wonderful Knife” starring Justin Long and Joel McHale; and the drama “Voluntary”.
7. Jess is non-binary
McLeod identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. Jess is grateful to GLAAD and has mentioned having a significant conversation with actor Scott Turner Schofield, who provided guidance on navigating public life as a non-binary individual.
8. Jess played a pivotal role in the TV series “One Of Us Is Lying”
Jess played Janae Matthews in the series from 2021 to 2022. The series, set in Bayview High, revolves around four high school friends who become prime suspects in the murder of Simon Kelleher. As the mystery unfolds, the personal secrets of each character are also revealed. Jess was part of the cast during both seasons and their portrayal garnered much appreciation and showcased their depth as an actor.
9. Jess has a passion for singing
Their singing was incorporated into their “One Of Us Is Lying” character, Janae. They have talked about the challenges of singing auditions and how they creatively used a ukulele to stand out.
10. Jess’s talent hasn’t gone unnoticed by Award Festivals
They have been nominated six times and won two Leo Awards, the awards program for the British Columbia film and television industry. They were also nominated for the Rising Star award at WorldFest Houston, as well as other festivals such as Vancouver Badass Film Festival, Fantasporto and the Young Artist Awards.