“You can’t really argue when it makes your boobs look awesome.” – Susie Abromeit, Jessica Jones
The show may be called Jessica Jones but there are so many fascinating characters in every episode orbiting around Jessica (Krysten Ritter). One of those characters is Pam, the assistant of uber lawyer Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss). Pam has been having an affair with Hogarth while her ex-wife Wendy (Robin Weigert) sues for her share in the divorce.
Susie Abromeit plays Pam and made a striking impression whenever she entered scenes with Ritter, Moss and Weigert. I got to speak with Abromeit by phone once the first season of Jessica Jones launched on Netflix. All 13 episodes of Jessica Jones are available for streaming now and spoilers follow in this interview.
Nerd Report: There are so many great characters on Jessica Jones. Have you been really happy with what you got to do with Pam?
Susie Abromeit: I’m so happy with the show. It’s pretty extraordinary to be a part of a show that you actually love watching. Regardless if I was in the show or not, there’s a couple shows that I’m obsessed with, which is Game of Thrones. Before that was Breaking Bad. Every time Game of Thrones is on, it’s like, “Oh my God, I have to find out what happens.” Jessica Jones has replaced that now. The fact that I’ve always said I want to be a part of a show that I love watching. It’s pretty extraordinary to be a part of that, that you actually love being a part of the show.
Nerd Report: Did you see the new Game of Thrones trailer with Jon Snow?
Susie Abromeit: No! Oh my God, he’s in it! No way! [Laughs]
Nerd Report: I hope that wasn’t a spoiler for you.
Susie Abromeit: No, but the whole rumor whether or not he’s going to come back, I kind of assumed. Like, you can’t kill him. You just can’t. He’s too much of a pivotal character. It’s like killing Dinklage. You can’t do it. The show won’t work without him.
Nerd Report: You’ve been acting for a while. How did you get the part on Jessica Jones?
Susie Abromeit: Well, I had auditioned for Jessica Jones about a year ago. I actually auditioned for Jessica. I read the script. I freaked out over it. I immediately put it up on the vision board. I’ll tell you what I wrote. What I wrote was, “booking a pilot, series regular role on a major network or major online network/Netflix/Amazon/etc. that is like the character Jessica in Jessica Jones, a girl battling demons and is a bit damaged, or someone that explored universal topics, a character who’s a strong, independent woman who is comfortable in her sexuality who has a deep sense of love.” And I said “filming in New York or L.A.” That’s exactly what I wrote. Next thing you know, my boyfriend ends up going to New York for a business trip and I ended up tagging along and I called up my agent, was like, “Hey, I’m in town, just want to see what’s going on.” He had a last minute audition for me and he said, “You have to go in for this, Jessica Jones.” Next thing you know, three days later, I end up booking the role. Or that week, it was very, very quick, for the role of Pam. When I went back to look at my vision board, I was like I can’t believe that I manifested this. It was pretty insane.
Nerd Report: You actually read for Jessica? That would have been a very different Jessica.
Susie Abromeit: So different. I’m so glad that she booked it because I don’t think there’s a better Jessica Jones than Krysten Ritter. It would’ve been very different. Her deadpan is next to no one. They definitely picked the right Jessica.
Nerd Report: Was that a fun or sweet scene when you’re sleeping on Carrie-Ann Moss in the limo?
Susie Abromeit: Yeah, yeah, Carrie’s just really, really beautifully lovely to work with. I called her Mother Earth because as just a human being, she’s really just one of the best human beings out there. I think the way she looks at life, the way she’s a multi-faceted human being, she has so much wisdom to give. Not just on the actor level or professional level, but in terms of just her life, her family life, the way she looks at the world, she’s a really well-read intellectual who just has a beautiful, spiritual soul. Every scene I get to do with Krysten Ritter and Carrie was such a treat. It was really awesome to be around that.
Nerd Report: How about the ultimatum scene, was that a tough scene?
Susie Abromeit: Carrie’s a pro. She was just a consummate pro. We were always just talking about character, story. Love scenes are generally very awkward and uncomfortable but she’s such a pro. It’s always about the story. What do our characters want? We got to play around with all different ideas in terms of blocking and in terms of how we really wanted to play that scene. I think all the scenes. I think the scene I really loved the most was the interrogation scene. I felt like that was awesome.
Nerd Report: Was the scene where Wendy gets Kilgraved the only action scene you were there for?
Susie Abromeit: Yes. That was definitely intense. What was great is that both Robin and Carrie, just watching them work and getting ready for the scene, they were really getting into it like a minute in, getting into that mind frame that they were having a fight. Watching the stunt work was just really intense and great. Yeah, being able to see the consummate pros just at their best, just working is an awesome feeling to be involved in, to be working with just really talented actors.
Nerd Report: You deliver the death blow. Was that a very lightweight prop in reality?
Susie Abromeit: Well, originally when I was given the real prop, because there was actually a real vase, they made a copy of it. There was a foam one which you could not tell the difference. I give it to the production team because you could not tell the difference. When I held the real one in my hand, it was so heavy. It felt like 20 pounds. But then I was holding the foam one and it was kind of hard to replicate the weight of that, trying to make it look like it’s really, really heavy because your body can’t quite replicate that idea. It’s a lot easier when you’re dealing with a real thing versus a foam thing. So that was a bit tricky. It was just an awesome set to be on.
Nerd Report: Another great scene was when Wendy has the incriminating e-mail and you vouch for Hogarth. Was that a fun one?
Susie Abromeit: Yeah, that was actually when I was originally auditioning for the role of Pam, I remember I played that role so many different ways. There were so many variations that we had done. What was interesting was that there was probably a good 10 takes I think I had done, and I played them a lot differently. There was one take that obviously didn’t make it but one that was a bit more vulnerable, like trying to stand up for her but not being very good at it. That was something that we were toying with, but by the end of the whole scene, Carrie turned to me in a very Trinity like way and she’s like, “Susie, you found her. You found the character.” It was like, “Neo, we found you.” It was a very awesome moment to have that acknowledgement from her in a very Trinity-like way.
Nerd Report: With the interrogation scene, were you still surprised when you saw it in the final show, or did it turn out like it seemed when you were shooting it?
Susie Abromeit: Yeah, sometimes you can think, for instance, that particular scene we were talking about that we shot so many different ways, I was curious which cut they were going to use. It’s always exciting to see the end result of the art that we set out to make. Having it just come to life, being part of a show I love so much is just a really awesome feeling.
Nerd Report: How do you like Pam’s fashion?
Susie Abromeit: I mean, her DVF rack dresses are amazing. There was a comment on Twitter, “I think Pam’s character has every DVF rack dress known to man.” I thought that was hilarious. I was like hey, if it works for Pam, it works. It’s awesome. Literally every time I was with wardrobe, we would go back and forth between which dresses, we’d always come back to DVF because they just fit so amazingly well. You know, they make boobs look awesome. You can’t really argue when it makes your boobs look awesome. I think that’s for all women. She knows how to complement a woman’s body really well. Sometimes it’s like they can get squished. You want to show off your curves, DVF knows how to do it. It always came back.
Nerd Report: Were you ever worried that the cleavage was a little bit much for a law office?
Susie Abromeit: There was some discussion of that. We went back and forth. My best friend was like, “I saw Jessica Jones! Boobs!” It was like, “… boobs.” I think it was part of the character. Pam’s very comfortable with her sexuality and she wears it very well. So I think that’s just who she is. We had a bit of a discussion about it but I think she’s a sexual character. I think that’s very much a part of who she is. Obviously, the obvious choice would be to be covered up. I think that would be very much Carrie’s character, but I think in order for relationships to have that synergy and that extra juice, you kind of have to have a little bit of the opposites attract kind of thing. They’re able to complement each other and bring something out. So I think with Pam, her softness and her gentleness and her sexuality, that’s the thing that she offers. And sort of her naivety, her youthfulness. She’s able to bring that out for Carrie’s character, Geri. Geri is very masculine and is continually working and is always covered up and is very business, cutthroat. I think that idea is very polarizing. I think if I was very much like Geri, I don’t think it would be that interesting of a relationship. And boobs are awesome to look at.
Nerd Report: How important was it for you to be playing a lesbian relationship, even if it was a love triangle, in this day and age?
Susie Abromeit: I think it’s really important. The LGBT community is very close to my heart. I had one of my dearest friends who I briefly dated for a hot minute, he was a dear friend of mine in college. He ended up coming out shortly after. I was one of the first people he came out to. What I was really excited about was a lot of the articles that came out was it’s not a stereotypical lesbian relationship. It felt more authentic which was really beautiful to hear. All of us have struggled in some way so especially for the LGBT community where they’re finally just having rights given to them, this is real progress and a real step in the right direction. The more we can shed light on the beauty of that, like Orange is the New Black, I’m all for it.
Nerd Report: Were you relieved that Pam is alive at the end of the season so you get to come back?
Susie Abromeit: You know, I have no idea but all I can say is #freePam. [Laughs]
Nerd Report: It’s better than if you’d been killed.
Susie Abromeit: Yeah, who knows? On TV shows people still come back in flashbacks but you really never know. I think there are so many possibilities with Pam’s character and I hope that people respond to her story and want to bring her back because it was so much fun playing her. It would be really interesting to see where that storyline goes. There was some talk in a few articles online saying there were rumors going around that there could be a Daredevil/Jessica Jones crossover with Pam’s character. I have no idea. I haven’t heard a single peep, but those are the articles that I was reading. So you never know.
Nerd Report: Since it’s Marvel, do you think Pam could ever manifest some super powers of her own?
Susie Abromeit: I mean, it’s not lost on me that that’s a possibility. There’s crazy things that happen all the time, so I’m hopeful that that would be the ideal setting, to have Pam have super powers, for sure.