UK Star Jennifer Veal Talks Debby Ryan, Jessie, and More!
Disney UK’s Jennifer Veal is bringing some good ‘ol fashioned nanny-ing to the Jessie set! But that’s not going over quite well with everyone. Her character, Agatha, is a hard woman to
look at deal with, and is set on giving Jessie a run for her money. We got the chance to chat up this adorable Brit who is new to Jessie about her time on set, her crazy character, and her best friends Gregg Sulkin and David Henrie!
Enjoy the interview below. She says things like “blimey!” and “flipping!” We love.
Teen: Can you describe your character, Agatha? What is your favorite part about playing her on Jessie?
Jennifer Veal: Agatha is New York’s most intimidating nanny. Think Young Nanny McPhee. She loves to compete with Jessie. My character brings out another side of Debby’s character that I don’t think the viewers have seen yet. Agatha owns Central Park and she definitely pulls some tricks on Jessie, but I think finally she has met her match.
Teen: Did you feel like the Super Nanny?!
Jennifer: I did kinda feel a little like Super Nanny. Agatha 100 pwexwnr rules the roost like Super Nanny, but she doesn’t handle situations quite as well. And we kinda wear similar boring, sensible black shoes.
Teen: We’ve seen some pictures of you in costume. We didn’t recognize you at all! What was that transformation like?
Jennifer: I get to wear a snaggle tooth, have a delightful unibrow and they even threw a couple of moles into the mix. I had so much fun creating a person so far from myself. I’ve been getting tweets from fans who have seen the promo like, “Is that really you?!”
Teen: Do you have anything in common with your character? We know you girls don’t share looks!
Jennifer: I hope not! She isn’t the most pleasant person to be around. We’re both British. Even though she likes to be Jessie’s nanny nemesis, they do always end up resolving situations together or end up helping each other and I’m all about helping people. I’m similar to Agatha in the fact that I’m very determined and competitive, but I don’t handle it like she does. I’m honestly rarely not in a happy smiley mood and I tend to amuse myself with jokes a lot like she does.
Teen: Can you tell us something about Debby Ryan that her fans may not know about her?
Jennifer: Now best friends shouldn’t spill secrets! You all know she’s a flipping chameleon of the arts, and we both sing, so we often sit at the piano and sing and write songs. Once we were all in her living room jamming, and she shouts “Jen!” I looked up to see an egg-shaped thing flying towards me! I caught it and to my surprise it was a maraca egg. Never in my life did I think I’d be singing with Debby Ryan in Hollywood shaking an egg. So, she’s not just a pretty face.
Teen: That’s amazing! Of the cast members, who would you say you got the closest to?
Jennifer: That’s such a tricky one! I knew Debby before I got on the show because I met her through my best friends, Gregg Sulkin and David Henrie. I started working on my first episode, and we instantly became very close. Then when they brought my character back, I met Chris Galya, who I am now extremely good friends with. We have exactly the same sense of humor. I can count on a laugh if Chris is around. He’s a really cool cat. But honestly, the entire cast. All the kids are super fun to be around and the show wouldn’t be as successful as it is without everyone cast and crew. Oh blimey, I love them all!
Teen: Disney is such a popular company and so many popular names have come from them — Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, the Jonas Brothers. What was it like working for such a household name?
Jennifer: Wonderful! I worked for Disney in the UK, too, on a series called As The Bell Rings, and now I’ve moved half way around the world and have been truly blessed to be able to work here for them. They’re an incredible company. My first day on set was a mixture of emotions; excitement, nerves and more excitement. It was kind of like the first day of school. You’re the new kid, but they were all as excited as I was and I fit straight into the Jessie Disney family.
Teen: What was your favorite part about the whole experience?
Jennifer: My favorite part is that people who work for Disney, including myself, get to be such role models and inspirations for people all over the world. That’s always been a dream of mine. So, I guess I can tick that one off the list.
Teen: We know the Jessie cast are a bunch of characters! Did anything silly happen on set?
Jennifer: Yes! I love telling stories from set! I have a great relationship with all the kids and we always play harmless pranks on each other for fun. This one time I decided to go and Skype my parents and brother from my dressing room. I’m talking and talking and talking and I’m getting hotter and hotter and hotter. Minute by minute I’m taking my scarf off and my jacket off. I took one look at the thermostat and the little scamps had crept in and blasted my heating! Probably because I’m always saying, “I love the heat guys, in England it’s so cold!” I could hear Skai’s and Cameron’s little giggles from outside my door. They got me, but I’ll get them back.
Teen: That’s so funny! You seem really close to everyone. Do you ever hang out off-set?
Jennifer: I do hang off-set with Debby and Chris. We have a lot of mutual friends, so we go bowling, eat fro yo, sing and write together. It’s always a good time.
Tune in to Jessie tonight at 9pm on Disney Channel to catch Jennifer as Agatha! Are you a fan of the show? Tell us your thoughts!