Tamala Jones is no newcomer to the spotlight. She’s appeared in various television shows and films over the years, including The Tracy Morgan Show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Up in the Air, and more. But she may be best known for her role as Lanie Parish, the sassy medical examiner for the NYPD, in ABC’s Castle. When Jones is not acting, she’s lending her talents to other projects: getting involved behind-the-scenes as a producer for an upcoming film and as a spokesperson for a cause that’s close to home. With her ambition and focus, we can’t wait to see what she’s up to next.
Cliché: This is your eighth season playing Lanie on Castle. How do you see your character progressing?
Tamala Jones: Everything has been great this season! Lanie is Lanie and just as sassy as ever. She is full of all of the right information and best friends with the new captain, Kate Beckett. #CaptainKBecks. In season 8, Lanie gets to do some pretty fun things! I’m very excited to see how the fans will react.
Last we saw Lanie and Esposito, their future seemed uncertain. They broke up, but they’ve gotten back together before. Are they over for good or is there a chance “Esplanie” will rekindle their romance?
Esplanie is still on! It’s a game of cat and mouse at this point. They love each other, but are total commitment-phobes. I kind of like it that way… it’s a “what will they do next” kind of vibe.
What has been your favorite storyline to film? Any favorite episodes?
I loved the storyline when the XXX killer showed up again to wipe his history clean. He had a plastic surgeon on his team and was able to make doubles of Lanie and Esposito. My favorite episode was “The Blue Butterfly;” going back in time to the ‘40s was awesomesauce!
What can fans expect in the second half of season 8?
Fans can expect lots of surprises in storylines and in guest appearances, and a lot more mysterious happenings.
It’s been announced that you’ll be producing a biopic about iconic Motown singer Tammi Terrell. What made you want to pursue this project?
I’ve always loved Tammi and Marvin Gaye songs ever since I was a kid. Tammi’s sister, Ludie, reached out to me and wanted me to play Tammi. At first, I was so excited and beyond honored, but then, after speaking with my team, we agreed that I should be the instrument that gets this movie done the right way. I put my actor ego aside and decided to make a great movie using seasoned actors and ushering in some new, hot talent. I get to see Tammi made from a different point of view, and that is very exciting to me!
Are there any other projects we should look out for?
Lots more to look out for! I’m just getting started.
Besides acting and producing, you also spend your time as the spokesperson for the Brain Aneurysm foundation. Were you approached for this position or were you looking for an opportunity to raise awareness?
I approached them looking for a way to raise awareness, and I felt a great importance to do so because I was so young when it happened to me.
You were diagnosed with a ruptured brain aneurysm at 23. Could you tell us about that experience?
It was horrible! I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I had a headache for two weeks straight and thought it was another sinus infection. Then one morning, I woke up with no balance; I was walking on my toes. I felt like I had to urinate really badly, and when I tried, nothing came out. My head was hurting so badly, and when I looked in the mirror, I hit the floor. The whole right side of my body was numb! When I got to the hospital, the doctor told me I had hemorrhaged and had a brain aneurysm at the age of 23. Not a great experience almost dying!
Were there any warning signs? Are there any symptoms that people should look out for?
Splitting headaches, like your blood circulation is being tied off by a rubber band, dizziness, fainting, funny taste in your mouth, and in some cases, there have been no signs. I suggest that everyone get an MRA or MRI along with their yearly check up. The brain runs our whole bodily system, and it should be checked, too.
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Tamala Jones Chats About the New Season of ‘Castle’: Photo courtesy of Catie Laffoon