Many crime/sci-fi fans will remember Sarah Jones from Alcatraz. It may have lasted only one season, but she proved herself an amazing leading lady. There was a reason why the real Alcatraz had to put up signs warning visitors that the island was nothing like the television series, and we like to think that Jones was a big part of that, which is why we’re excited that she’s returning to television in Texas Rising, airing on May 25 on the History channel. We were fortunate to have Jones speak with us to talk about her new role and how her life just couldn’t be better.
Cliché: What is your character’s role in new series Texas Rising, which centers on the Texas Revolution against Mexico?
Sarah Jones: My character, Pauline Wykoff, is obviously not one of the main characters, as the show clearly is about the Texas Rangers, but Pauline is one of the more significant female characters in the series. I play a frontier woman who comes out with her family to seek opportunities. Of course, this was a big gamble at the time. While the land was cheaper, there was a war going on, and it wasn’t U.S. land yet. It was still Mexican-owned and there were still Native tribes on the land, which made living there a bit risky. But if you had a good roll of the dice, or a good hand, you could gain all the fortune that had been advertised. So, that was something that my character’s family and I were trying to do.
What’s it like being one of the few females in the cast?
It of course makes sense that there aren’t many women in the cast. The series is about the Texas Rangers after all, and it’s unfortunate that there isn’t really a lot of information out there about what it was like to be a frontier woman, but I’m really glad that I was able to explore what it was like. I sort of represent what it was like for a woman at that time and feel really proud of that.
When you read the script, what drew you to this project?
I’ll be honest. The script was very long, and I didn’t read the whole thing at first. I really wanted to focus on the character of Pauline and I thought that it was best to only read about what was happening to her. I wanted to be like her, in the dark about events that happened prior to her arrival, because she wouldn’t know what she was coming into. So, I didn’t want to know too much about what was going on with the war and the politics. I focused on the settlers’ story instead.
I really appreciated Pauline’s journey/story. I don’t want to give anything away, but she does have this wonderful arc from where she starts in the series to the end. She handles herself well in the face of what she has to deal with.
You aren’t new to the world of television. What do your fans remember you from or question you about the most?
Well to be honest, I’m not sure if I have “fans,” but I know that Sons of Anarchy is a very popular show I was on. I don’t really get asked about my character. Instead, I get lots of questions about what it was like working with so-and-so, or how it was, and being told that it was cool that I was on the show. It was. I really liked working on that project.
Is there any role that has personally moved you or changed your view of the world? Was it Return to Zero or a different work?
Absolutely, it was Return to Zero. While playing the other woman is always a challenge, being a part of that project, as a whole, was very important to me. It was so well done and terrifying. I just had a baby not too long ago and I can’t lie; although I wasn’t pregnant when I filmed or watched the movie, it really haunted me for some time after. I couldn’t help but place myself into the main character’s shoes.
The experience of going through a stillbirth was something that the writer/director of Return to Zero, Sean Hanish, and his wife had gone through. It was a very emotional and moving project that left a deep impact on me.
On a scale of one to ten, how well do you think Texas Rising will fair with fans of Hatfields and McCoys?
I absolutely believe fans will love it, but you can never be too sure how people will react to things. My gut reaction is, yeah, if you liked Hatfields and Mccoys, you’re going to enjoy this. I think it is so well done and written. The cast is wonderful and our director, Roland Joffe, did a superb job. Texas Rising is so beautifully shot. If you’re a fan of westerns, you are going to love this show. So, I think it’ll be about a ten.
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Sarah Jones Interview: Photographed by Eric Williams