'The Good Place' Jameela Jamil Talks Ted Danson, Hating Pitbull, and Ditching Stereotypes

jameela jamil controversy
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If you’ve seen The Good Place, then you know Jameela Jamil is freaking hilarious as the uptight, insecure Tahani.

This is the former TV host/interviewer first try at acting and I have to say, she’s pretty damn good at it. And landing a spot on a hit show like The Good Place on your first try? Pretty lucky.

Since making the career switch, Jameela has been opening up about everything, from her costars to how much she hated interviewing Pitbull (sorry, man!).

Below, a few of the things we’ve learned from Jameela from her interviews.

She Originally Turned Down the Chance to Audition

Jameela didn’t think she had nearly enough experience to try out and was nervous about putting herself out there. She said,

“I was told about an audition for this role and said ‘no way, I’ve no training and I’m surrounded by people who’ve devoted their lives to this.’ My agents pushed me into it and said ‘let’s see if you can act, if you can’t act we won’t send you to another one’.”

She Literally Had No Idea What She Was Auditioning For

Because of the major twist ending in the Season 1 finale, the entire show was shrouded in mystery.

“Everything was very secretive and we weren’t told what the show was about or who we would be playing. The lines were fake and we were signing on to a seven-year deal completely in the dark. But Mike is a genius so people just went with it.”

Even when signing her contract, she still had no idea what the show was about or anything about her character.

“I had to sign a seven-year deal literally not knowing anything, just praying that everyone would be wearing clothes.”

She Actually Interviewed Kristen Bell Back in Day

She told the A.V. Club,

“Of course, [Kristen Bell] did not remember me, because it was years and years ago, and she gets interviewed by a million people, but the good thing is that I remember how nice she was to me back then. Had she been an asshole, that would’ve been very awkward.”

She Never Wants to Interview Pitbull Again

Apparently, Jameela is *not* a fan of Mr. Worldwide. She once reminisced,

“I’ve had to interview people like Pitbull and pretend to be enthusiastic about his music.”

She later added that her idea of the actual “bad place” would include Pitbull playing in the background. LOL.

“Fork Pitbull.”

Apparently, Ted Danson is the Worst Secret Keeper Ever

The only two actors Michael Shur told of the surprise ending in advance were Ted Danson and Kristen Bell. But apparently, Ted couldn’t keep his mouth shut! Jameela said,

“I call him Loose Lips Danson. That man cannot keep a secret for love nor money. I don’t understand how we even kept the twist a secret. He was literally telling everyone.”

To be fair, Ted has totally owned up to this. He’s already admitted to spilling the beans to John Krasinski before the show even started.

She’s Incredibly Grateful Not to Play a Stereotype

“Even in 2017, people still can’t believe how diverse the cast is. And how many bi-racial couples there are. That’s depressing. It’s so important and Mike [Schur] is adamant about it. Also, none of us play racial stereotypes. At one point in the show, we had three Indian girls in one episode, none of whom were playing ‘Indians’, no thick accents, no doctors, and pharmacists. Just people. And yet the world kept turning…”

Tahani Was Originally Meant to Be More Likeable

In her recent feature in GQ, Jameela said,

“She was much sweeter when I first read her, and I just don’t think that’s true of Londoners. We’re not sweet people. We’re passive-aggressive people; we’re quite repressed and we’re secretly competitive, but we never want to show it on the outside ’cause “ambition” is a dirty word.”

Kissing Manny Jacinto (Jason) Was Awkward AF

“We were both mortified. I think we just didn’t actually mention it, just gave each other a daunted and horrified look. We’d already been friends at this point for a year and a half. We’re like brother and sister. It was bizarre.”

The Good Place airs Thursdays at 8:30 pm on NBC.


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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.