Jillian Shea Spaeder is making her hometown proud with big strides in Hollywood, and can be seen in the newly-debuted Disney+ film Godmothered. Here, she gives us the inside scoop on the film and what’s next.
You are a lead character in new film Godmothered. Tell me about it.
Godmothered is about a fairy godmother-in-training (Eleanor) who, upon finding out her chosen profession is facing extinction, sets out to prove the world still needs fairy godmothers. Finding a mislaid letter by a young girl, Eleanor goes to Boston to find her and discovers she’s now a 40-year-old working mom of two girls. I play her older daughter, Jane, who is a musician but has performance anxiety. She’s asked to sing the solo at the big holiday parade, and Eleanor helps her get the confidence to perform. Eleanor helps the whole family discover that you don’t need a prince or a castle to have a “happily ever after;” you just need to live happily.
What did you like most about this film?
I had such a great time working on this film, especially because it was female driven. Having the opportunity to work with some of the most talented women—those both in-front-of and behind-the-scenes—was such an incredible experience! These are women I look up to, and I learned so much from watching them work their magic. I felt honored to share the screen with veteran actresses Isla Fisher, Jillian Bell and Mary Elizabeth Ellis, and now I feel honored to call them my friends.
You're originally from Philadelphia. Talk to me about some of your favorite Philly spots.
My family is from Malvern, which is about 40 minutes from the city. We’ve always loved jumping on the R5 line or driving into Philly for shows at the Walnut Street Theatre, or to visit the German Christmas Village in Love Park every year at holiday time. Whenever friends from out-of-town visit, we take them down to Independence Hall and walk around the historic district. And, of course, we are big Phillies fans, so we try to go to a few games every year. Two of my favorite places to eat downtown are Reading Terminal Market and Max Brenner’s—I love the pasta with the sauce in a syringe and the cocoa-dusted waffle fries. My brother and sister both recently moved into different parts of the city, so we’re now also big fans of Pizzeria Beddia, Añejo and Brauhaus Schmitz.
You’re releasing a new album some time this year. The first song is debuting February 13. What inspired you for this song?
When I wrote “You and Me,” I didn’t have anyone specific in mind. I sometimes just think of writing from the perspective of a person experiencing something, even if it’s not something I’ve experienced personally. In this case, the person realizes she has been waiting too long for someone she loves to love her back the same way.
I really enjoy being on the other side of the camera, producing and directing. A friend and I produced a short film in late fall called It Counts to encourage young people to vote; she wrote the script, and I directed it. We also co-wrote, directed and produced a music video for my single Something Better. We have another short film in the works, and also plans to make some more music videos when my new songs are released.
Anything to add?
Just that I hope to someday be in a film or TV show that shoots here in my home city. I’ll always be a Philly girl!
Photography by: Photo by Storm Santos; Wardrobe: Veronica Graye; Glam: Michael J. Fernandez