Not all superheroes wear costumes. This much became clear when Marvel’s Jessica Jones premiered on Netflix this week, bringing the comic-book heroine to life care of actress Krysten Ritter and an impressive ensemble. Together, they portray a very different (and somewhat twisted) side of life with superhuman powers.
Actress Susie Abromeit, who also appears on Chicago Med, stars as Pam, a colleague—and occasional nemesis—of Ritter’s Jones. Here, she dishes on how vision boarding helped her land the part, and why Jessica is the superhero we’ve all been waiting for.
Jessica Jones comes from Marvel, it’s a superhero show, but it’s not your average caped crusader series. How would you describe what the show is doing?
Well, if you look at Netflix and the shows that they’re doing—like Orange is the New Black—things are definitely taking more of a female lead, but it’s not like a Sex and the City-type of show. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sex and the City, but what I mean is that this isn’t geared just toward women’s issues, this is like a universal struggle story. Also, this is a much darker, more violent, more realistic show, even though it’s in the superhero world. It’s about how life would really be if we were superheroes. It’s a darker picture.
How did you get involved?
I tagged along on my boyfriend’s business trip to New York, and I was checking in with my agent, who sent me on an audition that day as a total last-minute thing. What was crazy was that about seven months prior, I had read the pilot and I had auditioned for the role of Jessica Jones. I remember loving the pilot so much that on one of my vision boards I had actually written that I was trying to book a pilot with a character like Jessica Jones. I think it said something like, “Jessica Jones, a tough kick-ass girl who is battling demons,” but then I also added “or someone who is exploring universal topics as a character, who is strong, independent, who is comfortable in her sexuality and has a deep sense of love.” So Pam was a combination of what I had written. It was the craziest thing to be able to manifest the character I had imagined.
Wow. I should start vision boarding.
It works, let me tell you.
When you first read the pilot, what jumped out at you as being something you wanted to spend months of your life working on?
It was so well written, and it was very dark. Basically, Jessica is battling a lot of demons, and I really identified with her journey and her struggle. I think it’s safe to say as a human being, you can’t go through this life unscathed. Trauma can happen. I think her story really resonated with me, and the idea of this woman battling her demons and how she got through it all is a story that I really wanted to be a part of. To be able to actually work on this project is like a dream come true.
What is it about Pam that you like best?
Pam is a really dynamic, sensual character who is definitely facing her own challenges. But ultimately, like Jessica, she wants to do the right thing. She has a good heart. So I think whatever challenges she is facing, she ultimately wants to do right by people and wants to do good in the world. There’s an interesting dynamic between Jessica and my character, and they don’t always get along. But it’s interesting because they’re both on the right side of wanting to do the right thing, which is pretty cool. I think sometimes Jessica’s personality definitely clashes with Pam’s, but she tries really hard to make it all work out.