Interview With Actress Laci J. Mailey, “Chesapeake Shores”

By Ruth on August 9, 2017 in Interview, movie, television

Last year, during season one of Chesapeake Shores on the Hallmark Channel, I connected with several of the cast members and had the opportunity to interview them. In the case of the three O’Brien sisters, the only interview I was able to snag was that of Laci J. Mailey, who plays Jess O’Brien. Thankfully, Laci was more than willing to come back for “round two” of an interview with yours truly, and I found it interesting to get a look at the show through the eyes of the actress who breathes life into one of the most unpredictable (but totally fun) characters in the series.

Laci Mailey Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

RH: When we left Jess last season, her love life was a bit up in the air. Any hints about whether that story may be resolved this season?

LJM: Well, I don’t want to say too much, but let’s just say I’m very happy for Jess this season. Very happy.

Laci Mailey, Diane Ladd Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

In general, how would you describe Jess’ growth in season two as opposed to season one?

Oh man, Jess had a hard and heavy time in season one. That was a rough summer for her. Megan showing up unannounced and sort of jumping into the family again really shook things up and knocked Jess down a few notches. It really tamed her fun side. Coming into season two, Jess is finally getting back into her groove and the B & B is up and running (and doing quite well I might add). Of course, there is still some tension with Megan but thankfully, her siblings and the wonderfully wise Gran are able to help Jess smarten up a bit. I’m really grateful for the little messes Jess makes this season; it was a really fun season to play.

Do you have a favorite episode of season two? Or a favorite scene? Can you tell us what it is without spoiling it and why is it your favorite?

I think my favorite episode is episode eight. Nope. I can’t tell you why. It goes back to question one and the fact that I’m just so happy for Jess!

Laci Mailey Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

How are you like Jess and how are you different?

We are both very impulsive; we don’t like to plan ahead. Something seems like a good idea? Bam! Okay, let’s do it! We like to have fun. I think the main difference between Jess and I is that I am a little more shy than she is. I like to spend a lot of time solo where as Jess tends to surround herself with family and friends.

Why do you think Chesapeake Shores has been so successful?

I think everybody wants to be a part of the family. Whether they recognize their own family in us or they don’t have the same type of family but wished they did. The cast has a lot of love for one another and I think that vibrates through.

Laci Mailey, Emilie Ullerup, Meghan Ory Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

When you have downtime on set, who do you tend to hang out with?

This season, I think I ended up hanging out with Emilie {Ullerup} and Brendan {Penny} most of the time. I didn’t have too many days with Meghan this round, but the three of us sisters are pretty tight.  Treat {Williams} is doing a David Mamet play (American Buffalo) this summer, so I spent a lot of time with him running lines to help him get off book.

Any other upcoming works? 

I’m really itching for some theatre, so I am going to head over to NY for a minute and see what I can cook up over there.

Are there any charities or causes you feel strongly about and/or support?

I’ve just started volunteering at the No Kill Los Angeles Pet Adoption Center. I feel like it’s sort of a selfish job because I honestly don’t know who benefits more out of it – the animals or myself. My heart is so full when it comes to pets.

Barbara Niven, Laci Mailey Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

If season three happens for Chesapeake Shores, what would you like to see for Jess?

I want to see Jess thrown into a situation that she doesn’t belong in and watch her wiggle and flail her way out. I love messy Jess!

What is one thing you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t as of yet? Why haven’t you tried it yet? Any plans to do so?

Oooooh, I really want to do a solo Ireland trip, maybe a bike tour. But like… off the main track. I want to end up in all the scared old towns, drinking whiskey with the old guys, hearing all their stories. Maybe get lost a few times and sleep in some abandoned castles. That would be great. I’ll get there.

Laci Mailey Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

First of all, I want to thank Laci for her patience with me. I promised her I would have this interview up before the premiere of season two of Chesapeake Shores, but I was preoccupied with a sick cat. I apologized to her, and her response demonstrated to me that she is exactly who I thought she was. When she speaks of volunteering at that pet shelter and how much she loves animals–yes, I witnessed that in virtual action. She sent us her best wishes and told me not to worry and hoped my cat would recover soon. (Incidentally, my cat is completely back to normal now.)

But the rest of Laci’s response even meant more to me, and it again spoke of the warm, caring, humble, grounded woman who is able to get in front of that camera and make us love the quirky Jess O’Brien in spite of and because of all her character’s flaws. Laci was honored that I was willing to take the time to feature her! I was completely charmed, and it was evident that she was speaking sincerely from her heart.

All too often, fans tend to paint the vast majority of actors with the same broad stroke. “All actors are egotistical, confident, and perhaps even brash.” But in the year and a half that I have been interviewing those who have chosen the path of a career in the performing arts, I have discovered that the preponderance of actors are down-to-earth, sweet, and genuine. And in the case of Laci, I can say with one hundred percent accuracy that she is the “real deal.” While she may project an on-screen persona that some may find reckless and unforgiving at times (in the case of Jess’ mother), the woman who characterizes the impulsive Jess is one of the most beautiful souls one could ever meet. In truth, I think she is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors in the series, and I am so grateful to her for taking the time to share with me.

So don’t forget to check out Laci’s links below as she is very deserving of all the support we can muster for her and her blossoming career. Furthermore, don’t forget to tune in every Sunday night to the Hallmark Channel to see her portray the fun-loving Jess in one of Hallmark’s most successful and delightful series ever–Chesapeake Shores




About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher


  1. Steve Grant August 13, 2017 Reply

    OK confession time, I am a guy who watches the Hallmark channel!

    • Author
      Ruth August 13, 2017 Reply

      You’re in great company Steve! The president of Hallmark is a guy, and many Hallmark fans are guys! So don’t worry!!

Add comment

Leave a Reply

Please know that comment moderation is in effect on this site. Comments may not appear immediately. Also, please note that any negative attacks on people, networks, or other comments that are deemed "inappropriate" or "overtly negative" may be removed and/or edited by the administrator.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


CommentLuv badge