Interview: Tamala Jones Talks ‘Castle,’ Being Told ‘No’ And The Health Scare That Almost Killed Her!

Tamala Jones has always been the girlfriend.

Or the wife. Or the forlorn lover.
But now? She’s the doctor. And heading into the 100th episode tonight of ABC’s hit show “Castle,” the actress says this role of a lifetime (playing medical examiner Lanie Parish) has been life altering.
“I learned this watching Sally Field’s ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ a little while ago: she said from playing the flying nun to Gidget to going to movies, there’s time in your career where you used to playing a certain type of role and then you have to go and sit down and revamp yourself so that you don’t get typecast,” Tamala says. “You need to really challenge yourself, come out of your comfort zone and do things you normally wouldn’t do. So I’m all about that.”
Tamala’s career has been consistent from the word go. Since the mid-90s, she’s appeared on countless TV shows and films and she’s never slacked up.
“I’m a fighter. I’m never gonna give up that easy. I can hear ‘no’ a million times because I know that somebody out there is gonna say yes. And then you just get to a point that all your nerves that you had going into the first couple auditions will go away. Just like, ‘You know what, you’re either gonna tell me yes or no, so I’m gonna give it all I got and you can hire me or not.’ So it just gets to that. But I love acting. I’ve always, since I was born…I came out the womb acting. You can ask my mom. She was like, We gotta get her out of the house,” she says with a laugh. “So I think perseverance and just not willing to accept no has kind of kept me going.”
So when was the last time Tamala got told ‘no’?
“I auditioned for Anchorman 2 and we got to the last minute, I was waiting for a whole month to hear no. I was like, ‘Wow, well who got it?!’ And they were like Megan Good got it. I like her and I’m proud of her. You have those moments where it just doesn’t matter if they say no, you actually respect the actor who’s gotten the role.”
Tamala jokes that she feels like she’s gone through three years of medical school, but she does know a thing or two about health scares firsthand. The 38-year-old actress recently opened up about a horrific health scare that happened when she was 23-years-old: she had a brain aneurism. Now, she serves as a spokesperson for the Brain Aneurism Foundation, and later this year she’ll be speaking before Congress.
“I feel like it’s another part of my responsibility to get the word out there that aneurisms are not just for elderly people, they happen to young people every day,” she says. “It can be a hereditary thing or a stress thing. Mine was genetic. It runs in the family and I have to be tested. They tell you you can do it once a year, but I like to get cat scans twice a year just to make sure nothing’s there, because this is a very stressful job, hours are long. I just want to make sure I’m in tip top health shape. I didn’t know what happened when I woke up that morning and went through that. I didn’t know.”

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The moment that I met you, my life became extraordinary. You taught me to be my best self, to look forward to tomorrow's adventures. And when I was vulnerable, you were strong. I love you, Richard Castle. And I want to live my life in the warmth of your smile and the strength of your embrace. I promise you I will love you. I will be your friend and your partner in crime and in life, always. - Kate Beckett The moment we met, my life became extraordinary. You taught me more about myself than I knew there was to learn. You are the joy in my heart. You're the last person I want to see every night when I close my eyes. I love you, Katherine Beckett. And the mystery of you is the one I want to spend the rest of my life exploring. I promise to love you, to be your friend, and your partner in crime and life, 'till death do us part, and for the time of our lives. - Richard Castle

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