Jaclyn Jones was determined to attend the premiere of House of Cards. After appearing in the much-buzzed-over Netflix series as a staffer (albeit, one without lines) for Kevin Spacey's character, Jones hadn't made the list. Why didn't they invite me? I was in every episode, she thought. She scoured the internet for solutions, to no avail; she contacted every crew member she had become acquainted with. "They're all like, 'No...' or 'I'm not going to be in town,' or 'I've already used all my plus-ones.' So I was like 'OK, whatever, we're not friends.'"
On the day of the premiere, a Netflix contest winner surfaced and tweeted that he couldn't go, offering his tickets to another fan. The formerly forlorn Jones swooped in, "contacting him, trying to find his email, hounding this guy, like, 'Give me your tickets!' And he finally responds, like three hours before the premiere-the premiere's in D.C., I live in Baltimore, I want to get ready, oh, it's rush hour time," she gushes, recalling her emotions over an iced tea at the Owl Bar.
Though she had to get changed in a Starbucks bathroom, Jones made it to the premiere, the culmination of her experience working on House of Cards. Her enthusiasm is tempered by a pragmatic approach: "It's not my dream job to be a silent actor on House of Cards, but . . . to have worked with the people I worked with, that tops it all. They could have cut any scene I was in, but as long as I met those people." Over the course of the series' shoot, the English and communications major at UMBC rubbed elbows with the likes of directors David Fincher and Joel Schumacher, and writers Michael Dobbs and Beau Willimon.
Jones says she's been fielding lots of requests to play roles more ambitious than she applies for, despite her resume's brevity. (Before House of Cards, she also got screentime as an extra on Veep.) She attributes the sudden interest to her IMDB page, another social media outlet Jones uses to her advantage. "People will see it and my name is one of the top names on the list for the show, and they'll think that I'm a bigger star than I am and they'll be curious." Indeed, on the House of Cards page, in a sizable cast, Jones is the 10th actor listed, nine spots below Kevin Spacey.
She keeps trying to add her first acting experience to her profile-at 10, she was an extra in 2004's Ladder 49-but the website won't let her add herself to the cast list.
Jones wasn't always dead set on acting; she didn't actively pursue it until very recently. "It was perfect timing, because I was at a really down part of my life: I had that normal sort of almost-20 problem, my boyfriend broke up with me, and I was so sad. Then I got a call and House of Cards changed my life, because I realized that there is so much more to the world and to my career choice." Success feels imminent for Jones, who's considering parts on a reality TV show and a made-for-TV movie.
"I always thought I'd have to fly out to California and start auditioning but now it's like, 'Can you audition for us?' or 'Do you want this part?'"
100 Years of City FolkAge 10: Jaya Mandala | Age 20: Jaclyn Jones | Age 30: Andrew Syropoulos
Age 40: Samuel E. Lee Jr. | Age 50: Maureen Kramer | Age 60: Andrew Der
Age 70: James E. Locklear | Age 80: Mario Carrion | Age 90: Laura Johnson
Age 100: Lucille Brooks