Actress Jena Sims Discusses “Last Vegas”, Film Career and Charitable Work
Actress Jena Sims is a star on the rise. The beautiful Winder, Georgia native and 2007 Georgia Miss Teen USA has already racked up some impressive credits, having worked alongside Hollywood legends Roger Corman and John Landis.
On November 1st, Sims is set to share the big screen with Oscar winners Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas and Kevin Kline in “Last Vegas”, a film which tells the story of four life long friends in their late 60’s who decide to have a soiree in Las Vegas to celebrate the last of them to get married.
Sims is perhaps best known for her performance as Cassie Stratford in the 2012 summer’s hit “Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader”, a role she was personally selected for by producer Roger Corman.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Sims about her film career and charitable work in this exclusive interview.
How would you describe the story of “Last Vegas”?
I like to think of it as kind of a geriatric version of “The Hangover” [laughs]. It’s a story about four older guys who go to Vegas for one last hoorah. Craziness ensues, but in the end, everyone comes together and has a great time. For me personally, it was amazing to be involved in a movie with so many Oscar winners. It’s a dream come true.
What can you tell me about your role as Abby in the film?
Abby is Jerry Ferrara’s (Entourage) love interest. Jerry has a side story in the film and Morgan Freeman’s character teaches him how to pick up a girl and flirt with her properly. I play the role of the girl that he courts.
Let’s discuss your role in “Attack of The 50 Foot Cheerleader”. What attracted you to that story?
The character had “me” written all over it. I was a huge nerd in high school and graduated near the top of my class. I was also involved in cheering and dance and joined a sorority when I went to college. So it was pretty much my life story, minus the whole growing thing of course [laughs]. It’s comedy, but In a way it’s an ugly duckling turns into a beautiful swan kind of story. It’s about finding yourself and where you belong and about being true to yourself.
What was the filming process like?
We shot for about two months in and around LA. It was a great experience and one of my favorite sets to be on. The younger members of the cast were all close in age so we all got along great and really bonded. We all still keep in touch with each other.
Was acting something you always wanted to do?
Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be an actress. I used to watch soap operas on TV with my mom and remember thinking how beautiful the actresses were and wanting to be just like one of them. When I was around 15, I started competing in pageants and in 2007 was crowned Miss Georgia Teen USA which was televised nationally. It was my first taste of entertainment.
What other projects have you been working on?
Over the summer, I filmed “American Beach House”, which also stars Mischa Barton and Lorenzo Lamas. I’ve also finished a crime drama called “Kill The Messenger” which is based on a true story. It’s about cocaine smuggling in Nicaragua and the CIA’s role in it.
Currently, I’m working on a comedy with Jamie Kennedy called “Angel Investors” and in January, I’ll be heading to New York to film a horror project called “House of the Blood Sisters”.
Tell me a little about your charity work.
In 2006, I started my own charity called Pageant of Hope. It’s for kids who are facing challenges and ones who normally wouldn’t compete in pageants. We’ve been to Cuba, South Africa, Australia and all over the U.S with it as well. We crown every participant (both boy and girl) with different titles; like “Most Confidence” or “Most Vivacious”. The best part of all is that regardless of what title they receive, every kid leaves that day as a prince or a princess. It’s wonderful to be able to give something back.
For more on Jena Sims check out her website by clicking here!