Yes, Jameela Jamil Bases Her Egotistical Villain Characters On Real People
"They walk among us."
Need a narcissistic, social media-savvy bully to stir up all the drama on your show? Jameela Jamil is your girl. And she knows it. The actor has carved out a notable niche for herself playing comedic villains who send up celebrity culture, the latest of which is cutthroat German pop star Gisela in Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin.
In the same vein as Jamil’s stuck-up socialite Tahani from The Good Place and her lawsuit-happy influencer Titania from She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Gisela is wrapped up in her own image and has no qualms about tearing down everyone around her to make herself look better. If that sounds like any celebs who pop up in your Instagram feed, that’s because it just might be.
When asked if anyone she knows IRL influences her portrayal of characters like Gisela, Jamil, 36, plays coy, but hints that Hollywood may be a source of inspo. “I can't tell you, because they live near my house,” Jamil tells Elite Daily. “I don't want them to come and find me. But they walk among us.”
Jamil says she’s drawn to these ridiculously over-the-top mean-girl parts as a form of catharsis. “I'm not interested in playing someone sincere,” Jamil says. “I think I live quite a sincere life and I fight to be a good person. And so I think maybe this is my way of blowing off some steam and just getting to enjoy some rotten behavior. And also, it's cathartic to see all these sh*tty behaviors out in the world and then find a way to channel them, expose them, investigate them, and understand them.”
And no, Jamil doesn’t feel as though she’s been typecast to only play glamorous meanies. Or, if she has, then she’s fine admitting she’s done it herself, and has no issue with that. “I get offered a plethora of different roles, but I choose these roles. I'm typecasting myself,” Jamil says. “I love playing these theatrical, Disney-esque villains. You have to make a lot of choices at the beginning of your career as to how you want people to see you. And I choose to be seen as a f*cking clown.”
Catch Jamil clowning around as Gisela in Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin, streaming on Peacock.