Jameela Jamil Interview: ‘The Good Place’
Jameela Jamil bid goodbye to her first-ever acting job when NBC’s “The Good Place” concluded with its fourth and final season earlier this year. While she and the rest of the cast had advanced notice that Season 4 would be the show’s last, it didn’t make it any easier saying goodbye to her character, Tahani. “It was very sad to say goodbye to this story, to this incredibly important show, not just to us but I think to our culture,” Jamil says in an exclusive new interview for Gold Derby. “It was really hard to know that I wouldn’t be looking at Ted Danson 16 hours a day every summer, so that was really upsetting but I’m really happy with where we ended it.” Watch the full video interview above.
The final day of shooting was particularly emotional for Jamil. When showrunner Mike Schur announced a series wrap on the actress, “I sobbed like a tiny, tiny little baby because it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.” It was special for Jamil to see Tahani live on instead of choosing to end her existence. In the finale we see Tahani become an immortal Architect like Michael (Danson), a decision that Jamil explains was inspired by “the fact that she was really ready to actually help rather than just performatively help.” As “The Good Place” viewers have previously seen, Tahani always had a need to play God and control things in her own way, so “it makes perfect sense that she would get her power suit and try and help control part of the universe.”
Jamil has found herself positively changed by her experience on “The Good Place,” which deals with big philosophical concepts of life and death. The process has taught her to not care so much what other people think, mirroring Tahani’s own journey to stop seeking validation from others. Jamil relates the comedy series to the current moment. “You take people from very different backgrounds, from very different up brings who are very, very different people and they put their differences aside in order to work together to get to a better place,” describes Jamil. “If ever there was a more potent message for what we need to do now in such a divisive moment, ‘The Good Place’ was spelling it out all along.”
Meanwhile, Jamil is currently a judge on the HBO Max voguing competition “Legendary,” which is a pure celebration of ballroom culture. “To show the world where everything we love actually comes from and give the money and the recognition to the community just felt very exciting,” states the actress, of her involvement. Jamil is also the host of “I Weigh,” a podcast and YouTube channel that tackles society’s focus on weight. She feels that there has been progress made in making people aware of fads and frauds in the world of dieting and influencer culture but we’re still not quite there yet. “I feel deeply concerned in this current climate about what’s happening with our eating disorder culture in this industry but I will not be silent. I will do my best to keep trying to raise awareness and point out how dangerous these apps are, these fad diets.”