‘Jury Duty’ Star Cassandra Blair on Hair Care, Pumping at Awards Shows and Keeping a Straight Face During Filming

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‘Jury Duty’ Star Cassandra Blair on Hair Care, Pumping at Awards Shows and Keeping a Straight Face During Filming featured image
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Amazon’s surprise hit Jury Duty—nominated for a Golden Globe, Emmy Award and People’s Choice Award—has given way to fan favorite Cassandra Blair. Besides being really, really funny in her role as Vanessa on the series (the main character is completely unaware that the rest of the cast is fake), the standout star has been making the rounds during awards season with a breast pump in tow. Blair recently chatted with us to talk the circuit, skin care and how she kept it together during scenes.

The show has sort of become an unexpected hit. It’s one of those shows where you are literally laughing out loud. My mom told me I had to watch, and she kept saying: “This show is so funny.” 

I appreciate that! That’s something that I didn’t realize was going to happen. Seeing it come to fruition with such a wide breadth of audience that the show speaks to—or, I guess, resonates with people—it really was a surprise. I have some friends and their daughter is a super fan. And she’s 13! Then I have people like, “My mom is in her 50s, 60s, 70s, and she watches and we’re laughing and we’re having a good time.” It’s amazing—it really stands. 

When I was watching it, I kept thinking, “How did you keep a straight face?” I know it’s your job, but were there moments you really had to hold in a laugh? 

That is the number-one question that everybody who works on a show gets asked. There’s a couple things: First, we did laugh. They didn’t always show that we were laughing, but we definitely laughed, even though we were still in character. Some things were just so uncomfortable and awkward in real life, that we definitely let out that nervous-energy laugh.

That sort of happened naturally, so it didn’t ever feel like, “Oh, everybody’s in on this joke, except for Ronald.” But it was also about just really committing. I think there was this bit of anxiety for everybody at all times—you don’t want to be the one to ruin it. You didn’t want to be the one who gave it away, so you better get your act together. You know what I mean? You better keep that face together!

I wasn’t even thinking that. That’s a lot of pressure not to spoil it.

Oh my gosh, so much pressure! Of all the projects that I’ve done, this was the most mentally pressing, because we were in character constantly all day. A friend of mine recently said, “Well, what about when they yelled cut? Did you guys all start laughing?” I said, “No, there was no cut!” There was no director on set ending a scene. You were in it all day. If you went to the bathroom, you could take a second to let go of being in character for a minute, but that was it.

And my character was so aloof, and I’m really not an aloof person. I would literally pretend I was at the DMV or like a really long line at Walmart, or some of the worst places you don’t want to be sitting in for a long time. That’s how I would have an attitude all day.

You must have been exhausted every night when you went home.

Oh, I passed out at night, and I have kids at home. At the time, it was just the one, my middle baby. I come home and my mom would be there, fixing him dinner, and I put him in the bath and put him to bed. Then, I would prep myself for the next day and pass out, because I’ve got to get up at five the next morning to work.

I know you’ve been on this awards circuit doing events and all that good stuff. I heard you have a breast pump in tow. How is hitting the events with a new baby going for you?

I’m really grateful for the number of people who are understanding when I say, “Hey, is there a place that I can pump?” I’ll hold up my breast pump like a kid in his lunchbox. Like, I’m holding it with both hands in front of my face, like, “You see this? Can I have a spot to pump?” People have been, for the most part, very understanding.

I went to an event a couple weeks ago, and it was at a movie theater. The people working there were theater employees, and I went up to one guy and I was like, “Hey, is there a place that I could pump?” He ushered me upstairs and he was trying to find whatever he could. I’m like, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. I just need a spot where I can plug in and go. He was so helpful; I was so appreciative of that because he could have easily looked at me sideways, like, “What are you talking about?”

I am really grateful that people are aware enough and want to try to accommodate a mother who, at the end of the day, is just trying to do is feed a baby. Of course, it definitely has had its challenges. I was presenting at the Astra Awards and I had to step away and my manager came with me to try to make sure we could find a spot. The bathrooms were really nice, like very fancy, and I was like, “You know what? I’ll just sit in this nice bathroom for a bit.” I was just sitting in a chair in a women’s bathroom…there were women coming in and out, we were chatting, and I just got it done.

cassandra blair beauty products

That’s awesome that people are understanding. I know that you’re into hair care. Is there anything that you really love using right now?

That’s a good question. There’s a hair care line that I really like, especially with black natural curls. It is called TGIN. I love that one. I use their conditioners and their gels to hold my curls and set them. They all are kind to my hair. I don’t have any problems with them.

For skin care, I’m still exploring. I’ve tried so many different things. I’m really fortunate that I don’t have difficult skin to work with; I don’t have sensitive skin. I can throw a tub of Vaseline on my face and be fine. I can scrub it with seven different exfoliators and be O.K. I know that is not the case for most people. I’m really lucky that I don’t have to cater to a sensitive skin, especially on my face. Honestly, I just try things. I feel like one day I’m going to put something on my face and it’s going to feel like the Holy Grail and I’ve hit the lottery.

For now, I am really lucky that I don’t have to worry about it too much. But that Paula’s Choice toner in the black bottle is my jam. I use that. Then, the serum, and then two moisturizers and an eye cream. Sometimes, even a facial oil, depending on what I got going on.

I also really love Supergoop. The SPF one with bronzer. Oh my gosh, when I put that on, I look like I have the natural glow and I know that my skin is protected for the day. People comment to me like, “Wow, Cassandra, your skin looks really good today.” I always get compliments when I wear that.

Again, do I do that every day? Absolutely not [laughs]. But when I do, man, you can’t stop me!

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