Who Is Jessica Williams? 5 Things to Know About Roadhouse 2024 Actress

By David Thompson Posted:
Jessica Williams in Roadhouse

There is a lot to learn about Jessica Williams, who portrayed Frankie in the new 2024 Roadhouse movie streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Roadhouse is a reimagining of the 1989 cult classic. It follows a former UFC competitor, Dalton, who finds employment as a bouncer at a roadhouse in the Florida Keys, soon realizing that this seemingly idyllic paradise isn't what he signed up for.

5 Facts About Roadhouse's Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams Roadhouse poster
Amazon Studios

Jessica Williams Attended California State University

Jessica Williams' academic journey took her to California State University in Long Beach, where she pursued her education. 

Early in the 34-year-old's career, Williams made notable appearances as a series regular on Nickelodeon's Just for Kicks and showcased her talent at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles (her hometown).

Notably, from 2012 to 2016, she served as a correspondent for The Daily Show, further solidifying her presence in the entertainment industry.

Jessica Used To Co-Host the Podcast 2 Dope Queens

Williams also used to host 2 Dope Queens, a podcast that would explore a range of issues including race, gender, and sex. 

Each episode was recorded live at Union Hall in Brooklyn and then condensed to an hour-long podcast from its original two-hour live show format. 

Every episode would feature three guest comedians, including the likes of Fred Armisen, Kevin Bacon, Eric Andre, and more.

Later, the podcast was adapted into a series of comedy specials on HBO, featuring various celebrity guests alongside the hosts, available to watch now on YouTube.

Jessica Uses Music To Get into Roles

Williams told Backstage that she would use using music to get in the headspace for her role of Gaby on Apple TV+'s Shrinking.

Before music, Williams said she likes to do "the Lucid Body technique in general" in addition to meditation and stretching:

"I do like the Lucid Body technique in general. That one’s really cool because I really live in my body. I try to do a modified version of that, so I’ll just meditate for five minutes to just breathe. A little [Transcendental Meditation] is great, too—but just some modified version where you’re just breathing and checking in, feeling your heartbeat with your feet on the floor. Stretching is always really good; if I get a good stretch or walk in before I act, I feel like I can move in my body. Sometimes, I just have to wake up the creaks in my bones."

Regarding her role as Gaby, Williams discussed how she used Disney songs to enter "that very childlike, playful world" but would use a song like "Juicy" by Doja Cat if the character was "feeling sexy:"

"In particular for Gaby, I would sing Disney songs on the way to work a lot of the time to just get in that very childlike, playful world. But OK—now she’s feeling sexy. How do I do that? I’m going to listen to, like, something that makes me feel sexy, like 'Juicy' by Doja Cat. I make playlists like [I’m] hacking my brain that can convince me to get to where I need to be by the time I get to set."

Jessica's Role in Shrinking Earned Her Many Award Nominations

The talented 6-foot-tall actress received numerous award nominations for her role in the series Shrinking, including nods at prestigious events such as the Critics Choice Awards and the Primetime Emmy Awards. 

After the Emmy nomination, Williams took to Instagram to share her excitement, stating that she was "so lucky and honored:"

"JUST SO SURREAL! I LOVE OUR CAST AND WRITERS AND CREW AND IM ON MY WAY TO GO PICKET! I’m so lucky and honored! And just in amazing company. Thank you so so so so so so much!"

Most notably, she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series at the Critics Choice Awards and the Astra Television Awards. 

On top of the nominations, she won the Supporting Actress Award for Television at the Critics Choice Awards Celebration of Cinema & Television. 

Jessica Williams Had a Blast Filming Road House

Williams also confirmed to ExtraTV that she "had a blast" while filming Roadhouse, noting that she "got to walk around on the beach looking all hot wearing some short shorts:"

"I had a blast. Are you kidding? I got to walk around on the beach looking all hot wearing some short shorts, hiking boots, and yell at people. I had a freakin' blast."

Furthermore, she talked about how excited she was to make a movie with Jake Gyllenhaal and the pleasure it was to meet co-stars Daniela Melchior and Conor McGregor:

"I want to take jobs that seem really fun and work with interesting people. I was really excited to work with Jake and I got to meet Daniella. I got to look at Conor McGregor and be like holy shit that's Conor McGregor. I had a blast, it was great, I love my job."

Ironically, Williams did admit to Screen Rant that she had very little knowledge of the original 1989 Roadhouse before taking the gig.

More specifically, she "missed the like 'straight white guys fighting' memo:"

"I have seen it but I think I missed the like 'straight white guys fighting' memo unfortunately I was watching other stuff but I got to watch it before I agreed to do the movie and it was great."

Where Can Fans Follow Jessica Williams on Social Media?

For more updates about Jessica Williams' career & life, fans can follow her on Instagram (@msjwilly). 

2024's Roadhouse is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.