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October 6, 2015

Ashley Jensen: In the Limelight

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 13th 2009 10:02AM
Ashley JensenFirst of all, if for some reason you're an Ugly Betty fan that hasn't gotten around to seeing the season finale, click away and watch it right now, because there are spoilers ahead. Also, you should probably reconsider calling yourself an Ugly Betty fan because you're way, way late on the uptake.

Secondly, if you're curious about Ashley Jensen, you're in the right place. And I'm sorry for questioning your devotion to Betty and the gang a few sentences ago. That was uncalled for.

I originally thought Ashley Jensen didn't really need a Limelight profile since she's already on such a big, mainstream show like Ugly Betty -- or she was until her character got written off in the stupidest way possible -- but then I remembered that there is still a significant number of people completely unaware of her work on Extras. I am providing this post as an attempt to rectify the situation.

I will pause for you to laugh at the word "rectify."


I got to know Jensen as Christina way, way after she had been burned in my brain as the painfully airheaded Maggie Jacobs from HBO/BBC's Extras. To see her go from such an earnest portrayal of a complete ditz (albeit a well-meaning one) to a sitcom/soap-tastic loud sass-mouth was a really strange transition. Extras isn't the perfect show, but Maggie is an incredibly interesting character to explore. Plus, Ricky Gervais's reactions to her are gold.

Like most of the other characters in the show, she is a struggling "background actor" trying to break into leading roles. I won't ruin the series for those that haven't seen it yet, but that one Big Brother moment in the Christmas special was so beautifully done, it just reminded viewers of how great Maggie has been through the entire series, despite her major social faux pas and apparently very low IQ.

Jensen is probably best known in the States for those two roles, but she has done most of her work with UK-related programming. Soon, she will be taking on American cable again as she kicks off a new character in the upcoming CBS sitcom Accidentally On Purpose, probably to be sassy and Scottish again.

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For a very different side of Ashley, you should see the British version of "The Eleventh Hour". She stars with Patrick Stewart and it is very good. Much better than the US version (like most British series!).

July 13 2009 at 12:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what do you mean with "Extras isn't the perfect show?"

July 13 2009 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I adore her in Extras - everything she did on that show was perfect. I'll watch her in anything!


July 13 2009 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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