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Cherry Jones brings her acting chops to NBC’s Awake

Cherry Jones brings her acting chops to NBC’s Awake

Cherry Jones is clearly one of the most acclaimed stage actresses of her generation.

She's won lead actress in a drama Tonys for the plays The Heiress and Doubt and also starred on Broadway in the plays Our Country's Good, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Imaginary Friends.

But these days, Jones is gravitating more toward television. She won an Emmy in 2009 for playing the President of the United States on 24 and now she is part of the cast of the new NBC series Awake which premiered last Thursday.

Compared the the rigors of leading a production on Broadway, doing supporting roles on television is almost like a vacation.

'I probably shouldn't say this but I've done eight [performances in stage] a week for 30 years and I've just been taking a little break,' Jones admitted to Gay Star News. 'I'm enjoying seeing family and friends and getting to do a scale of what I think of as almost miniature work on television. I've never gotten to work so small before so I've enjoyed that, I've enjoyed the group. Eventually, I'll get back to New York and get back on stage because I do miss it."

On Awake, she plays the role of psychiatrist Dr. Judith Evans who is trying to help a man (Jason Isaacs) who after a car crash is trying to determine which alternate reality is his real life – the one in which is son survives the crash or the one in which his wife does.

(Out actor BD Wong plays the psychiatrist in the other alternate reality)

'It is fascinating to try and wrap your mind around helping someone living it two different realities,' Jones says. 'I think the difference between the two psychiatrists – and we joke about it all the time – is that we do kind of go at each other through our patient occasionally. My psychiatrist cares less about which is real and more about why. We have very different approaches.'

Since Jones, 55, immerses herself into her roles, portraying Dr. Evans is having an effect on her: 'I'm finding that as I do this role that I'm more analytical. It really is making me think differently about things and I'm finding myself asking the question 'Why?' about myself and loved ones with greater frequency.'

Jones had a high-profile relationship with actress Sarah Paulson for several years and they famously kissed each other on the lips before Jones took the stage to accept her Tony for Doubt in 2005.

Their split brought far more press and attention than this theater actress is accustomed to. So these days, she is remaining tight-lipped about whether or not there is anybody special in her life.
 
'That taught me such an important lesson as you can imagine,' she says, laughing. 'So I'm not going to answer those kinds of questions.'