Women We Love 2022: Jen Tullock

Jen Tullock

by Garrett Coffey

“Growing up gay in conservative Kentucky meant growing up with an obscured mirror,” actor Jen Tullock reflects. “I didn’t know what other versions of myself looked like.” Tullock, a versatile character actor most recently seen in Apple TV+’s Severance, got her start by performing in the evangelical church of her youth, before leaving the faith entirely as a teen. Though lack of representation was a definite issue, Tullock says, it also worked to her benefit. “When you see yourself and the feelings that occur to you naturally represented constantly in media and society at large, your imagination doesn’t have to compensate for what your future will look like,” she tells GO. “Because I didn’t have that litmus, it was up to me to craft my own hypothetical future happiness.” Tullock’s career as a writer and performer has taken her many places, from the Chicago and New York stages to the viral short film Red Light, to gigs at Funny or Die and Huffington Post’s “Queer Voices,” and to the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where she co-wrote and starred in the dramedy Before You Know It, alongside Alec Baldwin, Mandy Patinkin and Judith Light. Thanks to “incredible friends, a stocked fridge, and a therapist so expensive I’ve had to remortgage my Subaru,” Tullock shows no signs of slowing down, and she still draws on her evangelical background. “I think that early sense of longing and fantasy-building has helped me dissolve the emotional ramparts around my work,” she says. “It lets me say ‘f*ck it, there is no polite way to tell truth. The important thing is that it’s true at all.’” –LE

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