Jill Marie Jones Speaks Of Leaving “Girlfriends”

Princess .P. | January 22, 2008

Jill Marie Jones

Jill Marie Jones sat down with Essence and talked about leaving the award-winning series, “Girlfriends”,and her upcoming movie “The Comeback”.Here is an excerpt of her interview.
And let me tell you, Toni Childs is sorely missed.

It was so much fun playing Toni Childs. I don’t walk that walk in my daily life. I like to think that I’m a pretty nice person, but to be able to play the diva and say some of the things those types of characters say was a lot of fun.

Do you miss being a part of “Girlfriends”?

I do miss Girlfriends. I don’t know if people know this, but Girlfriends was only my third audition. I booked my first audition for City Guys, a Saturday morning show. My second audition I didn’t book and then Girlfriends was my third, so you have to understand that I still very green to this industry and there was the whole film world that I didn’t know. So when I left Girlfriends after six years, there was just so much I wanted to know and do. I’ve just been having a ball having opportunities to do movies. It’s just been great.

Were you unable to pursue a film career while on the show?

You have to understand when you do a television show that you go to work every day and come home and sleep in your own bed, which is great. It’s like having a regular 9-to-5. But you’re on hiatus for about two-and-a-half to three months in the summer. In order to do a film you would really have to book a job and shoot it in those few months. And because most television shows are in Los Angeles, it limits you. Already I’ve been to Louisiana twice to shoot two different films. I love the consistency of television, but it keeps you in Los Angeles and away from traveling to do other projects.

Nothing wrong with spreading your wings, which brings me to your departure from Girlfriends. Tracee Ellis Ross said in an interview that the reason you didn’t return was because the cast did not receive the huge raise they were expecting. Is that true?

First of all, let me tell you why I left. I left because I wanted to do movies. My contract was up after my sixth season and people forget that just like the network can choose whether or not to renew your contract, I can also choose and evaluate whether or not I want to come back. My actor’s chair that has Girlfriends and my name on it, you know the director’s chair? Well, on the very last day of my sixth season, I told them to grab my chair and put it in my car for me. So why would I take my chair if I thought I was coming back? Believe you me, I would tell you. I’ve never made a decision based on money. I was on the show for six years and I think that’s a good run. There’s so much more I want to do in my career and so much more I want to know and learn, but my departure definitely had nothing to do with money.

So were you aware that this was the explanation given for your departure?

Someone sent that article to me a long time ago when it first came out, and you know, I love Tracee, I love Golden, I love Persia, I love Reggie. I really do feel like I was in the University of Girlfriends. I learned so much from them. I mean, where I started on Girlfriends and where I ended up is like night and day and that’s because of the great cast I had to learn from. It’s difficult when something has been set up for six years and then something changes. I didn’t get upset about the comment. It’s all good.

So tell me about the film you’re shooting in Louisiana, The Comeback?

It’s a lighthearted drama about a working class town that loses all its hopes, dreams and ambitions when the factory closes because it puts a lot of people out of work. So they have a lot of heart in this town, but not a lot of money. And then this little girl, Jasmine (Keke Palmer), ends up playing the quarterback of this local football team. The town rallies around this team and it brings the spirit back to the town. I play Jasmine’s schoolteacher and her uncle’s (Ice Cube) love interest, and Tasha Smith plays her mom. It’s so cute; I was crying reading it because it just tugs at your heart.

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Category: Jill Marie Jones

Comments (18)

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  1. Princess Dee says:


  2. kaylyn davis says:

    i liked you on the show i thought you were amazing. she played the shitnout that character. The show was torrific with you and with out you peace my sista

  3. sex kitten says:

    the show hasn’t been the same since you left. You R truley missed!!

  4. Tyquanna says:

    I loved the character Toni. I watched the show with my 12 year old and she said what happened to Toni. I said let me google and find out. She loves Toni style and I hope Jill Marie Jones will develop a new show so we can get that sass back.

  5. mrs.maria says:

    I miss the sassy but classy image that toni obtained on the show. The show is definitely not the same with out her presence. I continued watching in hopes that she would return…but anyway, i hope all goes well with her career. Good things always seem to come to an end…….!! 🙁

  6. Mad Husband!!! says:

    I used to look forward to spending time with my wife, but when toni left the show it pained me to have to sit through the sitcom. I cant believe no one could see the boredom that was do us the viewers. please bring toni back i fear my marriage might be in jeopardy, because she stills watches and enjoy the show without toni.

  7. debbie says:

    girlfriends have not been the same since the departure of toni(jill marie jones) u truly made the show in my opinion.the others were great but u stood out and made the show worth watching.i have all the seasons but only watch seasons 1 thru 6.

  8. dee says:

    As much as i wanted to believe everything was all good and she just wanted to spread her wings and leave to explore more career opportunities, i believe it was a a little something more going on behind the scenes that she nor the other cast members wanted to reveal. Plus she is a pretty young actress so she has all of her life to up and decide she wants to do movies plus most sitcoms dont last more than 6 years anyhow. The shows vibe was definitely off after she left and nothing seemed to work or be successful in renewing the show’s upbeat vibe, so it was destined to be canned. For the record Toni Childs was my favorite character, and i stopped watching after she left…..

  9. jacqueline ofori-atta says:

    yeah toni childs gerret wz great, e materialistic toni, golden brooks does exceptionally well, but with u blending with her it makes it much more interesting, i really miss u jill, in ghana we have just started watching e second seson. good luck to whatever u doing.

  10. lheedyah says:

    i realy love toni and its nt realy fun without her

  11. debbie aikins says:

    who doesnt love toni childs! its no wonder the show’s rating dropped after she left. she is very fun to watch. av got all the 8 seasons n the show wasnt de same without her. toni n maya make de show a bum! i wish her the very best in in life. i’ll buy any movie she’s in

  12. Sheena says:

    Tried watching a few episodes after you left…soon gave up on it! You added a special touch and without you, it’s just not the same. I wish you the best in all of your endeavors. Looking forward to seeing you on the screen soon! Peace be with you.

  13. anina says:

    Tony, u are definitely missed by all all over the world. we watching the show yesterday and my kids asked what happened to toni, i told them i’ll find out. Well be yourself and do what u like doing best. best regard, this is from far away ghana, africa

  14. Rachel says:

    I loved the character Toni that you played on Girlfriends. It would so good to see women, especially black women in a positive light. I especially loved the outfits that each one of the characters wore (every wk I was tuning in just to see what Joan and Toni was wearing). Toni did make me laugh continuously and I kind of think that I was a mix between Toni and Joan, my two favorite characters on the show. Again, everyone had their own sense of personal style on the show, but Toni’s will definitely be missed!

  15. Rachel says:

    I truly miss the show, Girlfriends! It definitely needs to come back in circulation on one of the major networks. Not enough, no let me rephrase that, there aren’t any good shows about black people or women in general anymore. I’m sick and tired of shows about vampires, rich snooty teenagers about gossip, and reality shows! PLEASE BRING GIRLFRIENDS BACK!

  16. mayvis brownlyn says:

    Oh i’v reali mised you.you my favourite.the way you talk make humour i like u sooooooooooooo much.all the best in your carier

  17. Demeris says:

    I love Girlfriend and the whole Cast.. Infact I’m watching the reruns on my T.V., now as I write this comment. I would love the return of the sitcom (Girlfriends),. But if not, and until then I’// just forever apprecitate the reruns. Such a funny sitcom!!! Cheers to to the Writer’s, Producer”s, and the Actor’s of Girlfriends.
    And of Course bless you Ms Jill Marie Jones…

  18. Khethiwe says:

    I looved watching Toni. Truly Girlfriends was not the same! 🙁