If you're not clued in, the month of January has truly been about Jan ... Jan Brady, that is, as seen in The Brady Bunch Movie and its sequel, A Very Brady Sequel. Played by actress Jennifer Elise Cox with a perfectly demented twist, Jan 2.0 is a psychotic play on middle-child syndrome. No surprise, 20 years later thanks to the teens and Netflix, she's been turned into a meme. (If this is the first you're hearing about this, read up!) Naturally, we had to chat with Cox (who stars in the "very Jan Brady" film Out West this year) about the meme she's helped inspire, playing the middle Brady child, and what it's like to have teenagers tweet "Sure, Jan" at you en masse.
So I assume you’ve seen the meme you inspired.
I noticed it by all these people connected to me on Twitter saying, "Sure, Jan." And I was like, what is that about?
You are literally getting trolled by teenagers.
They trolled me, and then I saw it and I absolutely loved it! I just loved it.
This thing is already out of control.
My husband said to me, "You’ve got to be in a meme if you want to be anywhere." And then I was like, "Wow, I feel so lucky that I ended up in one."
Do you remember shooting that scene?
Oh, yes. I mean, that was my favorite scene that I ever did. And all the scenes that I did with Christine Taylor were amazing because we really got into it. She was Marcia and I was Jan. There was never a question that it was Christine and Jennifer.
You guys went Method. Was she mean to you in real life, too?
Yes. And I want to give Christine props: She and I would study the characters, and she said "sküle." That was her thing. She came up with sküle.
I was going to ask you about that!
Definitely, and I’m so glad that people appreciate that because we were constantly battling people. The director would say, "Oh, it’s too big, just say 'school.'” They wanted her to say “school.” And I was like, “No, no, no, no, she can’t say ‘school,’ it’s ‘sküle.’” There were a couple times when I think I said to Tim Matheson [who played Roy Martin/Trevor Thomas] in A Very Brady Sequel, "You’re all whuet." And they were like, "Don’t say 'whuet.' It’s 'wet.”’
If Marcia spoke like that, Jan would, too.
They had a weird way of speaking. It was almost like a dialogue coach maybe worked with them, because it’s almost like Eastern Standard speech that I studied in college. It’s very distinct. I really appreciate that people are appreciating sküle.
People are really relating to Jan. People relate to the sibling rivalry and just having a perfect older sister, a perfect friend. She was so misunderstood. God bless her. She’s very misunderstood [Laughs.]
Did you go a lot off Eve Plumb, the original Jan Brady?
I looked a lot to her, and then in the script it was given that my Jan was wacky. I mean, I took a dummy to a coffee shop and convinced people that it was my boyfriend. It really did feel like this other level.
I mean, she was kind of a psycho.
Yeah, I like that they took it there. One of the reasons why she had the great story lines, the very dramatic story lines, is because Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of The Brady Bunch, told me that Eve Plumb was the best actress. I hope I don’t get in trouble for saying this, but she was so good at doing the drama stuff, so they gave her so many dramatic story lines.
I’ve met so many middle children that are like, “I related to your performance.” And I’m like, how could you? [Laughs.]
The internet has swung in Jan’s favor.
Oh my gosh, the love! The comments are so sweet, and they really keep me going and wanting to continue doing this.