Actress Jayma Mays began her big-screen career by focusing on somber material: she made a big impression on audiences as an assistant hotel manager forced to navigate her way through the night from hell in Wes Craven's 2005 thriller Red Eye, prompting one prominent critic to chalk the effort up as a "wonderful movie debut." Following a small role as a nurse in director Clint Eastwood's Iwo Jima epic Flags of Our Fathers (2006), Mays discovered a flair for comedy (often filling the role of the straight man or the pretty romantic interest) in titles including Epic Movie (2007), Smiley Face (2007), and the Kevin James vehicle Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009). In 2009 she was cast as the love interest for the dutiful teacher in the hit FOX music series Glee, and in 2011 she could be seen as one of the humans in the big-screen version of The Smurfs.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Best known for her role as McKinley High School guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury on Glee.
- Made her TV debut in a September 2004 episode of the NBC sitcom Joey.
- Made her feature-film debut opposite Rachel McAdams in the 2005 thriller Red Eye.
- In 2007, she played Hiro's girlfriend, Charlie, on NBC's Heroes and Henry's girlfriend, also named Charlie, on ABC's Ugly Betty.
- Met her husband on the set of 2007's Epic Movie, which they both starred in.
- Is involved with Cookies for Kids' Cancer, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for pediatric-cancer research.