Jaime Pressly says Joy, her breakout character on NBC's "My Name Is Earl," is more than a dozen characters from the South rolled into one.
Specifically, Pressly says she modeled the way Joy talks from three states: a nasally tone she's heard from women in Virginia, the way she's seen some Arkansas women talk out of the side of their mouths, and her own fast-talking North Carolina accent.
Pressly's feisty character, Earl's ex-wife, has become a hero for women who approach Pressly and say Joy says exactly what they would like to say.
"I've thoroughly enjoyed playing her from the day I set foot on that set," the 28-year-old actress said Sunday.
The range she's shown with Joy a gutsy woman who sometimes shows her insecurities has enabled her to break down stereotypes about her as an actress, she said.
"They've never looked at me as someone who could play a vulnerable role," she said.