Ronald Gladden Of the Show “Jury Duty” Questioned Reality For Months After Filming
If you haven’t started watching the new Amazon Freevee show Jury Duty, run, don’t walk, as soon as you figure out what the hell an Amazon Freevee is (it’s a streaming app with ads on Amazon). Jury Duty is a mockumentary series created by the producers of The Office and it’s set up like a real-life Truman Show experiment, where regular guy Ronald Gladden thinks he’s serving on a sequestered jury that just so happens to be participating in a documentary. But what he doesn’t know is that the court case is entirely fictional, and every single person other than him in that courtroom is an actor who is in on it, including star of the Sonic the Hedgehog Movie, James Marsden, who plays a punched-up, elitist version of himself. And after Ron found out it was all an elaborate simulation, the poor guy didn’t know what was real and what was fake anymore.
Getting called for jury duty is bad enough, but serving as a “juror” and then finding out that you won’t get credit for it is worse! The show doesn’t make Ronald the joke (everyone around him is). And series showrunner, Cody Heller, called him “literally the kindest man in the world.”
“His mental health obviously always came first, and we never wanted to do anything to traumatize him or do anything to make him feel bad in any way,” she says. “But the whole point of the show was to celebrate this guy being a hero, which I mean, who knew that we could wind up with literally the kindest man in the world?”
Once Ronald found out the whole thing was faker than a Kardashian, it took some time for him to process the big reveal, according to People:
The rising star tells PEOPLE what it was like to learn the whole show was an elaborate prank — and he was the only one who thought it was real. “It’s gone back to normal now, yes,” he says of his understanding of the Freevee show.
“But I’m not kidding, months and months down the road after this I was still getting hit with things like, Oh wow, was that staged, was that fake, was that an actor?” he adds. “It took months for me to come to the realization that this actually happened and to accept it.”
Even though Ronald will forever question the bounds of reality, he made out with lifelong friends and, more importantly, $100,000 as a gift from the show. So…worth it! He spilled to Today, “These friendships are everything to me. These are just amazing people. They’re fun, they’re kind and that’s the one thing that I’m taking away from this.” Well, hopefully, on top of the $100,000, they also paid for this therapy. But it could’ve been worse for Ronald, James Marsden could’ve repeatedly made him watch that Imagine video while sequestered.
Here’s the trailer:
Pic: Amazon Freevee