Fans Are Eager to Learn More About 'The Prom's Breakout Star Jo Ellen Pellman



Everyone's talking about Jo Ellen Pellman, breakout star of Ryan Murphy's latest Netflix production, The Prom.

Based on the Tony-nominated Broadway musical, The Prom tells the story of high school student Emma Nolan, who just wants to take her girlfriend to the prom.

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But everyone in her close-minded town of Edgewater, Ind. is hard at work trying to prevent this from happening. Cue three self-absorbed Broadway actors (Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and James Corden), who travel from New York to Indiana to help Emma's cause.

It's Jo Ellen Pellman's first major film role, and since she plays a lesbian on camera, many are curious how the 25-year-old identifies in real life and whether she has a partner of her own.

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Does Jo Ellen Pellman have a partner?

It's unclear whether Jo Ellen Pellman is single or taken these days, but according to a few interviews, the Cincinnati native is hunkering down with her mother back home in Ohio, waiting out the pandemic. "I've been here since March, living the Midwest dream," she told Glamour.

The actor, who like the rest of us has "no idea what the future has in store" and is forced to "not really worry about things I can't control," would have clearly had a really different introduction to the Hollywood scene if her movie had launched in normal times.

But at least she got to film with and learn from huge legends like Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman!

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"I learned so much from them just by observing how they worked — I was a sponge on set," she recalls. "Watching Meryl was truly a master class in bringing something new to every single take. It was so nuanced, and she never did the same thing twice; she was always breathing new life into the character. That is one of the reasons why Meryl is Meryl — she's constantly making it fresh and new."

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Nicole, as Jo Ellen tells it, brought "the most incredible work ethic." 

"Nicole is fearless," she says. "I will never forget when we were shooting a scene where we're eating ice cream — she scooped up some ice cream with her hand and just ate it. Every single take, she goes all in. We were dancing on stairs in heels and it was slippery, and she still just gave it her all."

Is Jo Ellen Pellman gay?

Jo Ellen told The New York Times that she hopes The Prom can be "a two-hour break from all that's happening in the world" for "young people who identify as LGBTQ."

She also sees many similarities between herself and her upbringing and that of Emma Nolan, the character she plays.

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"I'm queer, my mom is gay, and we're from Ohio," she said, speaking of how many themes resonated with her and her mom when the two saw a production of The Prom on Broadway. "The show just hit so close to home."

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"I remember walking out of the theater and thinking, OK, this is why I chose to become an actor," she remembers now about the fateful viewing. "Sometimes you strike gold and get to work on a piece that's so artistically sound and brilliant and also has this wonderful message."

Not only are Jo Ellen and Emma "both from the Midwest," as she jokes — they also "both love a good blazer."

Stream The Prom on Netflix.

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