IF SHE LOOKS FAMILIAR, IT’S FOR A GOOD REASON: SAN MATEO POLICE SERGEANT JEN MARAVILLAS SHARES ABOUT HER OFF-DUTY ROLE ON THE INTERNATIONAL GAME SHOW PHENOMENON THE WEAKEST LINK.
DJ: You are a sergeant with the San Mateo Police Department. How did you become a contestant on The Weakest Link?
JM: I was contacted by a casting director by DM on Instagram, who emailed me, then set up an hour-long Skype session. He basically just asked me about myself and then did rapid-fire trivia questions. He told me he’d get back to me if the show was interested in me as a contestant. Then I filled out a short application and emailed him a few photos.
DJ: How did you learn you had been chosen?
JM: I got a phone call. It was all crazy last minute and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to swing it all with work ... but they gave me the filming dates and they all happened to be on off days — so YOLO ... our family decided to make it a family road trip to Santa Monica.
DJ: How did your family react to this sudden adventure?
JM: My hubby is a full-time firefighter with a side hustle. We have two very active kids that are involved in a lot of school, sports and extracurricular activities. We are often two ships passing in the night but we thrive on the chaos and cherish the time we are able to be together.
DJ: What prepared you for the energy level required by The Weakest Link?
JM: I think competing in sports, and of course all of my training and experience as an officer and now sergeant have prepared me. I am a fitness fanatic. I will almost never turn down a “fit date” and am known to work out 2-3 times a day because I will never say no if someone wants a workout partner. Also, I am a total “Fit-foodie,” so I love healthy foods.
DJ: What was filming like?
JM: Filming was at the CBS studios in LA. It was so wild! I couldn’t believe how much work and how many people go into producing a show like this. Our family drove down Aug. 30 and I filmed on Sept. 3. The kids did school on Zoom during the day and we made a fun trip out of this experience. I filmed on a Thursday, we drove home, and I got to work at 6:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 4. It was a whirlwind but so much fun!
DJ: What would surprise home viewers about the experience of being on The Weakest Link?
JM: How much time it actually takes to film a show. It’s crazy!
DJ: Your life has a lot of moving parts. What is key to making it all work?
JM: For sure my family. Mom, Dad, Brother, Hubby and our two daughters. Without their love and support, I could not do all of the things I am able to. Also, my girl (especially fellow mama) friends and my co-workers ... without all of them, I wouldn’t be me. Truly motherhood is the greatest blessing and the hardest thing I have and will ever have to do. After that, likely my promotion to sergeant and the 17.5 years of service I have put into law enforcement. Our home life is joyous organized chaos.
DJ: Do people recognize you on the street from having seen you on The Weakest Link?
JM: Yes, it’s so funny. I had so many people message me that night and friends and family have been freaking out all week that I was on the show. Today at the dentist, one of the hygienists said, “Hey, you were on The Weakest Link this week.” I giggled. Overall, this was such an incredible experience!
DJ: What was your biggest takeaway from being on The Weakest Link?
JM: The Weakest Link was so much fun, and something SO outside my typical “comfort zone” of activities ... but I am a firm believer in YOLO and why not try EVERYTHING you have the opportunity to go for in this life. I go after all kinds of huge goals and LOVE living each day like you never know what tomorrow will bring.