After "God's Army," Gray had a small role as a beauty pageant winner and murder victim in the Richard Dutcher's critically acclaimed second movie, "Brigham City" (2001). Gray followed that up with a major role in another LDS Cinema movie: Gary Rogers' "The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1: The Journey" (2003), in which she played the wife of the film's lead character, Nephi.
Prior to her work in these three LDS Cinema movies, Gray appeared in a number of low-budget and direct-to-video films, and on a number of TV series. In 2000 Gray appeared in both hours of the two-hour pilot episode of the Showtime cable TV series "Resurrection Blvd." (also known as "Resurrection Boulevard"). The series is about a Mexican-American family living in Los Angeles, California. This is not a family of immigrants. Their family has been in the same area for hundreds of years, since before the area was part of the United States.
In the pilot episode of "Resurrection Blvd.," Jacque Gray plays "Nicole Johnson," a student in medical school. She meets Alex Santiago in her class. Alex is one of the main characters in the series. After gunshot injuries derail the once-promising boxing career hopes of Alex's older brother Carlos, Alex decides to drop out of medical school to continue in his brother's footsteps. After leaving medical school, Alex asks Nicole out and they begin dating.
Jacque Gray's character "Nicole Johnson" is essentially the only non-Latino major character in the pilot episode of "Resurrection Blvd."
Alex's boxing career continues to pick up speed during episodes 3 and 4 of "Resurrection Blvd.", episodes in which "Nicole Johnson" does not appear. "Nicole Johnson" appears again in episode 5 ("El Regreso de Paco"). In this episode she is in three different consecutive scenes. The total length of her scenes is 5 scenes 5 minutes, 17 seconds, and she is one of the episode's most important guest stars.
Having appeared in parts 1 and 2 of the pilot and then in episode 5 of the series, Jacque Gray technically played a "recurring character" on "Resurrection Blvd." After her appearance on episode 5, however, she never appeared on the series again.
The purpose of the "Nicole Johnson" may have been to illustrate tension between Mexican-American culture and the white American culture. The Santiago family has been in California for generations. They routinely work with non-Latinos, but they also retain a distinctive Mexican-American culture. Jacque Gray's character "Nicole Johnson" was in many ways the embodiment of white America on the episodes in which she appeared.
NOTE: The TV series "Resurrection Blvd." appeared on the premium cable channel Showtime, and contains material that would not be allowed on network television. The episodes of the series would probably be Rated R if they were rated by the MPAA as films. Jacque Gray's scenes would probably be rated a strong PG or a mild Rated PG-13.
Timecode: 14 minutes, 40 seconds:
[CUT TO: EXT. A university hospital. A large blue sign in front of the building reads: "HARBOR-UCLA MEDICAL CENTER" in large white letters, followed by "COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES" in smaller letters.]
[CUT TO: INT. A room within the hospital. Camera begins with focus on the head of a cadaver. Camera pans right to show more of the body, which is mostly obscured by a group of 7 medical students surrounding the table upon which the body rests. The sound of sawing can be heard. The instructor for the class is cutting through bone. The instructor narrates what he is doing.]
INSTRUCTOR: As we cut through the sternum and the erectus abdominal muscle tissues, lifting the intestine, the lesions on the transverse colon are clearly visible. Can everyon see them? Now, as we probe, a little higher, we can see that the cancerous lesions have spread to the right lobe of the liver.
[A loud school bell can be heard ringing/buzzing.]
INSTRUCTOR: Read chapters 23, 24 and 25.
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): Hi.
ALEX SANTIAGO (Nicholas Gonzalez): [Smiles and chuckles slightly] Hi.
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): We haven't met. I'm Nicole Johnson.
ALEX: Alex Santiago.
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): So... How do you like this class?
ALEX: I'd like it a lot better if it wasn't just after lunch.
[Nicole laughs out loud.]
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): You don't happen to have this week's handout, do you?
ALEX: Uh, yeah. Yeah. Here you go.
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): Thanks! I'll copy it and give it back to you on Thursday.
ALEX: Oh, you can keep it. I already memorized it.
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): I'm impressed.
[Nicole again smiles broadly at Alex. Alex smiles at her, picks up his bag and walks away.]
Timecode: 15 minute, 58 seconds. Length of this scene: 1 minute, 18 seconds.
[CUT TO: INT. The kitchen of a pizzeria. A young man (late teens or early twenties) takes a newly baked pizza out of a pizza oven and puts it into an already folded pizza box.
Camera focus changes so that the foreground is in focus, with Alex Santiago now centered in the frame. Alex wears a paper cap and is manning the counter of the pizza place. Crowd sounds can be heard in the background.
The sound of young women laughing and talking can be heard. Camera pans to the front door of the pizza restaurant. Three young women enter. The first to enter is Nicole Johnson, the young woman who Alex previously met in his cadaver class at medical school. Nicole sees Alex at the counter. She is a little surprised to see him, but she is happy to see him. She was smiling while she was laughing with her friends. We can hear Nicole tell her friend, "You're disgusting" -- the tail end of a funny conversation they were having. Now she smiles at Alex.]
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): Hi!
[Alex had been looking down at a cash register or something. He looks up now, and smiles upon seeing Nicole.]
ALEX SANTIAGO (Nicholas Gonzalez): Hey.
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): How ya' doin'?
[Camera focuses on Nicole's two friends, standing behind her. They are yuppies, the same age as Nicole. Possibly Nicole knows them from medical school. The two friends give each other a look, wondering silently "Who is THIS?" They clearly look down on Alex.]
ALEX: Not bad. You?
[Nicole smiles, but says nothing. She only shrugs slightly, as if to say "okay." Alex looks at her and then at her two friends.]
ALEX: You guys... want some pizza?
[One of Nicole's friends nods slightly, indicating yes.]
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): We're here to pick one up.
[Alex walks a few feet to where the finished pizzas are awaiting pickup.]
ALEX: Here it is.
NICOLE JOHNSON AND ALEX: [in unison] Johnson.
[Nicole and Alex smile at each other, amused that they both spoke her name simultaneously. Nicole's friends look a bit surprised that this pizza boy knows their friend's name.]
ALEX: Oh, its, um, seventeen even.
[Nicole pulls out money and hands it to Alex.]
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): I'll, uhm, see you in class.
[Alex looks uneasily at Nicole's friends. He has caught the vibe of their looking at him like he's a dork or something.]
[Alex and Nicole smile at each other one last time. Nicole turns and follows her friends out of the building. The expression on his face shows that Alex feels some mild embarrassment about his job. He takes of his paper hat and looks at it with chagrin.]
Timecode: 50 minutes, 3 seconds. Length of this scene: 0 minutes, 46 seconds.
[CUT TO: EXT. The Santiago home. Night. A telephone can be heard ringing.]
[CUT TO: INT. The dining room in the Santiago home. Alex presses a button on a cordless telephone and holds it to his ear.]
ALEX SANTIAGO (Nicholas Gonzalez): Hello?
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): [voiceover] Alex?
[CUT TO: INT. Nicole Johnson's bedroom. Nicole is sitting onher bed holding a telephone.]
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): It's Nicole.
[Scene cuts back and forth between Alex and Nicole while they talk on the phone.]
ALEX: Oh. Hi.
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): You sound so surprised. Did I catch you at a bad time?
ALEX: No. No, it's, uh, it's just I... How'd you get my number?
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): I asked the guy at the pizza place. I hope you don't mind.
ALEX: That's okay.
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): Um... I know it's none of my business, but I was wondering why you left?
ALEX: Some family stuff, you know.
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): Are you coming back?
ALEX: I don't know.
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): Well, maybe I'll see you around.
ALEX: Listen, um, would-- Would you like to... go out some time?
[CUT TO: Day time. Alex is driving a pickup truck, with Nicole sitting next to him. Music plays. Both Alex and Nicole are smiling and talking, but the music is the only sound heard. They drive past a sign that reads "Whitter Boulevard: East Los Angeles." A "date montage" shows them walking on the sidewalk in Alex's vibrant East L.A. neighborhood. Nicole is the only non-Latino around. A few Hispanic people stare at her a bit, but she and Alex are having such a good time they don't notice or don't care.
Continuing "date montage," Alex and Nicole are sitting at a table at a club, listening to a Spanish-singing band. The singer in the band wears a black T-shirt that reads "TOLTEC." Latino couples dance Latino dances on the dance floor. Nicole smiles, watching the band.]
ALEX: Would you like to dance?
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): I'm not very good.
ALEX: Come on, I'll show you.
[Alex walks Nicole to the dance floor. They start dancing, with Alex showing Nicole a few steps. But Nicole soon starts dancing on her own, and has fantastic moves. Alex laughs, realizing that she really does know how to dance. They alternate between smiling, laughing, and looking meaningfully into each other's eyes. After dancing for a while they sit back down at a table.]
ALEX: You don't know how to dance, huh?
NICOLE JOHNSON (Jacque Gray): I had a really great time tonight.
ALEX: Me too.
[Nicole looks at Alex. She hesitates for a moment and then leans across the table and kisses him on the lips. Alex reciprocates.]
[END OF SCENE]
Timecode: 1 hour, 10 minutes, 49 seconds. Length of this section of scenes featuring Nicole Johnson: 3 minutes, 24 seconds.
At timecode 1 hour, 23 minutes, 36 seconds we first see Nicole Johnson sitting in the first row in the audience surrounding the boxing ring. At ringside, Alex cheers for her boyfriend. She is sitting with Alex's sister Yolanda, Alex's aunt Bibi, and Alex's cousin Tommy. Alex's father Roberto and brother Miguel are right at the side of the ring, ready to help Alex with mouthguard, water, towel, etc., and ready to coach him in this critical bout.
This scene naturally focuses on the boxing match, but cuts to show Nicole Johnson and Alex's family many times.
Remarkably (considering this is his first professional match), Alex wins the fight by finally knocking out a much more experienced competitor. Nicole comes to the ring and kisses Alex as he stands in triumph.
Scenes showing Alex's climactic boxing match are intercut with scenes wrapping up the subplot about Alex's younger sister Victoria Santiago (played by Marisol Nichols) and her involvement with her ex-boyfriend Jaime - the young man who shot Carlos and ended his boxing career. These scenes wrapping up the Victoria/Jaime subplot last 210 seconds (3.5 minutes).
The section featuring Alex's boxing match ends at timecode 1 hour, 33 minutes, 29 seconds. This section lasts 6 minutes, 23 seconds (383 seconds), not including the time taken up by the Victoria/Jaime scenes.
The scene in which Alex wins the boxing match fades to show Alex's father Roberto in his room, lighting a candle in front of a photograph of his wife, who died nearly a year before. Roberto then walks outside his house to the back yard of his home on Resurrection Boulevard. The Santiago family is holding a large daytime party to celebrate Alex's win.
Nearly as soon as the part is shown, we see Nicole standing by Alex's side (1 hour, 34 minutes, 19 seconds). Alex and Nicole stand by each other or dance together throughout the rest of this scene, as the party is shown from different angles. Nicole can be seen during most of this scene. This is the last scene in the pilot episode. The scene ends and closing credits begin to roll at timecode 1 hour, 35 minutes, 30 seconds. This final scene featuring Nicole Johnson lasts 1 minute, 6 seconds.
Keep in mind, however, that Nicole's actual screen time is less than the total length of the scenes in which she is featured. The biggest difference comes from the 6-minute section that focuses primarily on Nicole's boyfriend Alex's boxing match. Nicole is shown cheering a few times during the fight, but is not on screen during most of this scene.