Jean Hamilton, the Frank's RedHot Sauce ad star, might put "that shit on everything." But in real life she is more comfortable needleworking than dropping curse words. In fact, she barely swears -- unless, that is, she drops a casserole or something.
The 92-year-old great-grandmother and Canadian native was discovered by Frank's when she was 86. In the ads, she plays the foul-mouthed "Ethel" character, who can't get enough of the hot sauce. Two new TV ads with Ms. Hamilton just hit the air, including one in which Ethel quasi-twerks (above). Frank's, which is owned by RB, formerly known as Reckitt-Benckiser, handles the work in-house.
Ad Age recently caught up with Ms. Hamilton, who says she is a brand user, via a phone interview that was videotaped by the brand. Frank's put her on a mini-media tour as it seeks to tout the sauce as a Super Bowl condiment option.
Ms. Hamilton counts commercial acting as her fifth career. She's been a social worker, income tax assesor and house-sitter, among other jobs. She was introduced to an agent by a needleworking friend, and the agent talked her into auditioning for Frank's. "She said the magic words -- 'It will be a new experience' -- and I thought 'At 86, good gracious most women don't get any experience at that age,'" Ms. Hamilton recalled. Here are some excerpts from the rest of our interview:
Why did Frank's pick you?
Do you curse in real life?
How many times have you repeated your famous ad line?