Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jamie-Lynn Sigler on Acting and Drop Dead Diva

Photo Credit: Bob Mahoney © 2011Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, All Rights Reserved

Jamie-Lynn has been a TV star since 1999 when, at the age of 18, she became Tony’s daughter Meadow on The Sopranos. Since then she’s done Broadway and had recurring roles on shows like Entourage. This past weekend she made a guest starring turn on Drop Dead Diva.

In a recent conference call interview Jamie-Lynn talked about what drives her at this point in her career. She revealed, “What motivates me to stay in this business is what got me started in the beginning is just to work with different people. And with every project that I do and every role you take, you kind of try and enter thinking, ‘What can I learn from this?’”

She also looked at each part as a chance to get to know new people, a philosophy that led to her turn on Drop Dead Diva, “With what I do you can always get better and you can always learn and grow as person and as an actor from every project. And people you meet can lead to other projects, like working with [Drop Dead Diva creator] Josh [Berman] last year and our pilot led to this. And I was a fan of the show before I knew him.”

Jamie-Lynn also acknowledged that she’s not just trying to live up to expectations of her. She confessed, “I don’t think of my career so much as what other people will think of it, as opposed to me — what’s going to keep me interested and growing. A lot of people try and look at their careers as this chess game and what’s going to get you further and what’s going to do this. So for me, ultimately, I’ve always led with my gut of what is just going to help me grow as an actor. And I’ve been happy with my journey thus far.”

She added, “Constantly trying to change it up as much as you can and challenge yourself will in turn just bring you more success and will challenge the way people think of you and be open to you many different types of hopefully.”

Such was the case with Tina, the woman desperately in need of a cardiac transplant, that she played on Diva. Jamie-Lynn explained her approach to the role, saying, “I had to be very dramatic, very emotional, somebody dying of a heart disease. So somebody that’s not going through that themselves fortunately, that’s always a challenge and also entering into a set as a guest star. When you’re the new one and you’re trying to sneak in unnoticed into this well-oiled machine is always a bit of a challenge. But the actors and the crew couldn’t have been more welcoming, and I had a great time.”

She enjoyed herself but that doesn’t mean that Jamie-Lynn didn’t take the challenge seriously. She described her process, “I work hard. I do my homework. I do most of my work before I get to set because for me acting is a collaborative experience. And when you get to work on set, on TV, on film, or even on stage, when you get there if you’ve done your homework, if you know your lines, if you’ve sort of worked on your character, then when you get to work the more open and free and then the better work I can turn in.”

Drop Dead Diva will return for an all new season in 2012.

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