Jamie-Lynn Sigler: On Hollywood … and Rejection
It's easy to look at someone like Jamie-Lynn Sigler and think she's got it all. Beautiful, talented and an integral part of "The Sopranos," she has also been in everything from "Entourage" to a viral "SNL" video.
But when we spoke with the actress, she told us the toughest part of her job is both relentless and soul-wrenching: rejection.
"I've dealt with a lot of rejection," she said of the daily judgments that separate a working actor from a struggling one. "My first audition ever was for 'Les Mis' on Broadway, for little Cosette. I'd never been in an audition in my life; I had braces."
"I ended up getting three callbacks, which is such a big deal," Sigler grinned. "But when you play a kid on Broadway, you have to be under a certain height; the shorter you are, the longer they can keep you in the show to play a kid. And so, they always have tape on the wall, and you have to stand next to it — before you even sing."
"I was right at the tape, and so I was too tall," she sighed. "That was rough. It was hard being 8 years old, and being so excited and not getting something."
Now, 23 years later and after dozens of jobs and entrenchment as a household name, Sigler still gets rejections. "Only a couple of pilot seasons ago, I was really close to this sitcom that I loved so, so much," she reveals. "But there was this one person at the network who was like, 'I don't think she's that funny.' That was a real rough blow for me."
Yet, for every mean-spirited person she encounters in her career, Sigler insists that she is often blown away by the decency of others. "Tom Hanks," she said immediately when asked to name one of her favorite professional encounters. "I did [Late Night with Jimmy]'Fallon,' and he was on it … I came back to my dressing room, and he was waiting outside my dressing room to tell me he was a fan, and that I had done a great interview … I was like, 'You are such a nice guy!'"
Then again, maybe Hanks is just a "My Cousin Vinny" fan. "I've been told many times I look like Marisa Tomei," laughed Sigler.