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I'd been told I was too old, too fat and too ethnic to
try and make it into America at 28.
I feel like they don't say that to men.
But I said it to me.
I'm very
South Asian.
Deep down.
And I wanted to be a doctor and that was my plan
for my life.
Now I got hit by a car and I was unable to walk
for over a year because I hurt my back pretty
badly. And my brother had to take me to the
toilet every day and there's something about that
it sort of gifts you perspective and you realize
that you shouldn't be taking yourself too
seriously and you shouldn't be taking life for
granted. And that kind of changed my outlook on
the rest of my life.
I was an English teacher at 21.
A man walked up to me in a pub, started a
conversation with me, told me he thought I was
funny and he told me about some big audition to
become a TV presenter.
I'd never wanted to be on television.
I'd never done anything, I had no experience.
At first I said no.
And then he said it was 1,000 pounds a day and I
was like, "Yes, please. I'll
have that email."
And overnight I became a TV presenter on one of
the biggest TV shows in the United Kingdom, which
I was wholly unprepared for and didn't really
become good at for like another year, which was
mortifying to have to learn that publicly on
television. But I did it anyway.
I sucked it up and I took the criticism and I
kept going.
And after about three years of doing
that, that started to go well, I was restless.
I want to try something new.
I got offered a job at BBC Radio 1 as a radio DJ,
which is an incredibly hard job because you are
driving the desk all by yourself while speaking
at the same time, counting down to a live clock
and you have the whole of the BBC at your
fingertips, which is petrifying and all of the
cuss words, all of them, they're just like
rolling around your brain and you just want to
scream one of them live.
I ended up making history as the first woman to
ever host the official chart on BBC Radio 1 on
its 60 years on air.
I was the first and that was an amazing
moment of privilege and then, after about two
years of doing that, I was restless again.
I had a health scare.
I found a lump in my breast.
They make you wait a week to find out if it's
cancerous and it wasn't.
And so I decided that I would make a "F--- it"
list. I did.
When I got the biopsy results back and they were
clear, I decided to just take the leap and book a
one-way ticket to Los Angeles with no visa, no
contacts and not enough money to do that.
But I did it anyway because, really, what do you
have to lose other than your life?
So I did leave my relationship and my entire
career that I built in the United Kingdom.
I came anyway and my first audition was for
"The Good Place" and Mike Schur gave me the job
because he's a very strange man who gave a
complete novice, who'd never acted before, a job.
I had been Titania on stage when I was
nine years old at school so I'm not entirely
without experience.
Thank you very much.
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How Jameela Jamil Landed 'The Good Place' With No Acting Experience

74 Folder Collection
meryem published on August 25, 2019
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