Formerly a presenter on British radio, 32 year old Jamil has reinvented herself in America by starring in sitcom 'The Good Place'.
British radio star Jameela Jamil has revealed that she was told she was “too old, too ethnic and too fat” to make it in America – despite subsequently landing a TV role at the first time of asking.
32 year old Jamil, a former BBC Radio 1 presenter, recently landed a spot in American sitcom ‘The Good Place’ on the strength of her first audition after relocating from Britain to Hollywood to relaunch her career Stateside. She had made the move without anything in terms of a plan or any job offers, and she revealed in a new interview with the BBC that she had been actively discouraged from doing so.
“I was literally starting again and I was actively discouraged by everyone in England,” she told BBC Radio 5 Live on Monday (May 21st). “Everyone said I was being mad, throwing away an eight-year career, and that I was too old - I was only 29 - too ethnic, and too fat to come over to Los Angeles.”
Jameela Jamil successfully reinvented herself in America
Jamil admitted that she may have been a tad economical with the truth when it came to her experience, in order to land the coveted role alongside Ted Danson and Kristen Bell on NBC’s ‘The Good Place’. She has played a British philanthropist named Tahani Al-Jamil in the first two seasons, and the show has just been given the green light for a third season after attracting warm reviews.
“I lied in my audition. I said I'd mostly done theatre because it's harder to track down,” Jamil admitted. “Technically it's not a lie because when I was six I played Oliver's mother in my school play. I was creative with the truth.”
“I didn't even have time to get an acting coach, so I basically had to learn how to act from Ted Danson! I'm a fast learner and I have an amazing group of people around me. I'm not De Niro, but I'm getting there.”
Jamil’s impact in America has happened at the same time as the gender pay gap debate has gained significant traction.
“I feel very comfortable asking my co-stars what they earn,” she said about the issue as she’s experienced it. “There is a pay gap between Ted Danson and Kristen Bell - but he was in ‘Cheers’, he is a national treasure. It's not just about gender, that's about what you bring to the table.
“But when there's a man and woman of the same age, with the same level of experience in any industry - it blows my mind we are still treated as second-rate citizens and I think it is changing, slowly but surely.”