(CBS Local)– Long Island native Jamie-Lynn Sigler has been acting since she was a kid and almost left the industry altogether recently.
Sigler, who attended public school in Jericho while playing Meadow in “The Sopranos,” saw her perspective on the acting business shift once she had kids.
“I quit acting actually about a year or year and a half ago,” said Sigler in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I just kind of needed a break and be off the hook of waiting for a phone to ring. I just needed to see if it really mattered to me anymore. I was a stay at home mom for a couple of months and I loved it, but I had this visceral moment where I almost lost my breath and said there’s something still missing. I went and joined an acting class and I just missed trying to figure things out. My team when I quit wasn’t too happy about it. Sometimes you need to be reminded that people believe in you. As soon as I came back, I haven’t stopped working since.”
The New York native had never taken professional acting classes prior to this. While Sigler has worked on several great projects, “The Sopranos” and James Gandolfini will always hold a special place in her hear.
“It was such an isolated experience here in Manhattan, it wasn’t Hollywood,” said Sigler. “It was before social media and the paparazzi. I’m so lucky that that was the way I grew up in the business. Sopranos is such a personal thing. I can appreciate and understand now after all this time what the value of the show is to people. It was more about the people and the connections and that safe home. I went through so much in the 10 years we shot it. James was the most shockingly humble and almost insecure talent. He was the biggest presence, you could just feel him. He was the gentlest, kindest, and most respectful.”
The former Sopranos star revealed a few years ago that she’s been living with multiple sclerosis since she was 20. It’s been the toughest journey of her life.
“I had gotten so used to living with this secret and it allowed me to be in denial when I could about it,” said Sigler. “We all have things we don’t tell people and that was my thing. I didn’t know how people were going to react and it’s still a transition for me. I don’t want to feel like I’m a special case, but the truth is I am. It’s allowed for some really nice human to human connection that I may not have had without it. I used to worry about what it would take away in the relationship with my kids, but at the same time, I realize I’m raising some pretty empathetic and more sensitive boys.”
Sigler is back on the big screen in the new movie “Mob Town” from director Danny A. Abeckaser with David Arquette and Jennifer Esposito. The New York native loved how freeing the role of Josephine Barbara was.
“I felt like it was a throwback to all the mob films I liked, like the [Martin] Scorsese ones where there is a little bit of everything,” said Sigler. “You have what you expect in a mob movie, which is the violence and the drama and the suspense, but you have a little bit of a love story. You have these crazy characters and I got to be one of those crazy characters. That was the main appeal for me. I don’t really get a chance to play people like her.”
“Mob Town” hits theaters and goes on-demand and streaming on December 13.