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Jennifer Coolidge Admits She Lied To Get Ahead in Hollywood

Samantha Franco
Photo Credit: Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Jennifer Coolidge has created her own brand of acting with a career that’s seen her in several big box office movies and many of the most successful sitcoms of the last 20 years. However, her career was built on a foundation of lies. Well, maybe that’s a bit dramatic. But she did actually lie to get her acting career rolling!

Coolidge padded her resume

Headshot of Jennifer Coolidge
Jennifer Coolidge is seen on Jimmy Kimmel Live on February 07, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo Credit: RB / Bauer-Griffin / GC Images / Getty Images)

Before Jennifer Coolidge was landing hit roles in American Pie (1999), Best in Show (2000), Legally Blonde (2001), and more recently The Watcher and The White Lotus, she was struggling to gain any traction as an actress. She studied at Hollywood’s Academy of Dramatic Arts and was doing comedy improv at places like The Groundlings, but still couldn’t get a role on-screen.

In an attempt to try and get ahead, Coolidge did what many people struggling to get a gig would do – she lied. Recently, she admitted that she fibbed on her resume to seem more experienced than she really was. She said, “I’d gone to a school called American Academy of Dramatic Arts up in Pasadena. And I’d just named all these shows and all these different theaters at the school as if they played there.”

Coolidge is not embarrassed by the lies she added to her credentials. “You have to do that if you have a blank resume until you start getting jobs. Then you can slowly erase the lies. I’d love to get my hands on that resume now.” Obviously, her tactic worked, and she quickly landed her first role on the 1990s sitcom, Seinfeld, in 1993.

She needed help with her wardrobe

Jennifer Coolidge sitting in a chair beside a male actor.
A still from American Pie, which was released in 1999, stars Jennifer Coolidge as “Stifler’s Mom.” (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

When Coolidge landed an audition for Seinfeld, she knew it was just as important for her to look the part as it was to read it well. She headed to a shop where she found some much-needed help.

She explained, “I didn’t have any flattering outfits. So I went to this store, and there was a mother and daughter who worked in the store. I said, ‘I’m auditioning for Seinfeld tomorrow.’ And they were like, ‘Oh, honey, you’ve got to wear better clothes than what you’re wearing.'”

Coolidge credits those women as part of the reason she landed the role as Jerry’s masseuse love interest. She said, “So they made me buy this little outfit, and I think it got me the job! I kind of looked clueless most of the time, and these girls put me together.”

Seinfeld started a snowball of career success for Coolidge

Jennifer Coolidge giving Jerry Seinfeld a shoulder rub on an episode of "Seinfeld"
On Seinfeld season 05 episode 09, titled “The Masseuse” which aired in 1993, Jennifer Coolidge stars as Jerry’s girlfriend. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Coolidge nailed the character Jodi‘s iconic line, “I don’t submit to forcible massage!” during her guest appearance on Seinfeld. After that, acting jobs landed on her doorstep. “After my episode aired, all these people, all these casting directors that would never let me through the doorwell, it kind of changed a lot for me,” she explained.

More from us: Jamie Lee Curtis Warns People Not To ‘Mess With’ Their Faces

Her appearance on Seinfeld changed the trajectory of Coolidge’s acting career. She explained that years later, she “was up for a pilot, and it was between me and another girl, and I think they were leaning toward the other girl. But then the producer told me a rerun of my Seinfeld episode had aired that night, and everyone had seen it, and it had gotten me the job. Thank you, Jerry!”

Samantha Franco

Samantha Franco is a Freelance Content Writer who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Guelph, and her Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Western Ontario. Her research focused on Victorian, medical, and epidemiological history with a focus on childhood diseases. Stepping away from her academic career, Samantha previously worked as a Heritage Researcher and now writes content for multiple sites covering an array of historical topics.

In her spare time, Samantha enjoys reading, knitting, and hanging out with her dog, Chowder!