Jaime Pressly hit Hollywood like a hurricane in the mid-aughts with her Emmy-winning role as Joy Turner on My Name Is Earl.
But her career seems to have quieted in recent years. Despite appearances in hit comedies like Not Another Teen Movie and I Love You, Man, she hasn’t made a film since 2017.
However, Jaime Pressly has been busier than you might have realized. Here is what she’s been up to lately and her stunning transformation over the years.
Jaime Pressly’s early years
Many young stars have trouble getting their early careers going. But Jaime Pressly surprised everyone by hitting the ground running.
In 1997 alone, she starred in three different movies. Most prominently, this included Poison Ivy: The New Seduction, the third film in the Poison Ivy series of erotic thrillers.
Now, this movie was never in danger of winning an Oscar. But it established Pressly as a talented actor with plenty of charisma.
The following year, she landed roles in movies like Can’t Hardly Wait and Ringmaster. She also dabbled in TV shows, including Mortal Combat: Conquest, Night Man, Push, and Silk Stalkings.
Picking up steam
After those whirlwind first two years, you might expect Jaime Pressly to slow down. Instead, she took on an even wider and more diverse set of roles over the next few years.
These were the years where Pressly was seemingly everywhere. She popped up in movies such as 100 Girls, Joe Dirt, Not Another Teen Movie, Survival Island, and Tomcats. Oh, and did we mention she did all of this while starring in the TV show Jack & Jill.
That might have been enough, but Pressly also starred in Entourage, Fast Lane, and The Twilight Zone. She might or might not have been able to keep up this breakneck pace of acting. But fortunately for Jaime, she eventually landed a regular gig on an insanely popular TV show.
Shooting to stardom
While Jaime Pressly appeared on many TV shows, they were usually smaller roles. But in 2005, My Name Is Earl became a major hit and propelled Pressly to stardom.
The premise of the show is that Jason Lee’s Earl wins big from a scratch-off lottery ticket. In turn, he decides to make amends with the seemingly-countless people he has wronged over the course of his life.
In the show, Pressly plays Earl’s ex-wife Joy. At first an antagonistic character with a comedically over-the-top personality, Joy goes on her own journey of redemption over the course of the series.
Pressly earned praise for her performance, and in 2007 she took home an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
This role brought Pressly fame and accolades, but My Name Is Earl only lasted for four seasons before being canceled on a cliffhanger. When it was over, Pressly hit the ground running once more. In fact, she gave herself a running start ahead of time!
Burning the candle at both ends
Pressly managed to keep very busy while My Name Is Earl was still on the air. She wasn’t afraid to take roles during the show’s breaks, and she was prepared to throw herself back into the mix once the show was canceled.
On TV, she managed to land roles in other hit shows such as Raising Hope, Rules of Engagement, and Two and a Half Men. And on the big screen, she starred in films like A Haunted House 2, DOA: Dead Or Alive, The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, Torque, and Venus & Vegas.
Most surprisingly, Pressly even discovered a talent for voiceover work. She loaned her vocal talents to shows like BoJack Horseman and Phineas and Ferb. It seemed like her career was moving faster than ever, but it nearly came to a stop thanks to the police.
Run-in with the law
In 2011, Jaime Pressly was arrested because the police suspected she was driving under the influence. On the breathalyzer, Pressly blew a .22 blood alcohol level. Just for comparison, the legal limit in the state of California is only .08.
Fortunately, Pressly made the smart decision to strike a deal with the authorities. She ended up only getting three years’ probation and has avoided having any additional run-ins with the law.
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Stunning transformation on ‘Mom’
Pressly’s career finally found an equilibrium when she was cast on the CBS show Mom in its second season in 2014. She was a hit with fans, and what started as a recurring role became a permanent position on the show.
In June 2017, Pressly and longtime boyfriend Hamzi Hijazi announced she was pregnant with twins. But instead of writing Pressly’s pregnancy into the show, the writers of Mom came up with a surprising way to cover up her physical changes. They created a story where her character Jill suffers from an eating disorder, and put her in prosthetics and padding to portray a weight gain.
“That was such a brilliant way to cover the pregnancy,” Pressly told ET the following year. “I had no idea they were going to come up with that. I was flabbergasted when they told me the idea.”
After eight seasons, Mom is coming to an end in May. So, what’s next for Jaime Pressly?
Life after ‘Mom’
In February, it was announced that Mom would be coming to an end. Pressly took to Instagram to gush about the experience and said she “hit the jackpot” when she was cast in the role.
“Being able to tell the stories of these beautifully flawed women supporting each other through recovery from addiction, loss, love, failures, wins, getting older and learning to love themselves has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” she wrote.
When describing the cast and crew, she said, “It goes without saying that when you spend as much time together as we have over these last 8 years (7 for me) you can’t help but fall in love with each other and become a real-life support group both on and off the screen.”
In another Instagram post, she wrote, “TY TO ALL OF THE FANS WHO HAVE KEPT US ON THE AIR AND ALLOWED US TO HAVE THE BEST JOB ANY ACTOR COULD EVER ASK FOR!!”
At only 43 years old, Jaime Pressly has many years of wonderful roles ahead of her. And she has spent literally decades proving she is a gifted actor and someone who knows how to work well with her crew and castmates.
Ultimately, we don’t know what Jaime Pressly’s next challenge will be. But with her award-winning talent and immense gratitude for everyone she has worked with, we are confident that another hit role is right around the corner.
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