If we could get career advice from anyone, it would be Jennifer Finnigan. The 3-time Daytime Emmy Award winner, has not only shown an inspirational amount of drive in her career, but an abundance of thought, and care.
We first discovered Jennifer while watching her star on on the CBS series Close to Home alongside Kimberly Elise! And she’s only skyrocketed since. While there’s no exact recipe for success, Finnigan has taught us that effort truly is everything, and a little extra can make all the difference. Read on to learn why we all want to emulate Jennifer Finnigan, our #WCW.
By: Emily Dinenberg
Born in Montreal, Quebec, Finnigan got an early start to her career. In an interview with Variety she recounts, “I would have to say when I was a kid I always made my parents take me to musicals and plays back in Montreal. I was so inspired by how they made me feel by the end that I could be so drawn into something. These actors could have such an effect on me at the end. I wanted to emulate them. I found it very inspiring”. At the age of 19 she turned her inspiration to reality. Finnigan would soon appear in Canadian television shows such as The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo and La Femme Nikita starring Peta Wilson and Don Francks.
However, her time working in Canada would be short lived.
In 2004 she landed the role of Bridget Forrester on the American soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful alongside Katherine Kelly Lang and Ronn Moss. Jennifer won three Daytime Emmy Awards for her performance in the span of her three years on the show. While this feat alone is inspirational, Jennifer finds her personal inspiration in taking risks. When asked about the careers she would like to emulate, Jennifer responded,
“I so admire people who take chances. I would say people like Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Renee Zellweger. People who put themselves out there and don’t always stick to the same formula, who challenge themselves.”
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Finnigan was soon able to take her own big chance.
Eventually, in 2005 she received the opportunity to star alongside Kimberly Elise and Cress Williams in the crime drama series, Close To Home, as criminal prosecutor Annabeth Chase. The series was lauded for its unique take on a crime series among its similar competitors. Rather than conform to the standards of network television, Jennifer chose to stay true to what she felt was the heart of her character and the show. A 2006 interview with TVGuide revealed “This [show] is not just about the law and cases. It’s about a woman who’s a mother trying to balance her work and her home life.”
Although many in the network believed this premise would not have the glitz of dangerous crime, Jennifer remained steadfast in her beliefs.
“I feel like it’s my duty as an actor and as a person who really cares about the show to maintain the heart of it. It’s very easy to go in that strict procedural direction, but I don’t think that’s what our audience really responds to. No fan who’s ever come to me has said, “Oh, that murder and that chase scene….” They don’t make reference to those aspects so much as…
“Annabeth’s long hours, how her husband puts up with it, she has the baby at home….”
“…I can so relate to that, that’s my life!”
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Although Close to Home only ran until 2007, Jennifer’s dedication to taking chances lead her to another starring role on CBS’s new summer action drama, Salvation with Santiago Cabrera and Charlie Rowe. Finnagin plays a rule-following Pentagon insider dealing with top-secret intel about the fate of humanity.
While a large departure from her role on Close to Home, it is clear that Finnigan doesn’t approach her roles with certain strategy.
She enjoys switching things up–moving from thrillers to sitcoms and onwards.
“The truth is, I never really have a plan. I just want to have a long and respected career and make good choices about what I work on. Either way, I get to laugh every day with my husband.”
One constant she does look for in her roles is the content of their character.
As she explains to CBSLocal.com, she’s always been attracted to “strong roles with powerful and intelligent women.”
Jennifer cites her own personal inspirations as women who have an element of fearlessness.
“Katharine Hepburn…was brassy and funny and brave as an actress. The glamour and beauty…comes from a place of strength…I loved how she was unafraid to be ballsy, and I thought her intelligence seeped through her pores. It’s the same reason I love female comics who are super brave…I’m obsessed with Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore, Lucille Ball. They are all women to emulate.”
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We love Jennifer Finnagin for this constant and unwavering support for powerful women.
In a world where one’s limits are consistently tested, Finnagin’s consistent effort to approach life without fear is nothing short of inspirational. As she explained to CBS,
“I always like to test limits. I’m a fan of constantly experiencing new and exciting things. There’s not a lot I haven’t done or that I’ve turned down because of fear or whatever. I’m an experience junkie…Swimming with pods of dolphins really far out. Seeing the Northern Lights. I try to make the most of every day.”
What’s Jennifer’s newest adventure going to be? Starting a family with her husband Jonathan Silverman. When asked by People Magazine what she’s looking forward to when raising her daughter, the self-proclaimed “voracious feminist” responded, “I can’t wait to raise [my] daughter to think she can do anything a man can do.”
Its this kind of dauntless attitude in Jennifer that inspires us to reach new heights at work and in life—we cant wait to see what she conquers next!
Who in your life inspires you to be fearless? Share with us in the comments!