Big Shot won’t be the first time Jessalyn Gilsig has worked on a series about high school life, or on one developed by Kelley. Her big break came when she landed a lead role in a different school-set show, Boston Public. It was a part she worked up to — appearing first in small roles on Kelley’s other shows The Practice and the short-lived Snoops – before the showrunner tabbed her for his next project.
As social studies teacher Lauren Davis, Gilsig was often tasked with playing one of the adults in the room not just in the classroom full of students, but also with her eccentric and unorthodox peers. It was a tough role to fill at Winslow High School, where nearly every week seemed to bring a new brewing scandal, be it one involving the curriculum or something more sordid relating to sex or violence.
It’s perhaps not surprising then that Ms. Davis didn’t make it past the second season before taking a new job at a private school somewhere. Gilsig, for her part, told Backstage that she left because she felt the loss of Kelley as he started to take a step back from writing the show to focus on other projects. “Ultimately the show changed a lot,” she said. “So I really had to sort of assess where I was, and I said, ‘I’m really not growing. I’m not becoming a better actor from this.'”