Jameela Jamil is best known as a presenter, model and actress. However, before achieving fame and success as one of the stars of The Good Place, she was a teacher. Prior to getting her start in the entertainment industry, Jameela worked as an English Teacher to Foreign-Language Students before she got a job as a TV presenter on U.K.’s Channel 4. Though she never planned to be an actress, she subsequently landed a lead role on The Good Place, which was not only her first acting job but also a launching pad to international stardom.
Jameela Jamil was born in London on the 25th of February 1986 to an Indian father and a Pakistani mother. The actress had a difficult childhood which she mostly spent in hospitals. She was born with a medical condition that required several surgeries. Her condition, congenital hearing loss, and labyrinthitis have left her with just 70% audibility in her left ear and 50% in her right ear.
Despite her medical condition and the challenges that came with it, Jameela was a bookish child with academic interests in art and biology.
Despite the improvement in her medical condition with each surgery, Jameela Jamil’s medical woes were not over. In her teens, specifically between the ages of 14 and 17, she suffered from anorexia nervosa – an eating disorder characterized by an irrational desire to be thin, resulting in limited food consumption. The actress blames societal pressure for leading her to develop the disorder and this has informed her strong adult opinions.
Jameela Jamil would not get her respite from medical problems just yet as she was hit by a car while she was being chased by a bee. She broke several bones from the accident, including her spine. Despite an initial medical prognosis that she wouldn’t walk again, she was able to walk after a year of special treatment.
After her recovery, Jameela finished her education and started teaching English to foreign students at the Callan School of English in London.
To say her road to media and entertainment has been unorthodox would be an understatement. She got her first media role as a TV presenter of T4, a Channel 4 program in 2009 after casually sending in her name for an advertisement of the position. Despite a complete lack of media or TV presenting experience, she got the job. She hosted T4 from 2009 to 2012. She also hosted shows like The Official Chart and Freshly Squeezed.
Aside from TV Hosting/Presenting, Jameela Jamil is also a fashion model and photographer. She has featured on the cover of Vogue magazine and The Cut.
After years of working in England, she moved to Los Angeles in 2016 to start a DJ career. While she was there, she was contacted by Michael Schur for a role in a comedy series. After two interviews with the producers of the show, Jameela Jamil continued the trend of getting jobs she has no prior experience of. She has been portraying Tahani Al-Jamil on The Good Place since 2016.
5 Facts to Know About Jameela Jamil
- 1. She’s A Radio Host
While her hosting and presenting roles were mostly on television, she was also a radio host. She started radio hosting in 2012.
- 2. She Is An Entrepreneur
Having spent time in the fashion industry as a model and photographer, Jameela Jamil launched her own collection of fashion items in 2012 in collaboration with Very.co.uk.
She is also the founder of Why Not People? An event and membership company focused on making live entertainment venues accessible and comfortable for disabled people.
- 3. Relationship Status
Jameela is dating the English singer and songwriter, James Blake. The couple, who have been dating since 2015, still seem very much in love till this day.
- 4. Jameela Jamil Is A Philanthropist
She is outspoken and has taken interest in several societal issues. She supports the Cultural Learning Alliance, which is dedicated to providing access to culture for children. A big advocate for volunteering, she created the Vinspired National Awards to recognize young people who have contributed to their communities through volunteering.
- 5. She’s A Writer
The British actress is an intelligent woman and she has extended this prowess towards numerous ventures, including writing. She has written column pieces for Company, a women’s monthly magazine. She wrote for the magazine from 2011 to 2014.