Picks and Pans Review: Sounds Off

updated 10/06/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/06/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Jamie Kennedy

Jamie Kennedy has found fame as the star of The WB's JKX: The Jamie Kennedy Experiment. But as the actor, 33, tells in Wannabe: A Hollywood Experiment, the road to success was long—and paved with odd jobs.

ON HIS PRE-FAME DARK DAYS: "My [L.A. apartment] had cockroaches even though I didn't have any food. And I didn't have an agent or a career or any ideas how to get [either one]."

ON AN EARLY BRUSH WITH CELEBRITY: "In the '80s I worked at Red Lobster as a busboy, then as a host. Arsenio Hall used to come in."

ON ENTERING HOLLYWOOD'S INNER SANCTUMS: "I was working at this maid service, and I was Janeane Garofalo's maid. She was cool but a little messy."

NO GETTING AHEAD IN MOTION PICTURES: "I met a casting director for a really low-budget movie. He had me meet him at a bus stop and help him carry his groceries home. I remember thinking, 'Would Robert Duvall have to do this?'"

ON HIS BIG BREAK: "After [trying for] about six years, I got a personal-injury commercial. I was a guy in a car that got hit and had an injured neck."

ON HIS LITERARY ROLE MODELS: "Charles Grodin's It Would Be So Nice If You Weren't Here, Joan Rivers's Enter Talking and Dean Martin's bio Dino. They helped me go, 'Okay, all these people had no idea how they were going to make it.'"

ON THE MESSAGE OF HIS BOOK: "It's all about hanging in there. I did stand-up and bombed. I went to auditions and never got anything. You might say I bombed my way to the top."

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