updated 03/23/2004 AT 12:00 AM ET
•originally published 03/23/2004 AT 12:54 PM ET
No longer just the Boss’s daughter, Jamie-Lynn DiScala is taking a break from the family business for a very different kind of business. In USA Network’s Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss (airing 9 p.m. March 29), the Sopranos star, 22, plays the title role of the infamous Hollywood madam. After initially thinking she’d say “No way!” to the part, DiScala couldn’t turn down a role that’s so radically different from brainy Meadow Soprano – not to mention her own life as a young newlywed (to manager A.J. DiScala).
PEOPLE.com recently caught up with DiScala to chat about the seedy side of Hollywood and the seemlier side of marriage.
Did you ever imagine you’d be playing Heidi Fleiss?
No! I can’t see a bit of myself in it, and I love that. I really hope to become unrecognizable to people as they watch because it’s such a departure from anything I’ve played and just (from) me personally.
So you’ve never been a prostitute or stolen anything in real life?
Never tried it. Hope I never have to.
What was the biggest challenge for you?
The sex scenes were extremely difficult for me. Although I had a body double, it’s still hard. My first day of work on that set was filming my prostitute montage. Literally it’s, “Jamie this is Brian, Brian this is Jamie, now go in the shower and pretend you’re having sex!” And then it was on to the next scene, and it was another gentleman and I’m on a desk with him. So it was a really strange way to break me in.
What did you find interesting about Heidi as a character?
I had a lot of preconceived notions about her before my research, and I realized that I actually like her. She chose a line of work that I don’t necessarily think is right, but she was smart, she was savvy, she was loyal – still, to this day, she has remained quiet about who her clients were.
There’s not that much turmoil in your real life, I hope. How’s married life treating you?
Married life is wonderful, thank you very much. It’s just a blessing for me … he makes me realize that this is a job. It’s difficult to keep grounded in this business, and I think had I not met him, I’d be having a much tougher time dealing with that.
The Sopranos really blew up in a way that no one could have imagined.
You’re just an actor trying to find some work, and all of a sudden you’ve got paparazzi in your face and red carpets and clothes and premieres and parties. It’s all wonderful and exciting, but sometimes it’s hard to pull yourself back to reality.
Does it ever bother you, getting interrupted at dinner and that kind of thing?
There are certain times … but I always take a deep breath and realize, Okay, I should be appreciative. Because the second it stops you wonder, What’s going on?
When are you due back on the Sopranos set?
April of 2005. I’ve been done since November.
Anything could happen until then. You could get pregnant, have a kid …
Yeah, but we’re careful! (Laughs) We love children, we want children, it’s something we’re very much looking forward to, but I think that won’t happen until Sopranos are completely done.
Plot-wise, any big surprises coming up for Meadow?
There’s definitely one big surprise toward the end of the season with my character. It was really cool. You get to see her be really emotionally vulnerable for the first time, which was exciting for me because (in real life) I cry at the drop of a hat, at commercials, anything. But Meadow’s like her father – she feels that any show of emotion means weakness.
So you’re not getting whacked or anything?
No. I made it to the sixth season, and that’s all I care about. That’s going to be the last, so if they kill me off, I won’t mind!