“I remember being in the car with my mother going down Sunset Boulevard when I got the call from the studio telling me I'd got it [7th Heaven],” she told GQ. “I'd been traveling up to LA and doing the pilot seasons for three years, since I was 11, but hadn't gotten anywhere. We had to stop the car and pull over we were crying that hard."
At age 15 Jessica starred in her first feature film as Peter Fonda's granddaughter in “Ulee's Gold.” She won a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film, Supporting Young Actress.
After her stint in “7th Heaven,” Jessica enrolled in Tufts University, studying script writing.
“I needed a break,” she said. “I'd been working in that adult environment since I was 14. and I wanted to cut my hair, get a tattoo... be a normal kid for a while.”
Hollywood beckoned her to return so Jessica abandoned the coed life after only three semesters.
“I felt very scared that I was gonna be forgotten about [in Hollywood],” she said in a 2005 interview with Cosmopolitan magazine. “Looking back, I wish I would've just gotten it done with. It was hard watching my friends graduate without me.”