Rising Star: Jayma Mays

After years of small parts in big projects, actress Jayma Mays is finally beginning to break out.

AccessHollywood.com’s newest Rising Star, who turns 30 this year, has lined up a starring role in the upcoming FOX series, “Glee,” a one-hour comedy from “Nip/Tuck” creator Ryan Murphy.

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The show, which is expected to debut next month, will focus on Will, played by Matthew Morrison, a high school Spanish teacher in Ohio, who is given the duty of looking after the glee club. Jayma will play his love interest, guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury.

“We’ve only shot the pilot,” Jayma recently told Access Hollywood of the show’s progress so far. “But… I’m really proud to be a part of it.”

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Jayma, who grew up in Grundy, Virginia, said she brings some singing experience to the role.

“I did used to sing at weddings with a friend,” she noted. “I think we used to sing ‘Endless Love,’ a million times.”

The series comes on the heels of Jayma’s co-starring role in the biggest movie of 2009, thus far. Jayma has been amusing moviegoers alongside Kevin James in “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” playing his big-haired mall working love interest, Amy.

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Before landing “Glee” and “Mall Cop,” Jayma made a splash on network TV in 2006 as Hiro Nakamura’s almost-love interest, Charlie Andrews, on NBC’s “Heroes.” She played a waitress who met a rather unfortunate fate at the hands of villain Sylar. A year later, she played another character named Charlie, who schemed to keep Henry away from Betty, on ABC’s “Ugly Betty.”

In real life, Jayma’s love life is solid. She’s been married to British actor Adam Campbell, her former co-star from 2007’s “Epic Movie,” for two years.

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