December 08, 2014 at 12:00 PM EST

Rashida Jones has proven over the years that she can stand out among all-star comedy casts, but her start in Hollywood was by no means easy. She faced a number of challenges common to up-and-coming actors, along with a few unique ones—like being told she’s attractive enough to be on network TV, but not quite attractive enough to star on network TV.

Jones has since made a name for herself on a host of beloved comedies, including The Office and Parks and Recreation. She spoke to EW about her roles on the two NBC sitcoms, as well as her writing and producing projects Celeste and Jesse Forever and A to Z, as part of LightbulbEW‘s new series that features today’s leading creators talking about their work and their inspiration.

For more from Lightbulbwatch The Farrelly Brothers discuss their brand of comedy and revisiting Dumb and Dumber.

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