Britney Spears' little sister hasn't flexed her acting muscles since her Nickelodeon show "Zoey 101" ended in 2008, when she became a teenage mum with the birth of her first child.
She subsequently reinvented herself as a country singer, but the 29 year old, now a mother-of-two, is back onscreen in the Netflix adaptation of author Sherryl Woods' hit book series, which revolves around a trio of childhood best friends in the small town of Serenity, South Carolina.
"I had been in denial, not really admitting to myself how much I missed acting," Jamie Lynn tells The Hollywood Reporter.
"I was working on my music for a while and then I focused on my family for a bit. With acting, I was just waiting for a project that made sense."
Jamie Lynn was drawn to the role of Noreen Fitzgibbons, a young nurse who falls pregnant after an affair with Chris Klein's character, Dr. Bill Townsend, because she could relate to so much of her TV alter ego's story.
"It didn't even feel like acting," she explains. "Although it was nerve-racking to get back in front of the camera, this felt very natural for me.
"I remember being 16 years old, being pregnant in a small town. And then on top of it, the whole world was watching. Don't get me wrong, I didn't view myself as a victim. And with Noreen, it was important to not play the victim either. She put herself in a compromising situation. She's a young girl who made some adult decisions and she's trying to take some responsibility for that. That was me, too."
And it wasn't just the Fitzgibbons parallels which struck a chord with Jamie Lynn - the fictional town shares the same name as the Spears family's estate in Louisiana, while her eldest child is called Maddie - just like the main character, played by JoAnna Garcia Swisher.
"There were so many little nods from the universe, telling me that this is what I was supposed to be doing," she says.
"Number one, Serenity being the name of the town. That's a big part of my life, that word in general. Also, we shot in this small town (in Covington, Georgia) that happened to be where my first music producer's wife is from. Her mother came in and watched Ivey (her two-year-old daughter) for me one night while I was on set, because I knew them. It was just so bizarre, but in a cool way.
"Everything literally was just meant to be."
Season one of "Sweet Magnolias" premiered on Netflix on Tuesday, May 19.