09/10/2012 10:44 am ET Updated Sep 11, 2012

Mae Whitman Of 'Parenthood' Talks Breaking Into Acting

Known for her portrayal of the strong-willed Amber on "Parenthood" and not-so-interesting Anne on "Arrested Development," Mae Whitman was always an impressive actress ... even at age two!

"My mom had an audition for a commercial when I was about two and a half, and I ran in crying and interrupted her," Whitman explained to The Gaming Liberty of her big break. "They thought I was cute so they offered me a commercial role. My mom was skeptical and a bit nervous about the child actor thing, but I was extremely bossy and convinced them I wanted to try it.

And ever since then, I’ve just felt really at home on a set, and it feels really second nature to me to play a zillion different people within one lifetime."

Whitman isn't the only actor on NBC's heart-wrenching "Parenthood" whose performance has gotten attention from critics. Jason Ritter, who plays Sarah's (Lauren Graham) fiance Mark Cyr earned an Emmy nod.

"He's the most wonderful guy and such a wonderful actor," Graham said of Ritter on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno." "We feel proud, as if we're a small Olympic country who got one guy who got a medal. We got our one athlete in."

Season 4 of "Parenthood" premieres on Tues., Sept. 11 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

Emmy Nominees 2012