The actress was a child prodigy who was on Celebrity Jeopardy! – twice!
Credit: Chelsea Lauren/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Nashville may be canceled, but newcomer Alicia Witt has plenty of other talents to fall back on – in fact, she may just be one of the smartest actresses in Hollywood.

Before she was an actress, Witt was a child prodigy and classical pianist. She was cast on her first film, David Lynch‘s Dune after his casting director saw her recite Shakespeare on That’s Incredible when she was just 5 years old.

“Childhood was wacky!” Witt tells PEOPLE with a laugh. “When I was little I played piano and traveled all over competing, but I knew by the time I was 14 that I didn’t want to pursue that as a career. I wanted to write and sing my own songs.”

Witt eventually released an album of her own while continuing to act in film and TV and show off her smarts on shows like Celebrity Jeopardy!

“The first time I was on it I won, but the second time I was beat by Fred Savage, who was going to Stanford at the time,” she says.

Witt, who was in the other popular Lynch vehicle Twin Peaks will also appear in Showtime’s upcoming reboot.

“It was really odd. In some ways, being back there felt like time hadn’t moved forward at all,” Witt says of heading back to Washington to reprise her role. “I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody while I was doing it. Now I can finally talk about it!”

Nashville series finale airs Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on ABC, and Twin Peaks is slated to hit Showtime in 2017.