HBO is seriously on a roll. Just as “Girls” and “Veep” weaseled their way into my DVR lineup, the network has announced that it is fast-tracking development for a new show that has me absolutely giddy. The as-of-yet-unnamed series will star the amazing Catherine Keener (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Cyrus”), who will also produce, and will be written and directed by mind-bending auteur Charlie Kaufman (“Adaptation,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”).
Keener and Kaufman first teamed up for “Being John Malkovich” in 1999, and have worked together many times over the years. Now, they are tag-teaming on this project, with Kaufman serving as executive producer. The show sounds appropriately quirky. As Deadline reports, it is “an exploration of one day in a woman’s life and how the events leading up to it can affect, or not, the reality in which she lives.”
I firmly believe that Keener is one of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood. Honestly, I just can’t get enough of her. After the jump, nine reasons this actress is truly the bee’s knees.
1. She got her start as an assistant casting director in New York, and somehow managed to spin it into an acting career. Oh, did I mention that she managed a McDonald’s before that?
2. As a half-Irish and half-Lebanese woman, she is thoroughly stunning, while not looking like every other woman in Hollywood.
3. She was the object of both Cameron Diaz and John Cusack’s affection in “Being John Malkovich.”
4. When she received an Oscar nomination for the part, she said, “Well, the day I got nominated, I had jury duty, a D.U.I. case. The morning the nominations were announced, I reported to jury duty as scheduled. That was good; it gave me perspective. If you start feeling too important, it’s always good to go sit in a jury for a D.U.I. charge.”
5. Keener has a very unusual voice, which always sounds so in command. No wonder she was selected to be the voice of OnStar last year.
6. She was kind enough to give Steve Carrell a chance in “The 40 Year Old Virgin.”
7. Speaking of age 40, that’s when Keener had her first child, with ex-husband Dermot Mulroney. Did I mention that Keener is 53 now? I would never have guessed that.
8. She played Harper Lee in the film “Capote.” Apparently, while Lee did not cooperate with the making of the film, she did call Keener after to say how much she loved her performance.
9. And wow, this quote really sums up Keener’s appeal: “I like being a supporting actress. I like to come and go in the film. The interesting characters are very few if you want to be the lead.”