Charlie Kaufman’s new FX comedy pilot, How And Why, will see him reuniting with at least one frequent creative collaborator, as Catherine Keener signed on to a role in the pilot yesterday. Should the pilot go to series (which, c’mon, it’s going to), Keener will play a recurring guest role on the series, which will free her up to pursue other things, like that season of True Detective we’re writing in our heads for her to star in with Angela Bassett. How And Why also seriously upped its “fast-talking brunettes” quotient by adding recent Oscar nominee (for Blue Jasmine) Sally Hawkins in a role that will be a series regular, should the show go forward. FX announced back in January that How And Why, which marks Kaufman’s first foray into TV since the end of the much-lamented (by us) Ned And Stacey, would be headlined by John Hawkes and Michael Cera. (Kaufman actually also contributed a story to Moral Orel, if IMDB is to be believed, but that work went uncredited.)
Kaufman, who won an Oscar for his screenplay for Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and was nominated for writing Adaptation and Being John Malkovich, has worked with Keener previously on Malkovich (for which Keener also received an Oscar nomination) and Kaufman’s directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York. Keener, who has popped up in so many interesting American films of the past couple decades that you could just watch movies starring her and be very happy for weeks, marks her first TV work since 1996’s HBO TV movie If These Walls Could Talk. Hawkins, whom we should really be just as excited about because she’s awesome, makes her American TV debut with How And Why, but she’s popped up frequently in British television, including in adaptations of Persuasion and Fingersmith. Hawkins is perhaps still best known on these shores for her frequent collaborations with director Mike Leigh, and if FX gave him a TV show for some reason, we might just spontaneously combust from happiness. Think about it, FX. You’ve been trying to get rid of us for a while.