I'm not sure Alia Shawkat will ever find a role as well-suited to her as Arrested Development's Maeby Fuenke-- but then, I'm not sure anyone from that show will ever find a role so perfect either. RIP, Dr. Funke's 100% Natural Good-Time Family-Band Solution. Still, the actress has managed to do pretty well for herself popping up in indies where you didn't know she was in the cast, leaving room for the surprise "Hey, that's Maeby!" She played an Iowa hooker with a heart of gold in Cedar Rapids earlier this year, palled around with Ellen Page in the underrated Whip It, and was somewhat infamously third-billed in the Joan Jett biopic The Runaways despite having no lines. Now she's signed on for two more indies, and from the sound of it, in two more supporting roles that will leave room for those same pleasant surprises.
According to Variety Shawkat is joining two intriguing films, starting with the Fox Searchlight project He Loves Me then moving on to The Brass Teapot. He Loves Me is the one you might have been hearing about a lot lately-- it's first film from directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris since their breakout with Little Miss Sunshine, and reunites them with Paul Dano as a writer plagued with writer's block who manages to write his dream girl and make her come to life. The script was written by Dano's girlfriend, actress Zoe Kazan, and she'll also appear in the film, along with Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas and Deborah Ann Woll. Shawkat's role, according to Variety, will be a girl with a crush on Dano and an obsession with one of his literary characters-- maybe even the dream girl who comes to life?
The Brass Teapot sounds like a considerably smaller project, a "darkly comic morality tale" about a young couple who "steal a brass teapot that produces cash whenever somebody feels pain." Juno Temple and Michael Angarano, two young indie stalwarts in their own right, are already set to star (presumably as the couple), and Shawkat will play a friend of Temple's character. Sometimes playing the friend role seems like a raw deal, but Shawkat is quickly becoming an expert at it.
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