There’s no maybe about it: Alia Shawkat is awesome. The actress best known for playing Maeby Funke on Arrested Development is so much more than that. With roles in the Joan Jett-inspired The Runaways — opposite Kristen Stewart — and as Ellen Page‘s loveable loyal friend in Whip It, Shawkat continues to find a way into our hearts.
Photos by Lindsey Byrnes
In a new interview with Black Book, Shawkat dishes on the challenges she faces after being pigeonholed as angsty teenager Maeby and the difficulties young actresses face in finding unique roles in Hollywood.
Shawkat said she’s no longer interested in playing the “begrudged angry teenager” — “I did that once and it got canceled, so I rather not do it again” — and that it’s “hard to find roles that aren’t repetitive.”
After working with Page — and Shawn Tillman aka Har Mar Superstar — on 2009′s Whip It, the trio teamed for a viral hit cover of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Belevin’ “ and opted to team for Stitch N’ Bitch, which is now in development at HBO.
“We decided to go to Amsterdam for 10 days, and we just went there and wrote this show, the three of us, and we got inspired through herbal substances and just being in a new country, and we wrote a pilot and never thought anything would happen, and then HBO really liked it,” she told Black Book.
With Page’s help, the trio took the project to HBO and “created a pretty stupid hipster versions of ourselves,” that follows the duo’s move from Williamsburg to Silver Lake, Calif., and sees Shawkat’s character spending “my two gay dads’ money.”
The actress also shares that she’s come close to getting day jobs between gigs, and is working on writing a cartoon show to put her love of drawing to use. “I love drawing just a much as acting, so I’ve been able to go back and forth,” she said.
But no interview with any former Arrested Development cast member is complete without an update on the movie project: “I just hope it happens soon because people are going to start wondering,” she said. “Anyone I talk to that’s in the cast is really game. It’s about scheduling, but it’s gotten to the point where we never knew so many people would be interested, that I think if it were to happen, people would put their schedules aside to get it done.”
Shawkat can next be seen this year in The Oranges, in which she plays Vanessa, Hugh Laurie and Catherine Keener‘s bitter, selfish and angry daughter who also narrates the story.
I don’t know about you, but the idea of seeing Page and Shawkat poke fun at themselves — and hipster culture — is a can’t miss idea, especially on cable. Are you keeping up with Alia?