Greer ‘driven’ to chal­lenge her­self

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - By Rick Bentley

LOS AN­GE­LES — Judy Greer’s lat­est two projects are at the op­po­site ends of the act­ing scale. She stars in the based-on-a-truestory film “Driven,” and then can be seen in the sec­ond sea­son of the Show­time se­ries “Kid­ding” when it re­turns Nov. 3. One is about a ge­nius who reaches too far, the other about a ge­nius who’s los­ing his grip.

“Driven” is set in the early 1980s when the au­to­mo­bile world’s mas­ter­mind, John DeLorean (Lee Pace), is try­ing to make his dream car a re­al­ity. When Delorean Mo­tor Com­pany be­gins to face mas­sive fi­nan­cial prob­lems, DeLorean turns to some ques­tion­able peo­ple to help save the busi­ness. The des­per­a­tion leads DeLorean to a plan to get in­volved with drug traf­fick­ing. What DeLorean doesn’t know is the plan is a st­ing op­er­a­tion by the

FBI pitched by in­for­mant Jim Hoffman (Jason Sudeikis).

Greer, who plays Hoffman’s wife, Ellen, rec­og­nizes the dif­fer­ences be­tween the act­ing jobs but knows there is some­thing sim­i­lar about both.

“I al­ways feel a lit­tle bit like my roles are a part of me,” Greer says. “I do see my char­ac­ters in a lit­tle graph where I can see how this led to that. I can see where I played this scene one way and to­day I would play it dif­fer­ently.”

Ellen Hoffman is a don’task,

“I al­ways feel a lit­tle bit like my roles are a part of me.”

Mu­si­cian Gene Sim­mons is 70. Singer-song­writer Elvis Costello is 65. Di­rec­tor Tim Bur­ton is 61. Singer Billy Ray Cyrus is 58. Ac­tor Blair Un­der­wood is 55. Celebrity chef Rachael Ray is 51. Ac­tress Rachel Bilson is 38. Ac­tress Blake Lively is 32.

Aug. 25 birth­days:

don’t-tell kind of ’80s house­wife. She’s smart enough to know the life­style they are liv­ing is beyond their means but prefers not to know the de­tails.

On “Kid­ding,” Greer por­trays Jill, the ex-wife of Jeff/Mr. Pickles (Jim Car­rey), the host of a chil­dren’s TV show. The dark com­edy swirls around Mr. Pickles and those around him with se­ri­ous emo­tional and men­tal prob­lems. The sec­ond sea­son will fo­cus on the heal­ing process for ev­ery­one in the show.

“In Sea­son 1, my char­ac­ter was fo­cused on her au­ton­omy and sep­a­rat­ing her­self from the Pickles king­dom,” Greer says. “In this sea­son, she’s start­ing to come to terms with what that means. I feel she’s hav­ing a harder time un­der­stand­ing who she is sep­a­rated from the Pickles fam­ily.

“She’s ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some times when she is ques­tion­ing if she is mak­ing the right de­ci­sion or not. She’s fight­ing for Jeff to have some ex­pe­ri­ence of pain and loss like she has. In Sea­son 2, as he’s start­ing to do that, she feels a soft­ness and a love for him.”

Where her “Driven” char­ac­ter pre­ferred to be in the dark, Greer’s “Kid­ding” char­ac­ter pushes hard to gather as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble. The knowl­edge will help Jill get to the heal­ing process she needs.

“So one char­ac­ter wants to be dumb and happy, and the other char­ac­ter wants to shine light on the sit­u­a­tions and prob­lems,” Greer says.

JAY L. CLENDENIN/LOS AN­GE­LES TIMES

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