Catherine Keener

BATD ON Jun 28, 2010 AT 2:19 pm

Catherine Keener

Catherine Keener

Acclaimed for her many great supporting actress roles, Catherine Keener wasn’t always planning on being an actress. With a bit of a wild streak growing up, she was expelled in 11th grade at her Catholic school in Miami, Florida. However, she later returned to school a bit more focused and was able to earn high enough grades to be accepted into Wheaton College in Massachusetts. It was there that Catherine tried her hand at acting. She ended up taking a theatre class on a whim after being unable to get into a photography class. Clearly enjoying the stage, she ended up performing in various stage productions while in College, however she still wasn’t set on being an actor.

After graduating in 1983, Catherine moved to New York and got a job as an assistant for casting agent Gail Einstadt. When Gail later relocated to Los Angeles, Catherine followed and decided to seriously give acting a try. With the help of her boss, she began booking small roles, including a one-liner in her first film About Last Night. While struggling to find success, the stars aligned when she met her future husband Dermot Mulroney on the set of Survival Quest. She then went on to book more prominent roles, including a Seinfeld episode, where she played the girlfriend of Jerry Seinfeld who painted an infamous portrait of Kramer, as well as a part in Johnny Suede with then unknown Brad Pitt, where she landed her first Independent Spirt Award nomination for Best Lead Actress.

Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt in Please Give

Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt in Please Give

Her career has steadily been rising, and in 2000 she got her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Being John Malcovich, followed by another nomination in 2005 for Capote. She has since been in many critically acclaimed films, including comedy genius 40 Year-Old Virgin, Where the Wild Things Are and Into the Wild. She quite likes being a supporting actress, and has said “I like to come and go in the film. The interesting characters are very few if you want to be the lead, and they depend on you being beautiful. Since I’m not interested in those parts, the pressure’s off, in a way.” As an actress dedicated to interesting, real characters, she has given us a steady presence in cinemas as the go-to actress for relatable women.

Unfortunently, her 15-year marriage came to an abrupt end in 2007 when she divorced her husband Dermot Mulroney, which came about at an interesting time as her close friends Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, whom they often double dated with, announced their split at the same time.

To see some of her latest work, you can catch her in theatres now starring in the new film Please Give, alongside Oliver Platt and Amanda Peet.

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