Directed, written and produced by Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman, How and Why is easily shaping up to be the most anticipated TV pilot of the year. Oddly not yet ordered to series by FX, the single camera comedy begins production in April, and has so far piqued the interest of four tremendously talented thesps: Michael Cera, John Hawkes and, wait for it, Catherine Keener and Sally Hawkins.
Fresh off her career-changing, Oscar-nominated turn in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” Hawkins would be a series regular were How and Why to get a long-term commitment from the network behind such hits as Justified, American Horror Story or Louie, as well as duds like Anger Management and Wilfred.
Meanwhile, Keener, who’s an Academy Award nominee herself (twice, including for Charlie Kaufman’s “Being John Malkovich”), is on board as a guest star, though it’s unclear exactly for how long.
Both actresses have a number of big-screen projects in the pipeline, with Keener’s “Blackbird” currently in production, and Hawkins’ “Godzilla”, “Paddington” and “X Plus Y” in post-production.
As for Kaufman, he’s ready to make a TV splash for the first time in nearly two decades, but he’s working on a sophomore feature-length directorial effort too, called “Anomalisa”. How and Why will reportedly revolve around “a man who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works but is otherwise clueless about life”, with storyline details otherwise scarce. Oh, well, FX had me at “created by Charlie Kaufman”