Inside Holly Hunter’s Oscar-maybe ‘Big Sick’ performance: “This Is totally different”

In a career that’s spanned 35 years, 60 projects, an Oscar, a Golden Globe, two Emmys, and one of Pixar’s greatest films, it’s not often that Holly Hunter gets to do something new.

Then she got cast in a Judd Apatow-produced rom-com.

The Big Sick, out this weekend, was written by Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon. Nanjiani stars as himself in the film, which focuses on the harrowing period of his relationship with Gordon just after they’d broken up and she fell into a coma. (The film is charming and uplifting, we swear.)

Zoe Kazan plays Emily in the film and Hunter her mother, Beth. Beth butts head—at least initially—with Kumail, the man who had so recently broken her daughter’s heart, while they hold vigil (alongside Ray Romano, who plays Emily’s dad, Terry) over the girl they all love.

Over her career, Hunter has played a Texas cheerleader-murdering mom, a mute mid-19th century piano player, and one of those politician supporting roles in superhero movies always played by actors of gravitas. But she’s never acted in a film that was written by and starring the same person who the movie’s traumatizing story is about.

“It’s so weird, and you’re the first person to ask me about that,” Hunter says, after offering some tea and raving about the view from the Manhattan Four Seasons hotel where The Big Sick cast was gathered for interviews.

She’s played characters based on real people before, of course. And once had starred in a film co-written by a co-star, 2003’s Thirteen. (A film that, coincidentally, earned her most recent of four Oscar nominations; the “O” word has been whispered about Hunter’s Big Sick performance since its rapturous first screening at the Sundance Film Festival.)

“I’ve done a bunch of true stories before, but this is totally different,” Hunter says.

Read more at The Daily Beast.