Anne Heche dives into ‘Cedar Rapids'

Anne Heche is busier now than at any time since the 1990s, but she might be the least surprised of anyone by her newfound career surge.
BY GEORGE LANG glang@opubco.com Published: March 11, 2011
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Between her supporting role on HBO's “Hung” and her critically acclaimed appearance in the new comedy “Cedar Rapids,” Anne Heche is busier now than at any time since the 1990s, but she might be the least surprised of anyone by her newfound career surge. In Heche's view, it all comes down to not giving up.

“In a way, it's kind of perseverance — like, you know, ‘I'm still here and just not going away,'” Heche said in a phone interview while having extensions wove into her hair to play Jessica in the upcoming third season of “Hung.” “I just think I'm lucky. I found some projects that I really wanted to do, some things the artists involved wanted to me to be a part of that we merged our creative brains around. And of course, work begets work, so I think I got into a really wonderful situation where I got on a roll, and it couldn't feel better. I've had a really wonderful couple of years.”

Heche had recently ended her two-year run on the ABC series “Men in Trees” when she learned about “Hung,” a comedy-drama about a Detroit high school coach named Ray (played by Thomas Jane), who, thanks to certain physical attributes, finds a sideline as an in-demand male escort. Heche's Jessica left Ray to marry a plastic surgeon, but she soon found that her post-Ray plans were anything but certain.

Heche originally missed her shot at “Hung” due to some unfortunate scheduling, but then the show's producers decided to recast Jessica. At that point, Heche was nine months pregnant.

“So I just kind of rolled myself into the room and said, ‘Please please please, give it to me,'” she said. “So they reshot the pilot's scenes with me, and we had such a great time.”

Producer-director Alexander Payne (“Sideways,” “About Schmidt”), who executive produces “Hung,” was a key ally for Heche when “Cedar Rapids” director Miguel Arteta was casting Joan Ostrowski-Fox, the married mother of two who lets her crimson hair down with naive insurance agent Tim Lippe (Ed Helms) at an annual convention. Heche said she beat out several A-list actresses for the role thanks to heavy campaigning on her part and the endorsement of both Payne and Arteta (“Chuck & Buck”).

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