Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV and awards coverage.
By her own admission, Holly Hunter has never been a traditional star. For one thing, she never tried to cash in on her fame and cache’ by forming her own production company and becoming a creator. That was true even after she earned her first of five Oscar nominations for Broadcast News in 1988, or after winning one for The Piano in 1994. Hunter has also atypically found comfort in shifting between leading lady and character actress, as well as between film and television. In fact, the same year she shot The Piano (1993), she was starring as the lead in HBO’s The Positively True Adventures Of The Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom. That role earned Hunter her second of two Emmy wins, the first having come in 1989 for her work in the NBC telepic Roe vs. Wade.
Jane Campion‘s limited series Top Of The Lake debuts on the Sundance Channel on March 18. The seven-part drama screened as a premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January, a first for a longform series. Campion wrote the BBC Two/UKTV/Sundance Channel co-production with Gerard Lee and directed along with Garth Davis. Elisabeth Moss stars as a detective investigating the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant girl, who is also the daughter of a local drug lord. Holly Hunter, Peter Mullan and David Wenham also star in the New Zealand-shot series. Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s Speech) and Philippa Campbell (Black Sheep) are producers. Here’s the trailer:
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At today’s panel on the Sundance Channel movie Top Of The Lake, actress Holly Hunter talked about what it was like being reunited with director Jane Campion, who directed her in The Piano some 20 years ago. Hunter, who appeared on the panel with producer Iain Canning and co-star Elisabeth Moss, said she and Campion have maintained their friendship through the decades. “It’s an indescribable thing to work with Jane to begin with,” Hunter said. “She’s such an utterly silly persona, and she brings that silliness to the set, and she has wisdom that I think is hard won in her life… her sense of humor is equal to her wisdom.” She added that working with Campion is like “falling in love with somebody, but you are falling… it is deep and dark and fun. You can’t say no to Jane.”
The production was shot in New Zealand, and producer and cast waxed rhapsodic about the beauty of the landscape. But Canning joked that when he was reading the Top Of The Lake script on the plane, he was asked: “Oh, is that The Hobbit?”
Sundance Channel has closed a deal with BBC Worldwide to co-produce and distribute in the U.S. Jane Campion’s Top Of The Lake miniseries for BBC Two. Oscar winner Campion (The Piano) and Australian director Garth Davis will direct the seven-part mini written by Campion and Gerard Lee (Sweetie). Joining star Elisabeth Moss are Holly Hunter, who won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Campion’s The Piano; Peter Mullan (War Horse); and David Wenham (The Lord of the Rings). Oscar winners Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s Speech) of See-Saw Films and Philippa Campbell of Escapade Pictures are producing Top Of The Lake, which will be made available in both seven-hour (with commercials) and six-hour (without) formats. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss is in final negotiations to play the lead in BBC Two’s six-hour miniseries Top Of The Lake, from the Oscar-winning trio of writer/director Jane Campion (The Piano) and producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s Speech). The project centers on Robin Griffin (Moss), a detective investigating the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant girl, who is the daughter of a local drug lord. Campion is set to direct from a script she co-wrote with Gerard Lee, with Sherman and Canning producing. Filming is tentatively slated to begin in New Zealand in January. The limited series doesn’t have an U.S. network yet, with Sundance Channel rumored as a possibility. Moss is currently in production on Season 5 of Mad Men, which will debut in March. She will do Top Of The Lake during her hiatus from the AMC period drama that has earned her 3 Emmy nominations. On the feature side, Moss, repped by WME and manager Gay Ribisi, will next be seen in Lawrence Kasdan’s Darling Companion as well as On the Road.