Thursday, June 24, 2010

What Did Alia Shawkat Do?

"Arrested Development" fans have it tough. They knew, pretty much from the beginning, that they were investing their affections in a show that was perpetually on the bubble. That didn't stop it from hurting when the network would switch its time spots, wait until the last second to renew, reduce the number of episodes each season, and eventually blow off the final four episodes in one two hour orgy on a Friday night when nobody would be watching. The heartbreak is on-going, as fans are tossed scraps of news about a possible movie adaptation; one week it's on, the next week it's off, and repeat.

One of the greatest triumphs for "Arrested Development" fans is the career of Michael Cera. Post-"Arrested," his profile skyrocketed. He's got a great track record of critical and financial hits, and his name is a draw for movie executives and audiences alike. Which leads me to wonder why the same can't be said of his "Arrested Development" love interest (err... cousin), Alia Shawkat.

With every bit the acting talent, comedic timing, and unconventional good looks, there's no reason her post-"Arrested" career shouldn't have taken a similar trajectory to Cera's. Instead, she's been relegated to supporting roles in movies nobody sees, like Bart Got a Room, Whip It, and The Runaways. Do we blame her agent? Or do we blame a studio system that doesn't know what to do with a girl who is neither supermodel hot nor "fat best friend" material? Maybe if she did a couple seasons on "Saturday Night Live," casting agents would know exactly what to do with her.

At least she's working. But she deserves better. Hollywood... let's work on that.


  1. Not too many movies star normal 'girl-next-door' actresses any more. Just off the top of my head, Molly Ringwald was probably the last.
    Maybe Ellen Page would fit that bill, but what's going to happen when she can't play a teenager anymore?

  2. TOTALLY agree! She's so awesome, she deserves more work!

    I just saw "Youth In Revolt" last night, by the way. LOVED it! I'm guessing you've seen that, right?

  3. Why do movies have to be huge, hollywood, and heavily exposed for it to be a decent, or even brilliant artistic endeavor for alia? you are feeding what's already a huge problem, here. have you even seen this movies that you mentioned? would you rather she just make spider man 4, and peak and crash in one year?

  4. Anonymous - I'm afraid you're missing the point of what I'm saying. I'm a big fan of Alia Shawkat, and I want more people to share in that fandom with me. Right now, when I mention her name, 99% of people respond, "Who?" Michael Cera does not have this problem; and he didn't need to be in Spider-Man in order to get the attention he deserves.

    I wouldn't want Alia to be in the next Transformers movie. But I do want her to get better roles (yes, I've seen the movies I mentioned in this article, and she wasn't able to utilize half her talent in them), and I want more people to be aware of how fantastic she is. I think you and I are on the same team with that.

    Next time, leave your name. It looks cowardly to hide behind the Anonymous tag.


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