March 17, 2014 12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Fruitvale Station's' Melonie Diaz to Star in HBO's 'Laughs Unlimited'
HBO's Laughs Unlimited drama has cast its lead as it inches closer toward a formal pilot order.
Fruitvale Station Independent Spirit Award nominee Melonie Diaz has nabbed the starring role in the drama from Oren Moverman (The Messenger), The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Laughs Unlimited (working title) centers on Billie Crown (Diaz), who discovers that after 15 months as a combat medic in Afghanistan, "real life" is just as perilous as war. Duty as a Sacramento cop offers the same dangers and thrills as combat, and repairing relationships with her husband and young daughter is as difficult as saving a comrade after an IED attack. Billie Crown is the new normal -- wife, mother and combat vet.
In addition to Fruitvale, the Gersh and Thruline-repped Diaz recently wrapped production on The Cobbler. Her TV credits include episodes of Girls, Person of Interest and Nip/Tuck.
Laughs is executive produced by Moverman (Rampart), Anthony Swofford (Jarhead), Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Jennifer Beals (The L Word), The Donners Co.'s Jack Leslie and Greenlight Management's Adena Chawke. Moverman and Swofford will pen the script.
While the drama has yet to garner a formal pilot order, Diaz's casting continues to push Laughs in the right direction while HBO continues to develop the script and work on a budget for the project.