Sally Hawkins, Catherine Keener Join FX's Charlie Kaufman Comedy

Hawkins is set as a series regular, while Keener will guest-star if "How and Why" goes to series.
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP; Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Sally Hawkins, left, and Catherine Keener

FX has enlisted two more Academy Award nominees for its Charlie Kaufman comedy pilot.

Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) and Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich, Capote) have boarded the cable network's How and Why, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

How & Why, which was ordered to pilot in March 2013, tells the story of a man who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works but is otherwise clueless about life.

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Oscar nominee John Hawkes (Winter's Bone) will star as Goodman Hesselman, host of the How & Why show at the center of the comedy. After losing his passion for the show, he is replaced by a younger host and relocates to a different town to start a similar program with significantly lower stature. Michael Cera (Arrested Development) will portray Mendelson, Goodman's new boss.

Should the pilot earn a series order, Hawkins -- following lengthy negotiations -- would be a series regular and play Yvonne Hesselman, Goodman's wife and the mother of their triplets. The demise of her husband's show has put a strain on their marriage, and the couple is pretending that everything is fine. Keener will guest-star as Alice, though further details about her character are being kept under wraps.

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For Hawkins, repped by ICM Partners, Conway van Gelder Grant and Principal Entertainment, the role would be her first U.S. television series regular part. Keener, who worked with Kaufman on Synechdoche, New York; Adaptation; and Being John Malkovich, is repped by Gersh and Special Artists Agency.

Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) will write and direct the FX Productions pilot and executive produce alongside Anthony Bregman (Synechdoche, New York; Eternal Sunshine). The pilot marks Kaufman's return to half-hour comedy following Fox's Ned & Stacey, which ended its two-season run in 1997.

Production on How and Why begins in the spring in North Carolina. 

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