When Rosie O’Donnell first appears in I Know This Much Is True, it takes a few seconds for your brain to adjust. We’ve been inundated with two sad Mark Ruffalos, one depressingly horny Juliette Lewis, and a horrifying act of self-mutilation (this is from the Blue Valentine guy, after all). And now here’s Rosie as a hard-nosed social worker setting one of the Ruffalos straight. And she’s not only holding her own but… blowing him off the screen?
“My first scene on the show was with [Ruffalo] in the office and it’s a 12-page scene!” she tells me. “I was so worried, because I’d never had that many lines in a movie before in a row. Usually, the friend comes in—ba-dum—and then you’re out!”
At 58, O’Donnell has entered an exciting new phase of her career: character actress. It began on SMILF with her turn as Tutu, the outré mother of Frankie Shaw’s Bridgette. But after two seasons (and rave reviews), the series was abruptly canceled following allegations of misconduct against creator/star Shaw. I Know This Much Is True sees the comedy icon and longtime Trump foe flexing her dramatic muscles like never before.
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