Catherine Keener is an American stage and screen actress. She has portrayed gloomy and rebellious yet hopeful women in both independent films and supporting roles in major studio movies. In her earlier career, she was known for her portrayal of a suicidal sex offender in the movie “PEOPLE POET”; in addition, she also appeared in the award-winning film “Doubt”. These early roles helped pave the way for Keener’s success in portraying more complex characters in her later work.
In the movie “DIRE STRIPS”, Keener again played an independent film heroine, this time in the starring role. The film portrays the life of a young girl from a poor family who ends up getting lured into the arms of a rich young man. After getting captured by this man, the girl is left with psychological scars as she witnesses her mother’s murder. In the end, however, she flees the scene, not knowing that the man she was just acquainted with was the father of one of her future children.
In the movie “HEART QUEUEA”, Keener plays the role of a vivacious, flirty, and brilliant Broadway performer who ends up falling in love with an aging Spanish playwright. The late quartet of David Bowie, Janis Martin, and John Lennon played a pivotal role in changing the face of British and international theater. Keener’s contribution to this transformation can be gauged from the fact that David Bowie chose her to perform with him in his album “MOBILE MAN”. John Lennon, on the other hand, thought of Keener as his girlfriend for several years before their relationship was finally revealed in the song title “Penny Lane”.
One iteresting aspect of Catherine Keener’s career that did not receive much attention when it was released was her part in the Miami Vice series that starred Keanu Reeves as a former CIA agent turned anti-hero. The casting director for this film saw some potential in Keener because of her beauty, and this led to her being offered the role of Rachel Dawes, a sexy and strong Miami vice detective. It is interesting to note that despite the fact that most people think of Keener as a leading lady in movies such as Brighton Beach, Miami Vice was actually directed by Lucio Betti, who was best known for his Italian horror films. Regardless, despite being a lesser known actor, one must applaud Keener for breaking through in the annals of American independent film.
Keener also had a supporting role in the award winning documentary “COLLUS OF LOVE” about the breakup between The Beatles and their fan club The Fab Four. She played the rebellious vocalist screaming in the background as she thwarts Solange even though she knows that her friend is being taken advantage of. This role earned her two more Emmy Awards along with a nomination for an additional Oscar. While filming COLLUS OF LOVE, Keener also appeared in the film Eat Pray Love alongside ex-husband Rod Stewart. Her role in this film helped her build up a body of work which would earn her the reputation as one of the best supporting actresses of all time.
The accolades don’t stop there however; Keener was later nominated for an additional Oscar for her work in PROTEAN, a biopic about the singer Madonna. As you can imagine, having such an accomplished resume, which spans over thirty years of acting, should only be scratching the surface of Catherine Keener’s movieography. However, there is one more film that should definitely be added to the top ten: HER ONLY LOVE. Directed by Richard Linkman, the film stars Christopher Walken, Edward Norton, Kevin Spacey, Dabney Coleman, and Meg Ryan.