For Robin Weigert, upcoming ‘Deadwood’ movie is making for a ‘spectacular moment’

by Joseph Longo

On Deadwood, Robin Weigert played the hard-drinking, foul-mouthed Calamity Jane, known to be one of the toughest frontierspeople in the Wild West. Now that HBO has officially greenlit a movie follow-up to its short-lived 2004 series, Weigert says she’s excited as ever to return to anything-but-plain Jane.

[Deadwood] has somehow come back around and is part of what is making this feel like such a spectacular moment,” Weigert tells EW.

She recently met with creator David Milch of the show about a corrupt late-1800s South Dakota town to cold read a few potential new lines. Though Weigert has yet to see a full-fledged script, she’s eager to find her anti-heroine over 10 years later. The veteran actress, who received her first and only Emmy nomination to date for her portrayal of the real-life Jane, has never returned to a character after such a gap in time.

“I would imagine I’ll find her very much where I left her, except everything might feel a little bit more urgent,” she says. “She might be even deeper into alcohol.”

The real Calamity Jane reportedly died penniless and a lifelong alcoholic, but Weigert says her life was filled with more than just mayhem. Underneath the foul-mouthed front, Weigert says she has an overflowing heart. She aided the sick affiliated by a smallpox plague — a story line explored on Deadwood. Weigert hopes this side of Jane will shine through in the movie.

“Jane is not at the end in the story we’re telling,” she says. “Her passion and compassion will still be leading her.”

Weigert is on a hot streak, with her “emotional landscape” full of peaks. She’s costarring as self-help guru Verena Baptist on AMC’s Dietland and returning as Nicole Kidman’s therapist in season 2 of HBO’s Big Little Lies. Jane, who is a nice contrast to the more “cerebral” ladies, brings even more energy into her world. Weigert adds, “There’s all of this life suddenly in my career, and it’s really exciting.”

Robin Weigert expands her gallery of distinctive TV characters in ‘Dietland’

Los Angeles Times

Robin Weigert sees parallels between her first acting role as the fairy tale villain in her elementary school’s production of “Hansel and Gretel” and the silken-voiced therapist she plays on AMC’s “Dietland.”

The dramedy, an adaptation of Sarai Walker’s 2015 satirical novel, revolves around Alicia “Plum” Kettle (Joy Nash), a ghostwriter for high-powered magazine editor Kitty Montgomery (Julianna Margulies). Weighing in at 300 pounds, the insecure and withdrawn Plum is tormented by her body image and is saving up for weight-loss surgery when she meets Verena Baptist (Weigert), the scion of a weight-loss empire who runs a commune of sorts for women called Calliope House.

Baptist, who uses tough love and unconventional methods, is “a self-styled feminist Obi-Wan Kenobi,” Weigert says. Whether she’ll turn her newly woke Jedi knights into Darth Vaders for the #MeToo era remains to be seen, however.

“Is she a good witch or a bad witch?” Weigert asked recently at her West Hollywood home, comparing her childhood character to her current role. “She definitely has an agenda.”

The “heiress with a mission,” as Weigert describes her, is the latest in a string of distinctive roles for Weigert, who critics and costars say doesn’t just step into the shoes of her characters — she inhabits them.

Her impressive gallery includes the hard-drinking, foul-mouthed Calamity Jane from HBO’s “Deadwood,” a disillusioned lesbian mom who moonlights as a sex worker in the 2013 indie film “Concussion” and a savvy lawyer for an outlaw motorcycle gang in “Sons of Anarchy.”