Laura Linney knows, for all the stage and screen work she’s done, the special demands of being a television series star.
But she knows the rewards, too. She won a Golden Globe Award for her first season as cancer patient Cathy Jamison in Showtime’s “The Big C,” which begins its second round Monday, June 27. Linney is deep into filming the new episodes, dealing with the effects of the treatment Cathy long resisted … and not just on her, but also on others including her husband (Oliver Platt), son (Gabriel Basso) and brother (John Benjamin Hickey).
“It’s a lot, there’s no question,” Linney tells Zap2it on a day when she’s been in literally every scene filmed. “Still, I never feel I’m able to do as much as I would like to. You get used to the pace. You sort of have to, or else you would combust. I really try to take it one scene, one day or one episode at a time.
“I also have responsibilities outside acting, but I’m enjoying this, and I feel like I’m learning a lot. And it’s not as physical as some of the movies I’ve made.”
For its new season, “The Big C” has enlisted such guest stars as Alan Alda, Parker Posey and Hugh Dancy. Having brought her close friend and frequent co-star Liam Neeson on board last season, Linney has something to do with such casting, since she’s also an executive producer of the show.
“I have a little bit of a say,” confirms the three-time Emmy winner (“Wild Iris,” “Frasier,” “John Adams”), “so it’s nice to be able to put in the pot the names of people I’ve worked with over the years and really admire … as well as people I haven’t worked with and have always wanted to. Hopefully, we make the material good enough that they want to come.”
Despite Linney’s long hours making “The Big C,” she won’t be taking a vacation anytime soon. In July, she starts filming her next movie: “Hyde Park on the Hudson,” in which she’ll star for director Roger Michell (“Morning Glory”) with Bill Murray in the story of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and a distant cousin he became romantically involved with.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Linney says. “I get the opportunity to go be a student of history for a while, which is a lot of fun.” She adds she’s “excited” about teaming with Murray — “”I’ve always been an enormous fan of his” — and she terms filmmaker Michell, who counts “Notting Hill” among his other credits, “incredibly smart and accessible. I’m just looking forward to the entire experience.”