Alia Shawkat in Conversation
In Melbourne for the Ethan Hawke-directed biopic, Blaze, which screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival, the funny and multi-talented Shawkat spoke to Lorin Clarke about her life, career and charting her own creative course.
It's almost like that episode of Arrested Development when Maeby accompanies her father to an audition, and ends up becoming a film exec: Alia Shawkat is calling the shots.
Maeby Fünke, the droll teenage con-artist, was of course the role that made Shawkat famous. In the years since the original Arrested Development series wrapped, Shawkat has sought out offbeat roles in some great film and TV productions – including Whip It, Ruby Sparks, Drunk History and hilarious guest appearances on Portlandia and Broad City. But more recently, she's been racking up writing and producing credits.
In the first season of cult TV comedy Search Party, she was both star and producer. For her recent film, Duck Butter, she's star, executive producer and co-writer. Alongside her film and TV work, Shawkat dabbles in jazz singing and is an accomplished painter.
MIFF Talks presented by the Age and Melbourne International Film Festival.
Alia Shawkat is a highly sought after actress in both film and television. She most recently was seen starring in the second season of TBS’ breakout hit genre-bending mystery comedy, Search Party. The show, which premiered at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival as part of the Official TV Selection category, was called one of the Best TV Shows of 2016 by Vanity Fair, Vulture and BuzzFeed. Shawkat received critical praise for her performance as the show's lead, Dory.
Shawkat features in the independent film Duck Butter, which she co-wrote with Miguel Arteta and executive produced alongside Arteta and the Duplass Brothers. She also stars opposite songwriter and musician Ben Dickey in the indie biopic Blaze, directed by Ethan Hawke.
Well known for her role of Maeby Fünke on FOX’s Emmy Award-winning cult comedy series Arrested Development, Shawkat recently revisited the role with all new episodes of the series for Netflix. She has also recently appeared on Amazon Studios' critical-acclaimed comedy Transparent, and guest-starred on Drunk History, Portlandia, Broad City, and in a recurring role on HBO’s Getting On. In cinema, she starred opposite Janet McTeer in Amber Tamblyn’s directorial debut, Paint It Black.
Born in Palm Springs, California, Shawkat currently lives in Los Angeles. Off screen, she is a talented jazz singer, pianist and accomplished painter and illustrator.