So many actors say they knew from an early age that they belonged onstage. But Amanda Peet actually hurled herself onto one -- while a production was in progress -- when she was 3.
"Luckily it was a children's play," says Peet, who stars in NBC's "Bent," premiering Wednesday, March 21.
In the sitcom, Peet plays Alex, a recently divorced mom whose ex is imprisoned for securities fraud. She's renovating a house and hires Pete (David Walton) as her contractor. He's a surfer dude who likes recreational drugs and casual flings. Women find him irresistible.
Peet understands why.
"He should be a movie star," Peet says. "That he is not is astounding to me. I don't think there is anyone like him. He is George Clooney mixed with Matt Dillon. He is stone-y, quick-witted. He's weird, he's not like anyone else."
She also relates to Alex as a mom, as she reassures a child on her cellphone.
It's clear from the pilot that Pete and Alex will fall for each other despite themselves.
"It's an animal attraction," Peet says. "I think she is going to fight it tooth and nail."
This sitcom marks Peet's return as a series regular, five years after her role on NBC's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."
"I worship Aaron Sorkin. If he called and said," her voice trails off, as she considers the talents of the writer/producer. "I would do anything for him."
Peet has matured on television and is the first to say so, reflecting on her days on "Jack & Jill."
"I was fairly badly behaved on that show," she says of the 1999-2001 WB sitcom. "I was terrified and felt really trapped. Some really wonderful writers were passing me the ball. Instead, I whined about wanting to be a movie star. I learned my lesson real quick."
Credits: "Gulliver's Travels," "Please Give," "2012," "The Ex," "Changing Lanes," "The Whole Nine Yards"
Family: Married to screenwriter David Benioff ("Game of Thrones"). "It is so, so funny because I make him let me watch the rough cuts, then I scream at him and hit him when I see something I didn't want to see," she says. "He has a sore shoulder. I'm his wife. I want to know."
Describe your character: "She's a Type A personality who is recovering from having made a very bad decision with her ex," she says.
Education: degree in American history from Columbia University
Favorite books: "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien, "The Member of the Wedding" by Carson McCullers, "Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen
Favorite movies: "Tootsie," "Broadcast News"
Favorite music: Bruce Springsteen, Joni MitchellCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun