With Bonnie Hunt co-starring in the Showtime limited series Escape At Dannemore, it marks the first time in eight years that she has been in any sort of recurring role on television. In it, she plays Catherine Scott, New York’s Inspector General who is sent to an upstate New York prison to investigate the escape of a pair of convicted murderers.
That escape, describes the network, “spawned a massive manhunt. The prisoners were aided in their escape by a married female prison employee with whom they both became sexually entangled.” The show stars Benicio del Toro, Patricia Arquette, and Paul Dano with Ben Stiller serving as executive producer and director.
“Ben called me at home and he’s, like, ‘I’m doing this thing. You want to come do it?’ And I was, like, ‘Yes! I know the whole story. I’ll be there,'” Bonnie related to E! News. “I remember wanting to know everything that was happening [with the case] because it was just one of those things that was just like a movie in the making.”
As to playing someone based on a real person, she added, “It was interesting to play somebody that you didn’t really have a hook [into], except her intelligence, which is subtle to play. [Catherine Scott] is a doer of good. She’s revealing and pulling the curtain back on people who are fraudulent.”
Bonnie’s first TV series was 1993’s The Building (which was produced by her close friend, David Letterman), which, observes Wikipedia, was a sitcom that was “filmed live; mistakes, accidents, and forgotten lines were often left in the aired episode.” On the show, she played commercial actress Bonnie Kennedy who has moved back to Chicago following a broken engagement and lives in an apartment building across from Wrigley Field. A total of five episodes were produced. Two years later the duo was back with The Bonnie Hunt Show (retitled Bonnie), which kept the majority of cast members from The Building and the same style of filming. That one lasted 11 episodes (though 13 were produced before cancellation).
Flash forward to 2002 and she was back with Life With Bonnie. On that show, she played daytime TV talk show host Bonnie Malloy, who is doing her best to balance work with her home life, which includes a husband and two kids. This one ran two seasons for a total of 44 episodes. Five years later, in 2007, reel became real as she began hosting The Bonnie Hunt Show, a daily talk show that lasted two seasons and 425 episodes.
In between, she has appeared in numerous films and provided her voice to animated characters, and in 2000 served as director, co-writer and co-star in the David Duchovny film, Return to Me.
Escape at Dannemora is airing Sunday nights on Showtime.