Maya Rudolph Is Finally in a Paul Thomas Anderson Movie! (As a Very Pregnant Nurse)

Credit: Pedro Andrade/Pacific Coast News

With a track record of four great movies and two good movies spread out over the course of the past decade and a half, Paul Thomas Anderson can pique our interest with just about any creative proclamation. His newest venture, Inherent Vice, ropes in The Master‘s Joaquin Phoenix and a slew of PTA newbies for a story about a 1970s crime investigation, based on a novel by Thomas Pynchon. The cast includes a number of exciting first-time Andersonians, like Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Benicio del Toro, and Martin Short. But the best of the lot: Maya Rudolph, pictured above, in costume on the set of the film.

As Anderson’s longtime romantic partner and the mother of his children, Rudolph has been conspicuously absent from his long line of cherished big screen works — Anderson did, admittedly, cast Rudolph in a 2008 stage production, but never on camera. Hollywood likes to make creative collaborators of its households: Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich, Len Wiseman and Kate Beckinsale, Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann, Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter. In Inherent Vice, it appears that Rudolph will enjoy a supporting role as a (very) pregnant nurse.

Not only is the casting exciting due to Anderson and Rudolph’s personal relationship, but because it will also give us a new vantage point of the talented actress. Rudolph is known best for her wacky humor: her Saturday Night Live and Bridesmaids shtick is what has made her a beloved and successful comedian. But Anderson’s dark, booming vision — one that worked wonders with another screwball SNL vet, Adam Sandler, in Punch-Drunk Love — could enlighten the world to a well of Rudolphian talent yet untapped.

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Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.