Photo: Kathryn Hahn
You probably don’t remember when you first watched Kathryn Hahn completely nail a role- it was most likely in those classic early 2000s, Seth Rogen-adjacent movies that really appeal to an audience of teenaged boys and stoners with refined taste, or maybe her work as a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it comedic character for an NBC television show. Once upon a time, her work on ‘Parks and Recreation’ as the political shark and overall #GirlBoss Jennifer Barkley made me laugh so hard I started to cry. Kathryn Hahn is more than an actor, she is the covergirl for a moment in comedy- Hahn is the gift that we pray will keep on giving, and preferably forever.
Related article: Top 10 Comedy Central Shows – Ranked!
Related article: Fact-Checked Series: 10 Revelations About Awkwafina – The Comedienne And Star Of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’
Her Sincere Beginnings
A signature of its time period, Kathryn Hahn got her start as playing the perky grief counselor Lily Lebowski on NBC’s ‘Crossing Jordan’. Ensemble crime shows were truly all the rage in the early 2000s to mid-2010s (with some fame trickling down into fan-favorites, like ‘Criminal Minds’), and ‘Crossing Jordan’ was very ‘Veronica Mars’ reminiscent; A beautiful young detective who will stop at nothing to fix the crimes of her past by solving the cases in her present. While Kathryn Hahn is certainly a master of comedy, it’s very interesting to view her early work through a more heartfelt, intentional lens. There are lighthearted moments in the show, but overall Hahn keeps a rooted, down-to-earth personality that is refreshing amongst her later roles.
The Beginning of Modern Comedy
While working on ‘Crossing Jordan’, Hahn was able to give stellar performances in an impressive array of movies that really kickstarted the career she’s known for. ‘How to Lose Guy in 10 Days’, the iconic Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy, gave Hahn the leg-up into working on the famed ‘Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy’, ‘The Holiday’, and ‘Revolutionary Road’, amidst others. Perhaps the most infamous spark in her career was the Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly film ‘Step Brothers’ which, love it or hate it, you definitely saw. This series of possibly hokey but earnestly funny movies not only sent Hahn’s career into a new tier of incredible performances but paved the path for a new era of comedy.
Related article: MUST WATCH – Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s Love Letter to Black Lives Matter – VIDEO
Subscribe to Hollywood Insider’s YouTube Channel, by clicking here.
Before this era of film, there was a colossal separation between witty comedy, physical comedy, and situational comedy. The genres wouldn’t touch one another with a ten-foot pole. The closest anyone got to mending the gaps was the introduction of mockumentary-style television, beginning with ‘Arrested Development’ and hitting its stride in popularity with ‘The Office’. The late 2000s managed to bring around a new era of comedy that took purposely strong, clever writing and mixed it with the physical comedy signature and a healthy dose of realism. While movies like ‘Step Brothers’ and ‘Zoolander’ are, yes, primitive examples of this daring new trend, Hollywood would certainly be much different without them.
Kathryn Hahn and the Housewife Trope
Kathryn Hahn hit a stride with her first starring role in ‘Afternoon Delight’ (2013), playing an unsatisfied housewife who adopts a down-and-out sex worker in hopes that it will spice up her sex life. It was situational comedy at its finest: Hahn brought the bored, desperate housewife to life in a way that could only be accomplished with her capabilities. Not much later, Kathryn Hahn appeared as the conservatively shielded Edie Fitzgerald, wife of Nick Offerman’s Don Fitzgerald, and the two get caught in Jason Sudeikis’ achingly funny web of lies in the hit comedy ‘We’re the Millers’. It is in roles like that where I believe Hahn is able to shine her brightest- a character, that in any other situation would be almost unbearable to withstand, transformed into a loveable trope that the audience is able to root for.
Related article: The Power of Positivity: Ikorodu Bois + Chris Hemsworth + Russo Brothers + Sam Hargrave
Limited Time Offer – FREE Subscription to Hollywood Insider
Click here to read more on Hollywood Insider’s vision, values and mission statement here – Media has the responsibility to better our world – Hollywood Insider fully focuses on substance and meaningful entertainment, against gossip and scandal, by combining entertainment, education, and philanthropy.
Kathryn Hahn returns to this wife-esque character that exists for extraneous comedic relief many times throughout her career, but I’m certainly not complaining. Films like ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ or ‘Bad Moms’ revive an idea of family life that isn’t always appealing to the newer generations of film lovers, but they emphasize one very important point in truthful filmmaking: Make films about things you know. Hahn shines in these different roles- not because she is a delusional halfwit with no other function other than to be a housewife, but because she empathizes with the character in a believable and earnest way. Women who have the potential to be very grating characters are turned into a comedic goldmine for Hahn.
Hahn’s Later Work
Most recently, Kathryn Hahn has been performing in a plethora of animated roles, most notably as the sinister Olivia Octavius in ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’. A surprising turn for Hahn, who had previously appeared only in live-action (save for some brief work in ‘American Dad!’ and ‘Chozen’), but the choice is both fruitful and shows off her incredible ability for creating a signature character that the audience will surely remember. She also appeared as Dessa Constantine in ‘I Know This Much Is True’, the Apple TV drama based around a pair of twins, one of whom is suffering from bouts of schizophrenia, and their life both together and apart.
Related article: Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase: “The Importance of Venice Film Festival as the Protector of Cinema”
Related article: The Masters of Cinema Archives: Hollywood Insider Pays Tribute to ‘La Vie En Rose’, Exclusive Interview with Director Olivier Dahan
The Covergirl of Comedy
We have since entered a newer era of comedy (one that is rooted in complex, witty humor more than situational incidents), but Kathryn Hahn will forever be immortalized as one of the true greats in comedy. She stands as a poster child for the years of experimental dramatic comedies, most box office hits that everyone can recall with fond memories, and her future is anxiously awaited with bated breath.
Craving some Kathryn Hahn after you’ve read this? Have no fear, you can watch her in the brand new Disney+ addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ‘Wandavision’! Join Hahn and the enticing cast of characters as she plays Wanda Maximoff and Vision’s nagging, nosy neighbor Agnes, who might have a few secrets of her own.
An excerpt from the love letter: Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard. Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”
Ways to support Black Lives Matter Movement to end systemic racism
More Interesting Stories From Hollywood Insider
– Want GUARANTEED SUCCESS? Remove these ten words from your vocabulary| Transform your life INSTANTLY
– Compilation: All James Bond 007 Opening Sequences From 1962 Sean Connery to Daniel Craig
– Do you know the hidden messages in ‘Call Me By Your Name’? Find out behind the scenes facts in the full commentary and In-depth analysis of the cinematic masterpiece
– A Tribute To The Academy Awards: All Best Actor/Actress Speeches From The Beginning Of Oscars 1929-2019 | From Rami Malek, Leonardo DiCaprio To Denzel Washington, Halle Berry & Beyond | From Olivia Colman, Meryl Streep To Bette Davis & Beyond
– In the 32nd Year Of His Career, Keanu Reeves’ Face Continues To Reign After Launching Movies Earning Over $4.3 Billion In Total – “John Wick”, “Toy Story 4”, “Matrix”, And Many More
Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn, Kathryn Hahn
Jordyn McEvoy is an entertainment writer for Hollywood Insider with a passion for asking the tough questions in our industry today. Believing in the quality of information over scandal and rumors, she focuses on giving honestly positive reviews of films that deserve it and highlighting the true Hollywood movers and shakers. Trusting in Hollywood Insider’s dedication to unbiased reporting, she wholeheartedly agrees that the media can change the world if utilized correctly.