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Joel Coen
Frances McDormand stretches as producer, star of HBO's 'Olive Kitteridge'
Frances McDormand stretches as producer, star of HBO's 'Olive Kitteridge'

As the title character in "Olive Kitteridge," HBO's searing miniseries about a depressive, middle-aged Maine schoolteacher who's short on patience but long on wit, Frances McDormand is unforgettable. But it's a role she might not have found if she hadn't taken the initiative. "I wanted to start generating my own work," says the actress ("Fargo," "Moonrise Kingdom") who optioned the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Elizabeth Strout and became an executive producer on the project. "Joel and Ethan Coen were my mentors in film, and their sets are run really well and economically," says the actress, who is married to Joel...

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