She's often been cast as the best friend or the loyal assistant, but now it's Kathryn Hahn's time to shine.
The former "Crossing Jordan" co-star gets glammed up as the female lead in "Free Agents," NBC's take on a British comedy series that premieres Wednesday, Sept. 14. Hahn and Hank Azaria play public relations co-workers whose one-night stand makes for interesting times at the office later. Anthony Head ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), who co-starred in the original version, also appears in the Americanization.
"Beggars can't be choosers, so it seems even surreal to say this, but they did have to kind of twist my arm," the friendly Hahn muses about accepting her new role. "That was for no other reason but that I have two young kids, and nothing had excited me enough to take me away from my family.
"It's a huge schedule and a mammoth undertaking," Hahn adds about starting a new show, "and unless there was something I was excited by materialwise and castwise, I just wasn't looking. I can't quite believe it, but there was a lot of courting of me for this part."
Though she's the central female in "Free Agents," Hahn insists she "didn't want to have to be the straight person to the leading man. Where we see her at the end of the pilot, she's in a beautiful spiral that I'm very excited to explore. She's in such denial, it's a great launching pad for a character."
And a character much different from any Hahn has played before, which the actress readily admits "was not a natural fit. It really was a delicious challenge to find that confidence, while knowing she is such a beautiful disaster."
Favorite movie: "I love 'Tootsie,' and I love my Meryl Streep, too ... especially things like 'The Deer Hunter.' The trailer for her Margaret Thatcher movie ('The Iron Lady') is so good! I love documentaries, too."
Favorite television show you're not in: "I've got so many, but I love 'Parks and Recreation' right now. I love that whole ensemble, and I worship Amy Poehler. And I love my share of macabre reality shows, like 'Hoarders'; it makes me feel better about myself. And I know it's older, but I can't get enough of 'The Wire.' "
Favorite singer: "I love Billie Holiday, and there's also a lot of Marlo Thomas in my house with my two kids, so there's a lot of 'Free to Be You and Me.' I've been singing along with it ... which may not be the coolest thing."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times