“Much Ado About Nothing” with Helen Hunt

Profile: Helen Hunt

Helen Hunt is the host of Shakespeare Uncovered: Much Ado About Nothing, which airs Friday, October 12 at 9 pm EST (check local listings)

Helen Hunt has enjoyed a distinguished career not only as an award-winning actress, but more recently as an accomplished writer, director and producer.  As an actress, her extensive and diverse body of work includes roles in film, theater and television. 

Hunt was recently seen in the inspirational drama The Miracle Season opposite Erin Moriarty, Tiera Skovbye and William Hurt, and also in Netflix’s Candy Jar opposite Christina Hendricks and Uzo Aduba.

Hunt was last seen on television in the Fox drama series Shots Fired alongside Sanaa Lathan, Stephen James, Tristan Mack Wilds, Richard Dreyfuss and True Blood alum Stephen Moyer. The series examines the dangerous aftermath of racially charged shootings in a small town in North Carolina. Hunt portrays Patricia Eamons, the fictional governor of North Carolina.

In 2012, Hunt’s performance in the The Sessions earned her an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female and notations in the same category by the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, SAG Awards, Broadcast Film Critics’ Awards and the BAFTA Awards.  The film premiered in competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and took home the Audience Award as well as the jury prize for Best Ensemble. Other film credits include Ride (which Hunt also co-wrote, produced and directed), Decoding Annie Parker, Soul Surfer, Every Day, Bobby, Then She Found Me (which Hunt again also co-wrote, produced and directed), As Good as It Gets, What Women Want, Castaway, A Good Woman, Woody Allen’s The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Robert Altman’s Dr. T and the Women, Pay It Forward and Twister. Early career film credits are The Waterdance, Kiss of Death, Mr. Saturday Night, Peggy Sue Got Married, Next of Kin, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Project X. and Miles From Home.  

Additional television credits include Mad About You and the critically acclaimed HBO miniseries Empire Falls. For her role as Jamie Buchman in Mad About You, Hunt garnered four Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards (three as lead actress and one as producer for Best Comedy) and a Screen Actors Guild Award.  She was also named Best Actress for her role in the film As Good as It Gets, for which she won a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Oscar.  

As a director, Hunt recently helmed an episode of Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology series Feud: Bette and Joan, CBS’ Life in Pieces and NBC’s This Is Us. Hunt is currently in production as director on two new ABC series, Splitting Up Together and For the People. Additional television directing incudes ABC’s Revenge, Showtime’s House of Lies, Californication, Mad About You and The Paul Reiser Show.

In 2007, she directed her first feature film, Then She Found Me, based on a novel by Elinor Lipman. Hunt also co-wrote, produced and starred in this critically acclaimed and commercially successful film opposite Colin Firth, Matthew Broderick and Bette Midler. In 2014, Hunt again wrote, directed, produced and starred in her second feature film Ride, a story about a mother (Hunt) traveling cross-country to California to be with her son (Brenton Thwaites) after he decides to drop out of school and become a surfer.

Hunt is an equally accomplished theater actress who reprised the role of Stage Manager in David Cromer’s production of Our Town in 2012 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. Hunt first played the  Stage Manager in the 2010 New York production of Our Town at the Barrow Street Theater. Her Broadway credits include Twelfth Night (Viola) at Lincoln Center and Life X Three at Circle in the Square Theater. Other theatre credits are Taming of the Shrew at NYSF-Shakespeare in the Park, Been Taken at EST, Much Ado About Nothing (Beatrice) at the Shakespeare Center L.A, The Guy and Methusalem with the Actor’s Gang, The Value of Names at the Skylight Theatre and Love Letters in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston.

A Los Angeles native, Hunt grew up in an artistic environment. Her late father, Gordon Hunt, was a director and respected acting coach.