'Call the Midwife' Breakout Gets Her Shot at American Stardom

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Just as season three of the delightful, underrated British television show Call the Midwife launches its third season on PBS this Sunday, one of the show's standouts is getting her big break in the U.S.

Paul Feig has cast Miranda Hart in the spy comedy he's making with Melissa McCarthy, Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr. reported. For what it's worth, Feig mentioned wanting to work with Hart in a 2013 interview with The Daily Beast. Hart joins a cast that already includes frequent Feig collaborator McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, and Jason Statham. 

Hart already had her own, self-titled sitcom in the U.K. before starting on Call the Midwife, a BBC series that, like Downton Abbey and Sherlock airs on PBS in the U.S. The series about a group of, yes, midwives in poor east London in the 1950s hasn't become an obsession in America the way, say, Downton has, but it did win loyal fans. Recently Entertainment Weekly deemed it one of the "10 Most Criminally Underrated TV Shows." 

Watch one episode—not the first because she's not in it, but from the second of the series on—and you'll immediately see why back in 2012 Jace Lacob wrote in The Daily Beast that Hart "steals the show." As Chummy Browne, actually Camilla Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne, Hart is as adept at conveying warmth and vulnerability as she is at providing comic relief. As the series gears up to start again here in America, Hart has gotten even more attention for her work. Maureen Ryan at the Huffington Post wrote that Chummy is the character that is the "clear favorite." Lily Rothman of Time called Hart a "U.K. Star the U.S. Should Know." Hart also tours in the U.K. and has written a memoir Is It Just Me? in which she gives hilarious and sensible advice to her younger self. 

Though we know little about Feig and McCarthy's spy project, they're previous work indicates that they'll know exactly how to highlight Hart's strengths. We can't wait. 

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