Minnie Driver and the cast of NBC's "About a Boy" are doing a pretty good job of "pulling off" their new prime-time TV series.
Adapting a book (which later became a movie starring Hugh Grant) into a weekly show poses its own set of challenges. But so far it wouldn't seem that way -- "About a Boy" is faring well in the ratings.
"I feel so confident in the writers...The actors are so amazing. Any time you touch on material that is previously well-loved you run a bit of a risk. But I think we are pulling it off and I think we will continue to do that because the writing's so good," Driver said during a visit to CBS News.
Based on Nick Hornby's 1998 best-selling coming-of-age novel, the series stars David Walton as musician Will Freeman, who thanks to writing a hit song, is happily unemployed and enjoying those royalty checks. But his world is turned upside down when a single mom, played by Driver, moves next door with her 11-year-old son, Marcus (Benjamin Stockham).
"I know people like her," Driver said about her character, Fiona. "Their self-righteousness is funny to me. But I love what a good heart she has and that she is a wonderful mother even though hilariously overprotective."
The English actress, who calls Los Angeles home, said that like Fiona, she's a devoted parent (though not nearly as "neurotic" of one). It's actually part of the reason she recently teamed with Claritin and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a non-profit organization that converts old railroad lines into public trails with the goal of building healthier places for healthier people. The campaign encourages people to enjoy their time outdoors. Each time someone likes, comments or shares posts on Claritin's Facebook page, the allergy medicine company will make a donation to Rails-to-Trails.
"It becomes a great circular thing about empowering communities across America," she said about the "Trailblazer" initiative, adding, "We all know we need to get out more and be outside and be as healthy as we can be."
"I have a 5-year-old. I want to be out there doing things," said Driver, who noted she hikes and swims with her son. And he's following in his mother's footsteps by taking on one of her favorite activities -- he just started surfing.
At 44, Driver says the roles she's offered continue to transform as she gets older. Being a mom in real life and playing one on TV is just one example. "I'm happy that the parts are evolving with me," she said. "There aren't as many parts for women -- ever. That particular glass ceiling has yet to be smashed through, but there is definitely work and there are definitely women, particularly in television, who are really changing all of that that...Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Connie Britton, Julianna Margulies. These roles are out there. You just gotta get them."
And luckily for Driver, she has. She's fortunate to have landed some great roles in movies throughout her career. She snagged an Academy Award nomination for her role in 1997's "Good Will Hunting." But also among her favorites was 1997's "Grosse Point Blank" with John Cusack and the 2004 film adaptation of "Phantom of the Opera," co-starring Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson.
"I don't think the film worked necessarily, but I sure loved the character that I played. That was really fun being a crazy Italian diva," said Driver who portrayed Carlotta in "Phantom."
Driver said she doesn't mind what format her next role takes -- so long as it's "good" and she can "pay her mortgage."
"I just want a good job and to be happy," she said. "It's the very best. It really is. It's an amazing life for someone like me and really gratifying creatively."