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The ‘Comeback’ queen

Kudrow dives into alter ego role as a C-lister

HOLLYWOOD — Creator and star of HBO’s “The Comeback” Lisa Kudrow said in order to play a C-lister using a reality show to facilitate a career comeback, she studied up on some of the greats: Anna Nicole Smith and “The Gastineau Girls.”

“I’ve always been fascinated by people who are so willing and ready to show exactly who they are, or a version of themselves they think is flattering,” said Kudrow, who’d just screened the first two episodes among a packed crowd at the June 1 premiere on the Paramount lot.

Thesp said her alter ego, fictional sitcom has-been Valerie Cherish, was based on a role she created at the Groundlings that she describes as “a composite of those phony actors you see on talk shows.”

“I played a similar actress, based on those really needy and self-promoting actors — the ones who go on talk shows and use charity for props. I’d always watch and say ‘You know, I’m not buying you.’ ”

Does Kudrow think a future storyline about Valerie getting involved in a good cause for PR purposes surface?

“Maybe.”

HBO entertainment prexy Carolyn Strauss introduced the comedy, from Kudrow and collaborator Michael Patrick King, explaining that “The Comeback” was his real test.

“(He’s already proved himself on the East Coast with ‘Sex and the City.’) But we told him to just try doing that out here. We’re not as easily amused in the West,” she quipped.

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