Sharon Horgan puts pen aside for ‘Todd Margaret’

Actress loves to write but couldn't resist David Cross comedy

New Faces for Fall:
Sharon Horgan | Jon Michael Hill | Billy Gardell | Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Boris Kodjoe | Andrew Lincoln | Holt McCallany | Michael Pitt | Maggie Q | Ruth Wilson | James Wolk
Fall TV Preview 2010

Sharon Horgan still speaks with a hint of her native Irish lilt, but it’s been in England where she’s carved a career as both television scribe and performer.

In 2007, the Guardian called Horgan the “Funniest Woman You’ve Never Heard Of ” after the debut of “Pulling,” the comedy she created and starred in. Despite garnering good reviews and awards, it was abruptly canceled after a second season.

IFC’s “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret,” a U.S.-U.K. co-production in which Horgan co-stars with David Cross, offers a chance for Horgan to become a familiar face Stateside.

Cross, whom Horgan dubs “brilliant,” brings his brand of edgy awkwardness to London as the titular character with a Walter Mitty-ish habit of lying, while Horgan plays an earnest waitress who helps him despite herself. She manages to make her earnest character both endearingly flighty yet grounded.

While Horgan doesn’t write for the show, she says it was “one of the easiest jobs to say ‘yes’ to in my life. It felt like we were in school trying not to laugh, which is how you want it on a comedy set.”

In addition to working on “Todd Margaret” and new BBC3 dramedy “Stanley Park,” Horgan just completed a pilot, co-written with comedienne Holly Walsh, that she describes as “in the style of ‘Police Squad’ and ‘Naked Gun,’ ” a visual gagfest about a woman wrongly imprisoned. Her longest partnership has been with renowned playwright Dennis Kelly, who teamed with her on “Pulling.”

Horgan says she has been influenced by U.S. sitcom “Roseanne,” which she dubs “both funny and also so heartbreakingly real,” and by wacky British comedies “The Young Ones” and “Alan Partridge.” Despite the amount of hard work involved, Horgan admits she loves writing.

“It may take a lot out of you, but it’s worth it because you get complete creative control,” she says.