Fans of Rene Russo haven't spent the past couple decades particularly pleased; Russo has worked sparingly (she didn't make a single film between 2005 and 2011). But she's now starring as a ruthless local TV news station director in Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhaal, and thank goodness.

Nightcrawler was written and directed by Russo's husband Dan Gilroy, and in an interview with Vulture, she credits Gilroy with giving her a good part that was worth taking:

I haven't worked in a long time, so it's nice to have a challenging role. I think part of the reason I didn't work [as much] was you don't want to do just another watered-down role that you've already done before. I love being in my garden, and I started a little business, and as much as I appreciate the opportunity that I've been given as an actress, it does come with a certain amount of fear and trepidation! [Laughs.] It's been my life, and I've just met amazing people, but it's also been kind of cool to not work for a while as well. And if the parts aren't there, I just can't. You can't get up at 4:30 in the morning and sit in hair and makeup if you're not excited about the role.

She also said that (unsurprisingly) she gets a lot of love from female fans for her role in The Thomas Crown Affair:

You know, when I did The Thomas Crown Affair, I cannot tell you how many women came up to me every time I went out of the house, "I'm so glad you did that movie! You were 45, and it was great to see a woman your age with Pierce [Brosnan]! That gave me hope!" [Laughs.]

Image via Jamie McCarthy/Getty