Tina Fey To Show Her Dramatic Chops By Doing The Taliban Shuffle

2011 NBC Upfront

Who doesn’t love Tina Fey? Well, besides Sarah Palin’s staunchest supporters. She’s one of television’s sharpest writers and comic actors, and she has a decent track record in film too (Baby MamaDate Night and Admission were modest hits which benefited from her everywoman sensibility). Now, the 30 Rock creator and one half of everybody’s favorite Golden Globes hosting duo is set to star in The Taliban Shuffle, based on journalist Kim Barker’s memoir.

Barker’s book is a blend of dark comedy and tragedy, recounting the journalist’s experiences shifting between Pakistan and Afghanistan while covering the War on Terror in its early years. Unlike other unsparing accounts of violence and imminent death which became bestsellers over the last 10 years, The Taliban Shuffle actually has a lot of funny and absurd moments. In a New York Times review of the 2011 memoir, reviewer Michiko Kakutani actually wrote that the author “depicts herself as a sort of Tina Fey character, who unexpectedly finds herself addicted to the adrenaline rush of war.”

Fey is a terrific actor who excels at playing characters who look like they are in control despite everything falling apart around them. Her Liz Lemon persona seems like a natural fit for Barker, who dealt with a lot of ridiculous interactions in the Middle East due to being a foreign female reporter. Fey is also tapped to produce with her longtime friend (and sometimes boss) Lorne Michaels. Fey’s 30 Rock collaborator Robert Carlock wrote the screenplay for Paramount, so it’s likely he had the actress in mind for Barker all along and wrote to her strengths as a comic and dramatic performer.

Fey can be seen next in March’s Muppets Most Wanted and in Shawn Levy’s ensemble comedy This is Where I Leave You, due in September.

Tell us, does The Taliban Shuffle sound like a good project for Tina Fey? Have you read the novel? Let us know.