Rachel Keller/FX photo
Most breakout stars on TV start their hiatus taking full advantage of their newfound fame, quickly signing up for Broadway productions or big-budget films.
St. Paul-raised Rachel Keller headed home. The lead actress in FX's "Legion," which returns for its second season on Tuesday, wrapped up production in February, which gave Keller the opportunity to come back to the Twin Cities to visit family -- and start work on a new project with her pals, actress Charlotte Calvert and Jon Ferguson, artistic director for WLDRNSS, the Minnesota-based experimental theatre company.
"It's time for me to go home and regroup," Keller said in January. "LA is unfamiliar land to me and I need to keep reeling myself back. Just being home reminds me of my roots and what I'm really interested in in my own time. I'm going to stay there as long as I can."
As it turns to, the sabbatical was short lived. Ferguson reports that Keller left the Twin Cities in early March, but not before the trio was able to start tinkering with a clown melodrama, possibly set backstage or in the wings of a theatre.
"We spent five days working together to find roughly what we wanted to make together," Ferguson said. "It was very successful with Rachel and Charlotte deeply exploring the themes we're working with."
Without little to no fanfare, they rehearsed at the A-Mill Artist Lofts and the Guthrie Theatre from Feb. 26 to March 2.
Keller was also in town for the Super Bowl. Over dinner at an FX party, Keller breathlessly talked about her commitment to theatre, especially in the area she grew up in.
"I've been in talks with the Guthrie and other theatres, just raising my hand, letting them know I'm ready to audition," said the 25-year-old actress who also got rave reviews for her work in the second season of "Fargo." Keller also appears in the indie film "Write When You Get Work," which recently screened at the SXSW Film Festival. "It was such a formative time in my life in many ways and I just want to give back with more than just donations."
Ferguson said there are no immediate plans to present the new stage work, but that they are looking at funding opportunites in LA, Minneapolis, New York and the United Kingdom.
"We're letting it rest a bit to see what sticks," he said.
"Legion," which also stars Dan Stevens and Audrey Plaza, airs at 9 p.m. Tuesdays on FX.