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Why Greer Thornton From State Of Play Looks So Familiar

When "State of Play" first came out back in 2009, it was generally well-received by critics. As Niall Browne of Movies in Focus wrote, "State of Play is a classy piece of Hollywood filmmaking that delivers an entertaining two hours in the cinema and features enjoyable star performances from Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams." As a political thriller, you'll be on the edge of your seat as you watch Congressman Stephen Collins (Affleck) reach out to a journalist, Cal McAffrey (Crowe) to try to clear his name after a woman he's been having an affair with is found dead under mysterious circumstances. 

Now that the film is available on Netflix, numerous people can discover it, if they missed it when it was first in theaters, and discover a litany of powerhouse performances from an impressive cast including the likes of Jason Bateman, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright, and Wendy Makkena, who plays Greer Thornton. 

You may not immediately recognize that last name, but she's been part of plenty of films that were likely a big part of your childhood. She's still acting to this day, and chances are you've seen her in one of the below projects.

She got religious in the Sister Act movies

For nineties kids who loved their singing nun movies, the "Sister Act" duology was highly influential. A lot of people today fondly remember the classic musical where Deloris (Whoopi Goldberg) is sent into the witness protection program, where she's forced to live among women of the cloth. One of these women is Sister Mary Robert (Wendy Makkena), who's timid but nonetheless tracks Deloris down when she takes the teachings of the sisters less than seriously. 

Fun fact: Makkena didn't actually sing throughout both "Sister Act" and "Sister Act 2." Instead, her singing was dubbed over by that of Andrea Robinson, who's also lent her musical talents to "Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas" and "The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning" (via Mental Floss).

Fortunately for fans, she's not done with her time in Saint Katherine's Parish just yet. Makkena will be reprising the role of Mary Robert in the upcoming "Sister Act 3," which will debut exclusively on Disney+ in the near future. 

She wants to do what's right by her son in Air Bud

If your nineties viewing habits revolved more around animals playing sports than singing nuns, then you're all too familiar with the "Air Bud" franchise. Before the series started cranking out low-budget, direct-to-VHS/DVD sequels, there was the simple story of a boy who forms a strong bond with a Golden Retriever who happens to be really good at basketball, and amazingly, there's no rule saying a dog can't play the sport, so he leads the team to victory. 

After Josh (Kevin Zegers) brings Buddy home, he needs to get approval from his mother, Jackie (Makkena), to keep the pooch. She allows the dog to stay but is adamant that if the dog's real owner comes into the picture, then they'll have to give him up. This causes problems when mean, old Mr. Snively (Michael Jeter), shows up demanding his dog back even though he's mean to him. Fortunately, it all works out in the end, with Josh getting Buddy back and his team winning the championship, much to the chagrin of the other team, who plays sans canines. 

She recently appeared in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Wendy Makkena has continued having a successful career since the nineties ended, and her filmography includes roles in the likes of "The Mob Doctor," "NCIS," and "The Tomorrow Man." Most audiences could have seen her on the big screen as of late for her role in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" — the Mr. Rogers biopic that came out in 2019. Makkena plays Dorothy, the second wife to Jerry Vogel (Chris Cooper) and stepmother to journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), who does a profile on Mr. Rogers. 

In an interview with NBC New York, Makkena couldn't speak more highly about being involved in such a heartwarming project, saying, "I remember the first day I was on set. There was Matthew Rhys, there was Susan Kelechi [Watson], and Chris Cooper, and I had not met any of them... And I was just, 'What am I doing here? This is crazy.' It was really an honor." From television to film to even the stage, Makkena's a versatile actress who shines in any role she's in.