LOS ANGELES (AP) - Talk about a career in high gear.

LOS ANGELES (AP) Talk about a career in high gear.

Over the course of five weeks this autumn, Minnie Driver will have delivered a new album, performed in concert, appeared in a new big-screen musical and marked the start of the second season of her latest TV series when "About A Boy" returns to NBC on Tuesday night.

Based on the 1998 Nick Hornby novel and 2002 film starring Hugh Grant, the series spins around a man-child, the neighbor kid he befriends and that boy's eccentric, sometimes overbearing mother, Fiona.

"She's odd, and, you know, and I don't ever want to ever play anything linear and un-conflicted," Driver said, speaking by phone from New York. "It's fun playing a messy person."

Driver added that only a few ties bind her to Fiona, one being that they're both "very British."

And both Fiona and Driver can sing. In the show's season-one finale, Fiona/Driver served up a spot-on a capella reading of the hymn "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?"

Last week saw the arrival of Driver's third album for the Rounder Zoe label, "Ask Me to Dance," a compilation of covers by artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to The Cure.

"Even though I didn't write them, (the songs are) linked to very specific memories and very specific moments of my life," Driver said.

Next month, she's back in the music business, but as an actress on the big screen playing what Driver called "a mean momager" in the musical "Beyond the Lights."

Some 17 years after her big breakthrough, an Oscar-nominated role in "Good Will Hunting," Driver isn't taking her multi-faceted career for granted.

"The grace of being 44 years old is that you wake up every day with a conscious breath going, 'This is absolutely amazing, that this is happening to me. And this is my life and I am deeply deeply grateful.'"





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