Just months after she finished playing Joyce "Tilly" Mitchell on Escape at Dannemora, she signed on to play another complex criminal, Dee Dee Blanchard on The Act.
"I am a little exhausted of playing crazy women," she joked to reporters at Hulu's Television Critics Association winter press tour on Monday, noting that she couldn't have felt more differently when she first started The Act.
"It was fun to jump into this one. I had always been fascinated by this story of Munchausen by proxy… I like this distorted love affair," Arquette said.
The Act tells the real-life story of Blanchard, who had been making her daughter, Gypsy Rose (Joey King), pass herself off as younger and pretend to be disabled and chronically ill. It was later revealed that Gypsy did not have the conditions her mother convinced others she had (leukemia, muscular dystrophy and others), despite the pair benefiting from the efforts of charities such as Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
"In general, the choices characters make, they do because they have a reason to do it. They create a logic that makes sense for them," Arquette explained of Blanchard's motivations. "They have a whole story supporting the reason they made that choice."
While she could find that connection to her character, stepping into Blanchard's shoes wasn't easy. "I started losing weight after Dannemora, then I stopped for this," she said, explaining that she tried to gain more weight for the role, but found it just too taxing on her body. "But to work with these actresses, it’s such exciting material."
The actress' trophies come just four years after she collected awards -- including an Oscar -- for Boyhood, and she admitted on Monday that such honors have been a factor in leading to better parts.
"I think [awards matter]. You’re special in their eyes," she said, recalling people approaching her with a different tone after her recent success. "But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to you… it matters, but your kids are still ‘I’m sick.’ ... Your life goes on, you have dirty laundry."
See more on Arquette in the video below.
The Act, also starring Chloë Sevigny, AnnaSophia Robb and Calum Worthy, will debut Wednesday, March 20 with two episodes. Subsequent episodes will be released every Wednesday on Hulu.