Andy Griffith Gets Ready For Another Role

At the age of 81, Andy Griffith has been discovered. Sure, he'll always be known as Sheriff Andy Taylor, the gentle father to son Opie and gunless lawman in Mayberry who dispensed a homegrown wisdom on the "The Andy Griffith Show." Or as disheveled, yet shrewd, Atlanta defense lawyer Ben Matlock. But he's now a breakout star of sorts in the critically acclaimed "Waitress."

He's only a supporting character in a movie starring Keri Russell as Jenna, a top-notch pie maker trying to leave her brutish husband. But he steals the show as the cranky owner of the diner where she works.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Griffith says he's glad to be back. He says he decided to take the role because of the writing and because the role of Joe is pivotal to the movie.

The movie was written and directed by Adrienne Shelly, who was found slain in the Manhattan apartment she used as an office not long after "Waitress" was accepted at the Sundance Film Festival.

Griffith lives a fiercely private life with wife Cindi in the North Carolina Outer Banks town of Manteo.

Until "Waitress," he hadn't appeared in a live-action film since 2001. But he said he got two other scripts at the same time as "Waitress."