While television allowed the actress to reach her widest audience, her film and theater work was at least as notable. Cryer made her debut in 1994's "Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade," the short by Billy Bob Thornton that would be adapted into the actor-director's acclaimed 1996 feature "Sling Blade." In 1997, with several regional productions to her credit, Cryer was featured in Tom Stoppard's "Arcadia" at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. She played Josie Hines, one of the stars of Neil Simon's "Proposals" in the play's 1997 Los Angeles theater debut, and made a debut of her own when the production ran on Broadway from 1997-1998. Cryer was heralded for her performance in the moving drama "Collected Stories" for the South Coast Repertory in 1997, the same year she was featured on the big screen in Barry Levinson's political satire "Wag the Dog" as well as the independent drama "Wilbur Falls." A role in the Academy Award-winning short "My Mother Dreams the Satan Disciples of New York" (1998) underlined the actress' zany comedic sensibility, while her role as a pregnant and unwed young woman in the 1999 ensemble comedy "Friends and Lovers" again displayed her talent for showing the vulnerability behind a strong-willed character she has used to good effect in "Two Guys and a Girl."