While I usually only link to my own stories, I couldn’t help highlighting this PunditTracker blog post, which looked at how I and 21 other Emmy pundits did in our predictions. The verdict?
While none of us fared exceptionally well, I’m relieved to have done better than most, placing fifth. And I was the only one who correctly picked Ellen Burstyn for best supporting actress in a movie/miniseries.
As he prepared to emcee the Emmys, awards show host extraordinaire spoke with me for this Daily Beaststory about his best (and worst) hosting moments from over the years. One of his favorites was the magical opening number to this year’s Tonys:
I have watched a lot of You Tube performances of Harry Blackstone Jr. and his unfortunate halftime show at the Orange Bowl [in 1987] where all the tricks were exposed and everything went terribly wrong. It’s one thing to say, “Sure, I’ll do a magic trick, I’ll be in this box and I’ll reappear over here … I know how to do it,” but then doing it live, you can’t redo it. If you screw it up, everyone knows not only how it was done but it becomes its own disaster footage. So I was more wrought with nerves about that than almost anything in that number.
I don’t think he’ll do any magic tricks at the Emmys, but you never know!
I profiled another Emmy nominee for The Daily Beast. This time it was Merritt Wever, who steals Nurse Jackie as quirky nurse Zoey Barkow. She also has a memorial guest arc on New Girl as Schmidt’s former and now current girlfriend.
Wever is very shy and uncomfortable about discussing herself, but her Nurse Jackie costar Edie Falco has no such qualms singing her praises:
Wever, 32, might not be comfortable in the spotlight, but her dynamic performances simply cannot be ignored. “She is such a unique talent,” says Falco. “Every time she’s onscreen, she’s predictably unpredictable. She embodies everything that I love and that makes me proud to be working in this industry.”
Her New Girl boyfriend Max Greenfield also raves about Wever’s brilliance in the profile.
Yesterday, I spoke to Elisabeth Moss about her favorite Mad Men moments as Peggy Olson. But Moss received an second Emmy nomination, best actress in a movie/miniseries, for her haunting turn as police detective Robin Griffin in Top of the Lake. In the second part of our Daily Beast chat, she talked about how she pulled off four of the role’s most daunting aspects, including her toughest scene: where Robin opens up about being raped as a teenager.
I did it the same way that I did it in the audition. Sometimes scenes just click and they make sense to you. For some reason, you don’t feel like there’s any other way to do that scene. So I did in the audition, and obviously they liked it, I guess. Then we did a lot of rehearsal, improv, and a lot of talking about the script and everything, but never ever touched that scene. Because there was a sense of, we understood it, and sometimes you don’t want to fuck with it too much. You’ve really got to be careful, so we never talked about it and never rehearsed it. From the audition to filming the scene, I never said those words.
I’m helping The Daily Beast talk to many of this year’s Emmy nominees about the moments that got them nominated. I was lucky enough to land a dual nominee — Elisabeth Moss — for a two-part feature.
In the first part, which posted today, Moss talked about her best actress in a drama series nomination for Mad Men, and shared her all-time favorite Peggy Olson moments from the show’s six seasons, including this one from possibly its best episode, Season 4’s “The Suitcase”:
It’s hard to pick a scene from that episode because they were all really special to me. But I love the scene in the bar, when they finally talk about what happened with the baby and him visiting her in the hospital. They kind of talk around it, but they talk about it more than they ever have. He says, “Do you ever think about it?” and she says, “Playgrounds.” I just love that line, and it was such a simple way of summing up exactly where she is on having a child and giving it away. It’s also the kind of moment you can only get after four seasons, which is something I love about doing a TV series. That scene means nothing without four seasons of buildup. It’s a great payoff for the characters and the audience.
Look for the second part of our chat tomorrow, focusing on Top of the Lake.
The broadcast networks’ last great hope for Emmy drama recognition fell even further out of favor with voters, as it was unable to claw its way back into the Outstanding Drama category, where it was shut out last year as well. Adding insult to injury, Juilanna Margulies, who won Lead Actress just two years ago, wasn’t nominated either.
I’m glad I had the opportunity to do an Emmy reaction piece, and can only hope that The Americans and Tatiana Maslany make it onto next year’s ballot instead…
Emmy nominations are coming out Thursday morning, and I made my case at The Daily Beastfor why Mandy Patinkin’s name absolutely must be on the supporting actor in a drama ballot, especially after he was criminally overlooked last year.
Included in my five reasons why he must get an Emmy nomination:
Patinkin imbues Saul with a hulking presence that fills entire rooms. Saul may be a man of few words, but Patinkin makes each of them count. Near the end of the Season 2 finale, after a horrifying twist I won’t spoil here, he calls Carrie’s cell phone in a desperate, seemingly futile attempt to locate her. His words are simple. “Carrie, it’s me. I’m looking for you. Please call me back.” But Patinkin packs more desperation and anguish into them than you’d find in a five-minute monologue.