Quite a wake-up call

Thesps, showrunners react to Emmy noms

NEW YORK — Hugh Laurie‘s nod in the dramatic lead actor category for his work on Fox’s “House” finally validated his decision to become an actor.

“A nomination like this is all the more meaningful to me because I have never been entirely sure that I am really an actor. I have never really felt that I am in the right place at the right time doing the right job, and so an affirmation as big as this is terrifically important to me.

“It’s like the decision I made 20 years ago to do this for a living turned out to be not such a crazy one, and I feel very grateful for that.”

Laurie was thankful that the skein’s exec producer, Bryan Singer, decided to cast him in the title role of Dr. Gregory House.

“I saw right away that this was a terrific role, and I assumed right away that it would catch the attention of many bigger names than mine. But then at the same time, I could see why there was an attraction in casting someone less well known because the character is so strong that they didn’t necessarily want to have that fighting against a known face. Maybe there was an advantage in my being able to start with a clean sheet.”

* * *

Up against two of her “Desperate Housewives” co-stars for lead actress in a comedy series, Marcia Cross said that in an ideal world, each of her colleagues would have received a nod.

“It is the combination of all of us that make the show work. It really is an ensemble, and we all need each other and we all bring something different to the show.”

While the show had been an Emmy contender favorite, Cross did not expect it to receive 15 nominations.

“People can say whatever they want but you don’t really believe anything until it happens. I didn’t even want to think about the nominations. So personally, I am overjoyed about the whole thing. I am so happy that so many departments got acknowledged.”

* * *

Although he has received eight nominations and taken home one Emmy during his time on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” creator Philip Rosenthal was taken aback by the 13 noms the show garnered this year.

“It is very nice to be remembered after we are gone. There is not really a business reason to nominate us, so it seems like these are genuine, heartfelt nods. The writing nod for the finale that all the writers shared together means the most to me because most of those guys were with me for all nine years (of the show’s run), and we wrote the episode together.”

Rosenthal said he had mixed feelings about this year’s kudofest, an event that usually makes him nervous.

“I just heard that they are not letting the writers on the stage this year (when they win). So you have to be a little insulted, because would there even be an award to give away or any shows to give them to without the writing?”

Rosenthal was at least hopeful that supporting actor nominee Peter Boyle would make it up to the stage.

“I would like Peter to win this year because he has been nominated a bunch of times and he is the only one in the cast who hasn’t won yet so we want him to win. He deserves it.”

* * *

Lead comedy actor nominee Eric McCormack of “Will & Grace” prefers odd-numbered years when it comes to the Emmys.

“This is my fourth nomination. For some reason I get nominated every other year. I won in 2001. I was not nominated the next year. Then I was nominated in 2003 but not nominated last year. I lie fallow every even year.”

Although “Will & Grace” has received multiple nominations in years past, McCormack felt particularly proud of this year’s 15.

“The fact that we have tied ‘Desperate Housewives’ for nominations is a great way to launch into our last year. We have had a couple of years where we had the most nominations or we tied with ‘Sex and the City’ or something, but that was usually just in the comedy department. There was always a ‘Sopranos’ that had 21 nominations or something outrageous, but there isn’t this year.

“A lot of it has to do with our guest stars (five ‘Will & Grace’ guest stars were nominated). I think it is a nice reminder that we don’t coerce them (to do the show). They come on because they can’t wait to be there. It’s kind of our little claim to fame at this point.”

* * *

In between takes on Woody Allen’s new pic shooting in London, Ian McShane found out about his first Emmy nom for his work as Al Swearengen on HBO’s “Deadwood.”

McShane, who took home a Golden Globe in January, credited the drama’s success to creator David Milch and HBO for giving the exec creative freedom.

“HBO is great because they hire people like David and let him pursue his vision. They don’t interfere. David writes the script, and he does what he wants. They don’t look over people’s shoulders and they spend the money.”

Although he is spending his time off from the series shooting a film, the thesp said he is a big fan of the television medium.

“I think the best work in America right now is being done on television. It is a pleasure to work on ‘Deadwood,’ and I look forward to doing it for a few years. I am doing this Woody Allen now, and that may not have happened if I had not done the show. So there are bonuses in every direction.”

* * *

On location in Morocco, Naveen Andrews took a break from shooting ABC’s upcoming movie “The Ten Commandments” to discuss his supporting actor nod for the net’s drama series “Lost.”

“I am just pleased to have received some sort of acknowledgment for a series I am very proud of being a part of,” Andrews, who is nominated alongside co-star Terry O’Quinn.

Andrews attributed the 12 noms the skein received to “Lost” exec producer and contributing scribe Damon Lindelof.

“We are very lucky to have Damon. He is constantly surprising me with his writing.”

* * *

Although this is her fourth Emmy nomination, Cynthia Nixon, who took home supporting actress in a comedy at last year’s kudofest, admitted that she felt different about receiving a nom for her work in HBO’s “Warm Springs.”

Thesp found switching from Gotham lawyer Miranda Hobbes in “City” to first lady Eleanor Roosevelt in “Springs” “daunting.”

” ‘Sex and the City’ aside, to play a historical character is always a challenge, and to play someone who is so larger than life and someone who people are passionate about was overwhelming, but it was also exciting.”

Although she is looking to make the transition to film, Nixon is not going to close the doors on HBO.

“I would love to work with HBO in any capacity. They are a very comfortable company to work with. The original programming department is different then the original movies department, but all the people there take such good care of you and you can depend on all of the production values and all the people being the best people.”

* * *

“Shock” was Oliver Platt‘s initial reaction to his supporting actor nom for Showtime’s drama series “Huff.”

“I’m shocked because we are not on the air and we don’t have a colossal viewership yet,” said Platt, who was last nommed for his guest turn on “The West Wing.” “I really take my hat off to the Academy for paying attention. It is a credit to the quality of the show and the quality of the writing. You don’t always get recognized when you deserve it if you are a new series. Sometimes it takes a couple of years. So this is a really wonderful surprise.”

Platt confessed that the only disappointment this morning was that creator-writer Bob Lowry did not garner any noms.

“I would have loved to have seen Bob get recognized for his writing. I think that in a very real way, each of the seven nominations (“Huff” received) is about Bob’s writing.”

* * *

Despite the fact that he is not sure if a nod in the nonfiction series category is exactly accurate, IFC’s “Dinner for Five” exec producer Jon Favreau is just
happy his skein was recognized by the Academy after three seasons on the air without an Emmy nod.

“I think that the categories in this area are fairly new in the last couple of years. I mean, how do you compare our show to a show about unsolved crimes (A&E’s ‘Cold Case Files’)? I think in a way, it is a bit more of a testament because it means that enough people figured out what category we should be in and nominated us. You could easily get your votes split by people who are confused because what is our show? Is it a talkshow? Is it a reality show? Is it nonfiction? And frankly, we don’t know, either. We don’t have a category. The fact that people think enough of us to nominate the show against shows that are on commercial networks is a real testament to the audience.”

* * *

Glenn Close has her father and her BlackBerry to thank for receiving the news of her 10th Emmy nom, for lead actress in a drama series for FX’s “The Shield.”

On vacation in Maine, Close received a congratulatory email from her father in Wyoming before any publicists or managers could tell her about the good news.

Thesp, who described working on “The Shield” as “a wonderful (acting) exercise,” said it was skein’s creator Shawn Ryan as well as former and current FX prexys Peter Liguori and John Landgraf, respectively, who persuaded her to take the role of Capt. Monica Rawling.

“They flew to New York and they had put together this big portfolio and talked to me about the character they were thinking of. I had never even seen the show, so I watched the episodes and I was impressed and they had great focus and a great passion for what they were doing. So I thought I would love to work with people who believe in what they are doing and are actually highly articulate about it.”

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