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First-time nominee

Harris shines in front of the camera

Steve Harris, who plays defense attorney Eugene Young on the ABC hit “The Practice,” had no intention of getting up at 5:30 a.m. to watch the Emmy nominee announcements. But in his blurry-eyed state, when he saw his mom jumping up and down with excitement, he knew he was one of the chosen ones.

“I don’t even think about that stuff,” says Harris, whose nom for best supporting actor in a drama was one of 13 nominations for the David E. Kelley-penned show. “If my publicist hadn’t (said) that Thursday was the day they were going to be announced, I never would have known.”

Harris is at his best on the show grilling witnesses and preaching to an attentive jury panel. He also had several powerful episodes dealing with custody of his son. His ex-wife was claiming that as a defense attorney, their child was being exposed to the underbelly of society and she wanted full custody.

“The main thing I like about that particular episode is that it was based on two caring adults who just want the best for their son. They weren’t on opposite ends of the spectrum.”

As for those scenes when he has to go against his character’s moral judgment, like trying to express reasonable doubt when questioning a rape victim, Harris enjoys being in the spotlight.

“Doing those scenes puts the weight on you,” Harris says. “My job is to find a way to get the guy off.”

And, in more cases than not, he usually succeeds.

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