William H. Macy plays a deadbeat drunk of a dad on Showtime’s “Shameless,” but he cleans up pretty good when it comes to the Emmys. This year he’s celebrating his second consecutive nom as lead actor in a comedy, as well as proudly supporting his wife, Felicity Huffman, on her nom for ABC’s “American Crime.” This wouldn’t be the first year that two new Emmy Awards donned their mantel — he won in two categories in 2003 for his TNT telepic “Door to Door.”
You won twice in 2003, for starring in and co-writing “Door to Door.” Did you think you’d win that big?
No. I’ve been nominated for a lot of things over the years. Ninety-five percent of the time you don’t win. I work with a partner, Steven Schachter, who is my dearest and oldest friend. He’s a little more prepared than I. We wrote a silly, potentially insulting, acceptance speech. When they called our names, we looked at each other, like “Mother of god! What are we going to do?” That was a good night, boy. You feel like a king when you’re walking out of the Governors Ball holding an Emmy. But you feel like the king of the universe when you’re holding two.
What does it mean to win an Emmy?
I think actors have complicated relationships with awards. We’re smart enough to know what we’re involved with is marketing. It’s a really good way of getting our shows in front of the audience. Secondarily, it’s a party for us. We get to crow in front of the audience. Finally it’s a contest. It’s that last part you have to figure out how you’re going to hold onto. I was very proud of “Door to Door.” Both the writing and all the acting. I was proud that we had done it. I was proud of the tenor of the piece. You don’t want to have that taken from you because you lost. It’s very easy to get jaded for award ceremonies. That’s not right. It’s a lovely evening.
Your wife, Felicity Huffman, spoke with Variety recently about her first Emmy win and she remembers obsessing over her gown. I’m guessing you didn’t have that problem.
Yeah the whole dressing up thing. The ceremony is at 6 o’clock and a woman starts at about 9 o’clock in the morning. If a guy is nominated, he starts at a quarter to 6. Makeup for this face? I don’t know what it would do. I look like I look. My hair looks the same. You can spend an hour on my hair and it still looks like this.
You’re both nominated this year. Is there any rivalry in your house?
No not at all. I hope she wins. I predict she will. It’s celebratory. We’re gonna stay out late. She loves to dance.
It’s like getting two for the price of one.
One car. One makeup artist. One set of tickets.
Do you have any advice for winners?
Be careful. The night of “Door to Door,” when I was carrying two Emmys, I stabbed some unsuspecting woman in the butt so hard it drew blood.