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Emmys: Big Winner ‘Olive Kitteridge’ Was Passion Project for Frances McDormand

It was nearly a clean sweep for HBO miniseries “Olive Kitteridge” at the Emmy Awards, where it took home six out of its 13 nominations.

“Yay! HBO! Yay!,” screamed star Frances McDormand when she and other producers came onstage to accept the award for outstanding limited series.

It’s OK that she resorted to brevity; McDormand had just been onstage to accept the award for lead actress in a limited series or movie. Though he wasn’t at the ceremony, Bill Murray won the supporting actor trophy for the mini.

“Making this movie, this four-hour movie, was really a — sort of a metaphysical, supernatural, transpersonal ‘dark night of the soul’ kind of experience,” director Lisa Cholodenko said in her acceptance speech.

The production was a passion project of McDormand’s, who had optioned Elizabeth Strout’s book of the same name, bringing in writer Jane Anderson (another winner that night) to adapt the script and hounding HBO to get it made.

“It’s 13 short stories that Elizabeth Strout wrote in the novel and it was infinitely exciting to read and I thought that it could be a great town to spend some time in,” McDormand said backstage in the press room. “Jane wrote six hours, but HBO and [producers] Playtone wanted four. We would love to do more and we would love for you all to start a social media campaign to do more.”

Olive Kitteridge” was also a winner at last week’s Creative Arts Emmys, taking home the awards for casting for a limited series or movie (which went to Laura Rosenthal and Carolyn Pickman) and for single camera picture editing for a limited series or movie (which went to Jeffrey M. Werner).

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