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‘Beautiful Boy’s’ Maura Tierney Remembers Red Carpet Triumphs

Before portraying the stepmom to a drug-addicted young man in “Beautiful Boy,” Maura Tierney asked the real Karen Barbour how she and her husband survived it. “She said, ‘Nobody freaked out at the same time,’” Tierney recalls. Relying on a partnership is how the Globe winner, a “basic dresser,” approaches fashion. “You get into a rhythm with your costumers or stylist … and some of the anxiety has gone away for me.”

2010
“It was my first time back at the Emmys and I was happy to be there,” says Tierney, who’d attended in 2001 when she was nominated for NBC drama “ER.” She felt “calm and confident” in this burnt-orange Arnold Scaasi dress. “I usually go for darker, black things. And it fit me — it was just this vintage dress that actually fit perfectly.” Tierney and Blair Underwood presented the lead actress in a miniseries Emmy to “Temple Grandin’s” Claire Danes. “It was fun to give her that,” Tierney says. “And then she went on to star in one of my favorite shows, ‘Homeland.’”

2015
Showtime newcomer “The Affair” won the Globe for best drama series, and Tierney attributes its appeal to the differing points of view. “They were both happily married and had an affair, and we don’t often see that,” she says. “He didn’t have a shrew of a wife, and she didn’t have an a-hole of a husband.” This belted Jenny Packham look was different for her. “It’s Old Hollywood-y, and that’s not something I usually do,” she says. “And I love the color. I just thought it was a very sophisticated way to make beading playful.”

2016
A second-time Emmy nominee, Tierney loved the silhouette of this black Christian Siriano dress. Critical to her depiction of Helen through different viewpoints on “The Affair” is her work with costume designer Caroline Duncan. “In the first few seasons, Helen was practically from outer space, wearing this very architectural clothing, very severe, and then the last time we see them [in original paramour Alison’s POV], Helen has turned into this ’70s Buddhist Zen-type. … What Caroline dresses me in very much informs and helps me act.”

2016
Tierney’s Globe nom didn’t factor into her wardrobe choice. “I really liked that the top of that [Elizabeth Kennedy] dress had a lot of architecture to it, and the bottom was very understated.” Her stylist Cristina Ehrlich found this vintage Fred Leighton choker, and her makeup artist Matin Maulawizada envisioned her driving to Palm Springs in 1968. “I’m not the most relaxed there, so to almost be in a character that was on her way to Palm Springs in 1968 made it fun.” And then she won. “I completely lost it! I was too flabbergasted, but that’s OK. It was really great.”

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