The 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards took place on Sept. 23, 2012, at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles. Here is what this Emmy winner said backstage in the Emmy Awards press room.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama
What shows do you like to watch when you’re at home?
I love “Louie.” That’s kind of my favorite. “Girls” is another major, major favorite. I love “Breaking Bad.” I love “Mad Men.” There’s kind of a glut of stuff. “Damages” is incredible. “The Good Wife.” Big fan! Big fan!
Who are you wearing?
I’m wearing Lanvin.
Is winning an Emmy more special for you now that you’re about to become a mother? How will you share the news with your child?
Thank God I am not giving birth right now. I think it’s going to be some time before my child cares at all about this [award], if ever. No, it’s great. That’s the big award, but it does put things in perspective a little bit but this person [she point to her womb] may not care, but I do.
Why do you think “Homeland” resonated so much with audiences? Is there a political message to the show that people should get?
I think it’s actually, surprisingly, not so preachy, which in some ways is why it carries its message so well. And I don’t think it’s particularly a political show. I think it’s a psychological thriller and talks about some very big ideas but doesn’t take a very biased position. But it does speak to our feelings of anxiety and unrest right now, in the sense that we’re in a new era where the enemy is not so clear.
You played someone with Asperger’s Syndrome in “Temple Grandin.” And in “Homeland,” you play someone who is bipolar. What are the challenges of portraying someone who has a mental illness?
I know. I’m just working my way through the DSM-V. I find these conditions incredibly fascinating. It is a coincidence that they both came up, these characters in quick succession. But I really love the process of learning about them and representing them and rendering them in hopefully a realistic way. And I don’t think they are talked about very often on such a big stage. I’m really very privileged to be able to participate in that.
How does it feel going to work on “Homeland,” knowing that what you’re doing is eventually going to be seen by President Obama?
No pressure. No, it’s way cool that he is a fan. I think it speaks to the relevancy of the show. It’s hugely validating. I don’t have to write the thing. I just have to play it somewhat convincingly. I’m kind of rogue anyway, so I have some liberty there. It means so much to us. I think we’re still stupefied by that fact that he’s tuning in consistently.
Who in the “Homeland” crew kicks the most ass?
There’s a guy in the camera department called Kale, who has been agitating for a big shout-out, so thank you. He’s pretty kick-ass. No, everybody. Nobody understands, audiences don’t really get the kind of herculean effort of the crew. The work that it takes to mount a show like this. It’s easy for me to kvetch, but my days are shorter. I have days off, and they don’t. I actually am in awe of their stamina. Every time I catch myself complaining, I look at them and am checked and humbled.
What was your day like getting ready for the Emmys this year? Did 10 people put you together?
Ten people? Yeah, like Franken-Claire. I’ve been working with the same people of magicians, beauticians for over a decade now, so it’s actually a really fun process. And they’re like family. It starts getting a little stress-y in the car over here. The traffic doesn’t help. The 110-degree weather didn’t help today. It’s incredibly heightened and exciting and just a little terrifying, but great fun. I’m so pleased to be here with my “Homeland”-ian buddies.