Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s Emmy coverage.
Temple Grandin herself was on hand, along with her mother, to witness the near sweep of the HBO movie that bears her name, along with awards for Claire Danes’ lead performance, for directing, and for the supporting performances of Julia Ormand and David Strathairn. Winner Danes met the media backstage and said, “We worked very hard to tell a coherent, cogent story that charted Temple’s trajectory and growth…It was so special that her mother and she were here tonight.” Danes also admitted that she’s never had a greater challenge as an actress. “I’ve never worked harder on a performance, which was just epic in its scope. And I’ve never been more inspired by a character I’ve played. I was deeply moved by Temple’s courage and resourcefulness, and the way she was such a pioneer in animal rights and animal science. She encouraged incredibly positive change in the world. I don’t expect to have another opportunity to play a character like this anytime soon.”
A jubilant Temple — having already emotionally hugged producer Emily Gerson Saines during the award acceptance — said of Saines, “I absolutely knew a mom would do it right.” Saines herself added, “It’s really wonderful to be here tonight. We hope this movie educates a lot of people about autism. There are still a lot who don’t understand it.” Noted Grandin: “Claire Danes just basically became me in the 1960s and ’70s.” Added director Mick Jackson, holding his own Emmy: “Temple was just so bewitched by Claire’s performance. It was quite something. She didn’t step out of character for a second.”
ER alumnus Anthony Edwards, one of the show’s producers, was also on hand. “It meant a lot to be here tonight with this group of people,” Edward said. He talked about how tough it was to set up the movie initially. “We started out trying to sell this as the story of a woman, who by the way is autistic and designed slaughterhouses. That’s not the easiest thing when you’re trying to sell a movie. But through persistence and being true to Temple’s vision, we were able to get it done.”