The following are short interviews from AwardsLine’s dialogue section.
AWARDSLINE: Scandal has crushed it social media-wise. How important has Twitter been to its success?
KERRY WASHINGTON: Oprah told me, “I started watching the show because on Thursday nights all anybody was talking about on Twitter was Scandal.” It’s not easy to make it as a TV show these days, so that’s why I and other members of the cast got so involved on Twitter. I wanted to support the projects that I’m in and stand behind the work. However, I will say that when it comes to social media we’re tremendously grateful to our gladiators who watch the show and who tweet about the show and with us. I’m grateful even when they’re angry because without our audience we don’t exist.
AWARDSLINE: What also exists is another Emmy nomination for you.
KERRY WASHINGTON: To be nominated this year is really special for me because this season was a very dark season for (my character) Olivia and for Scandal. Which is why I really think Joe (Morton) and Kate (Burton) really deserve their nominations, and I’m so thrilled for them. For me, I really didn’t expect a nomination because it was such a challenging season, so I’m really honored.
— Dominic Patten
AWARDSLINE: When a dramatic actor such as yourself segues to comedy, do you face any challenges in terms of typecasting?
ANDRE BRAUGHER: The history of how I landed the role entails a Skype call I had with (executive producer) David Miner and (co-creator) Mike Schur. We talked about the breadth of the character, their desires, my concerns and then there was an offer. I wasn’t necessarily looking to improve my burgeoning comedy career, and on the other side of the spectrum, I had just played a rogue submarine commander on Last Resort. To get this lovable, goofball comedy was, frankly, magical, and the opportunity helps me grow as an actor.
AWARDSLINE: This year a record number of black actors, 11 total, were nominated for Emmys. What’s your take on this fact?
BRAUGHER: It’s a testament to the storytelling that is going on out there. If you look at what Fox is doing with diverse comedies, there’s The Mindy Project and our show. There’s a new dimension of half-hour comedies that do not depend on stereotypes or the boxes we put people in. I play a gay police captain on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and I’m not the butt of the joke. That’s revolutionary for TV.
AWARDSLINE: In Return to Zero, you play a mother whose first child dies in utero. What drew you to this project?
MINNIE DRIVER: I’ve never had an opportunity to play a role like this. This was sustained grief. It was also incredibly dangerous because it could have been fantastically melodramatic. It was very knife-edgy, the whole thing. I was working with a first time-director and had no idea if he could do it. I had no idea if I could get to that place. If it was not going to be accurate, it was going to be insulting to people who had lost children.
AWARDSLINE: How does it feel to be nominated for this film and for this role?
DRIVER: I keep wanting to burst into tears. This film was dead in the water. No one would touch it. People would come out of distribution screenings sobbing, saying, “I’m so sorry.” Someone at Relativity ran into Christian Drobnyk at Lifetime and said, “You’ve got to see this film; you’ve got to buy it.” And suddenly it was alive again. So then to be in this beautifully exalted position, with this tiny film that no one would distribute, about a story that doesn’t ever have a voice, is such vindication.
—Anna Lisa Raya