Claire Danes hasn’t done much TV since making an all-too-brief but memorable splash in 1994-1995 as the precocious teen star of the ABC drama My So-Called Life. Several dozen feature film roles have followed. But the 31-year-old Danes came back to TV and received rave reviews for her starring role as the autistic title character in the HBO biopic Temple Grandin that premiered in February. Her competition in the Primetime Emmy category as lead made-for-TV-movie/miniseries actress is formidable: Maggie Smith (Capturing Mary), Joan Allen (Georgia O’Keefe), Dame Judi Dench (Return to Cranford) and Hope Davis (The Special Relationship). Media see Danes as the favorite to cart off the trophy on August 29th for the film which generated 15 Emmy nominations in all. Danes spoke this week with Deadline Hollywood contributor Ray Richmond about the difficulty of portraying a living person — yet how rewarding the experience turned out to be:

Deadline Hollywood: What were the challenges of portraying a character based on an actual woman who is still very much alive?

Claire Danes: It was quite daunting. That would be true of anyone who were living, but particularly so in the case of someone as complex as Temple. I respect her so completely. I didn’t want to fail her or the millions of people who cherish her. I was very aware of the dangers of disappointing Temple, and all of the people who care so much for her. Also, the lady has such an amazing eye for detail, like no one else. I could only attempt to interpret that, not duplicate it. No way could I be her. (more…)