Emmy voting officially ended late last night, and in less than a month, we’ll know for sure if Julia Louis-Dreyfus will break the record she shares with Cloris Leachman and become the most-decorated performer in Emmy history.
GoldDerby has her as a done deal to win in her category, with 23 out of 25 pundits swinging her way, as does IndieWire, but online polls are skewing for Catherine O’Hara and her first-ever Emmy recognition for the very popular Schitt’s Creek… and then there’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge, whose profile is only rising with Fleabag, the “hot priest,” Killing Eve, Bond 25, and her upcoming Saturday Night Live hosting gig. Oh yeah, and last year’s winner The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel had their LA-based “30 cent” gas price fiasco to boost the nostalgic love for the series, and for its leading lady, last year’s winner Rachel Brosnahan. In other words, it’s tough category, and this does not even include Natasha Lyonne’s work in Russian Doll, or Christina Applegate’s turn in Dead to Me.
Except… there’s only one JLD, and she’s the greatest of all time, the GOAT. And she’s been doing the most high-profile press tour all throughout Emmy campaign season, from Jimmy Kimmel Live! to the cover of Vanity Fair’s special Emmy awards extra, and everywhere in between.
What I've liked most about the JLD promo blitz is how she tackles the possibility of making history with her Emmy win. She knows it’s a BFD, and it all comes back to the work. She joked at the end (01:32:40) of the Bill Simmons podcast this week that "it's all about trophies for me," and she's repeatedly said that Veep is the "hardest job [she's] ever had", how it was the "job of a lifetime", the “highlight of [her] career”, and how character "likability is overrated as a virtue... certainly when it comes to writing comedy, or drama for that matter"... and how the break they took, due to her illness, resulted in fruitful creative gifts.
It does not feel like a victory tour, and I like that she's not treating her win like a sure thing. She’s hitting all the stops and being very generous with her time. It appears she is fighting hard to show how the series raised the bar in terms of comedy and elevated the level of difficulty for all involved. The added personal significance is there too, of course.
Speaking of her breast cancer battle, and how it put the show on hold, she tells Vanity Fair:
“In many ways it was very nice to get the support from the outside world… Having said that, I didn’t consider that it would’ve taken on a life of its own, which it did. It’s such a personal thing that I never would have put anything like that out there if I hadn’t had to.”
“I’m glad I got through it, but there’s a part of me that’s still a little frightened, you know?”
Frightened or not, it always goes back to gratitude. Back in March, I wrote about the tenderness Julia had as she spoke of her cancer fight, treatment, and professional hiatus in her Veep media interviews to promote the beginning of the final season, and how much pride she has for her work. Over and over, she’s called it a real “tonic” for her. And if you want to watch that “lifesaver” gratitude firsthand, you can see for yourself how emotional she is at the 10:28 mark of this For Your Consideration behind-the-scenes blooper reel.
Clearly, the JLD loves her endearing band of despicable idiots as much as we do. But also, a final performing win would be a pretty beautiful bookend to the series, and her love of her cast. As she tells Gold Derby, "If I were so lucky to win, that would be extraordinary, and if I lose, it would also be extraordinary, because I... just can't believe that we've been invited to go to this thing year after year for Veep. It's a ton of good fortune."
In a little over three weeks, we will know for sure if this “good fortune” comes through. Until then though, it’s been a delightful to have an entire month of reminders about just how great the GOAT really is. Bill Simmons’ tweet (which he re-posted) says it all:
Take two...— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) August 28, 2019
Talking to @OfficialJLD on the BS Podcast (33-min mark) was an absolute thrill — tried not to geek out but she’s been so great for so long that it’s legit hard not to become the “Chris Farley Show” host with her.
Spotify: https://t.co/nCy1nFLT4U pic.twitter.com/Uyy9ibztQv