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10 Favorite Moments in the Emmy Drama Actress Roundtable

THR's exciting tradition is upon us. They've released the full roundtable of Emmy Drama actress hopefuls. Well, hopefuls at the time. Oprah Winfrey was not nominated as she was expected to be for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The same thing happened to her when she was on the Oscar-seeking roundtable for The Butler. Despite being the former queen of talk, perhaps this format is a curse for her? The other women present were nominated: Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies), Jessica Lange (Feud: Bette and Joan), Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale), and Chrissy Meitz (This Is Us).

The Roundtable in full, and ten favorite moments therein after the jump...

01:50 Reese being all incredulous about her filmography. "I don't know - do y'all know how many movies you've done?" Cut to this reaction shot in which Kidman and Lange share the same smile, albeit not the same inner monologue. Bet you $100 Nicole is thinking "56. Plus 15 TV projects, 3 voicework gigs, 2 stage plays." 

04:46 Elisabeth Moss's story about trying to decide whether or not to take The Handmaid's Tale is interesting. Especially predicting how you'll feel if you say no. Probably good advice for any job offer. But this must make non-famous actors so envious. Imagine having the luxury to consider a "no" on a job that good. The amazing punchline that everyone at the table understands is the "asked to see the second script" because pilots obviously get the most attention.

12:26 Oprah answering for Chrissy Meitz about how she got comfortable filming a scene on a weight scale in her underwear. "She just said she did it. She didn't say she was comfortable"

20:36 Kidman's rock throwing rage story. WTF? She sounds fun. Jessica Lange makes it so much more interesting when she adds "Your body doesn't understand that it's make believe."

Which is a fascinating insight into the well known fact that actors can seem normal but are actually insane people.

30:58 Oprah's envy about the homes in Big Little Lies. HEE! So funny to think that even billionaires have this while watching real estate porn.

37:06 Meitz' expert read of that rude guy on the airplane "we're in first class"

42:35 Just when you're internally screaming "don't do a second season of Big Little Lies" at Reese & Nicole, Lange saves the day with that exquisite "I like characters who die. You're done" HA.

44:48 How Moss and Winfrey both unwind after work "there's usual a cocktail involved" / "I believe in it!"

48:15 Elisabeth Moss being so delightful throughout makes her 'I watch a lot of TV' and her preference for comedy sound so perfect and 'of course'... and yes Reese, she was hilarious as Peggy on Mad Men

53:00 Reese's merciless (and true) takedown of double standards with male and female actors with kids and their prep time in movies - three weeks in the woods!

THE ROUNDTABLE IN FULL BELOW  - what were your favorite moments?

P.S. I also live for the awkward insert footage of the photoshoot at 46:00. Imagine ordering Jessica Lange to touch Nicole Kidman's knee! 

P.P.S. Oh and here's the Comedy Actress roundtable as well which I don't have time to watch at the moment but let us know you're favorite bits so we can skim.

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Reader Comments (23)

Didn't Jessica say that show business is more sexist than ever? I wonder if her glass is full of vodka. Nicole seemed a little uncomfortable sitting next to her.

July 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

I love the part starting around 52:30 to 53:44 where Jessica and Elisabeth are bonding over their shared childhood love of acting without realising that it was acting. The Comedy Actress roundtable is full of great moments too, especially because there are more instances there than in the Drama roundtable of the dynamics between all of the actresses.

Also, slightly off topic, but do y'all think Elisabeth Moss has left Scientology? Since if she was still part of it, wouldn't she not be allowed to be with Nicole?

July 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAditya

Nicole v. Jessica = plastic surgery titan faceoff

July 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDevon

Aditya -- i'm sure they make allowances for their cash cow actor constituencies.

July 22, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I loved what Jessica Lange said at the end that the choices you end up regretting are the projects you said yes to, rather than no to. Everyone seemed to agree in unison.

Unrelated news - Ridley Scott's All the Money in the World is being released at the end of the year, even though it's shooting right now. Could Michelle Williams be a double threat next year? She has a great fall coming up with this + Wonderstruck and The Greatest Showman.

July 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Yeah Moss is a huge scientologist. That's just a topic that they don't allow to be discussed in interviews

I'm sure both Moss' and Kidman's reps disallowed Scientology or Cruise from coming up as a condition to agreeing to the round table.

July 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHuh

I had no idea Moss was a Scientologist. Isn't it weird that she's the star of The Handmaid's Tale?

July 22, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbeyaccount

Seeing blonde next to blonde next to blonde next to another blonde on this panel makes me pine for redheaded Kidman and brunette Moss. At least the two token non-blondes are plus-size women who don't fit the Hollywood mold. How cool would it have been to include Carrie Coon and/or Samira Wiley? (Kudos to THR for inviting Issa Rae and Pamela Adlon in the comedy roundtable.)

July 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Yes, we all love Moss but her being a scientologist and not going on the record at all about it seems weird. She's gonna have to reference it sometime soon, right? Everyone knows.

July 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

Nicole and Elisabeth worked TOGETHER on Top of the Lake S2 so Scientology must not have stopped people from collaborating.

July 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

The Moss and Kidman thing is extremely odd, because by all accounts they seem to get on really well, and have even come across quite affectionate and warms towards each other in interviews and press gatherings. Then again, both are superb actresses, so they could easily be faking it.

Kidman is considered a Suppressive Person in Scientology, which makes her persona non-grata. Scientologists, from what I gather of their rules, shouldn't really be working or associating with Kidman.

Moss is pretty high up in the "Church" by all accounts. I guess maybe the ambition for the Moss and Scientology higher-ups for her to have the best career possible means that they are willing to make an exception to their policy with SP's to let Moss work with Kidman. Kidman has so much power and influence in the industry (something Scientology undoubtedly tried to curtail), that neither Moss nor any Scientology handlers were in any sort of position to dictate to Jane Campion (a close friend of Kidman's for decades) that Kidman not be cast in Top Of The Lake Season 2. It would have made Moss look pretty bad if they tried that. But for Moss and Scientology, it's more important for her to be in that 2nd season of Top Of The Lake and increase her starpower, than to try and tell an auteur whom they can or can't cast, even though Moss is the show's lead (and they often get casting approval).

If Moss had more power in the industry, and Kidman had less power in the industry, Kidman's casting might have become an issue because of her religion. But I think the "Church" had to let this one slide, because I could easily see Jane Campion dumping and recasting Moss, if Moss''s people tried to put any pressure on her not to cast Kidman.

July 23, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterhannie

I'm pretty sure all the actresses had demands of what could or could not be discussed at the roundtable. Scientology - and religion overall - would have been one. The other would have been politics. I am sure the trump supporting celebrities would have made sure trump would not be brought up. And speaking of politics - where was Susan Sarandon?

July 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBette Streep

FYI: Elisabeth Moss on Top of the Lake, Scientology and Working with Nicole Kidman

July 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

I find Oprah to be such a bore - always talking about herself. A very predictable actress. I like when she does her Brittish accent at important awards shows.

July 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJimmy

I also found Oprah to be annoying and dominant.

I loved it how when Chrissy Metz said she was left with 56 cents in her bank account nobody on the table could relate to her. Everybody else sitting there has been rather well financially for decades. You really get used to the good stuff instantaneously and easily forget about the bad. I'm especially thinking of Kidman, don't know why. Probably because once she hooked up with Tom Cruise in the early 90s she's been just fine in the bank account department.

I am very disappointed to hear that Moss is a Scientologist. Such a disservice to humanity.

July 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Yavor -- i dont know if this is true or not but I heard that Moss was raised in the church (i.e. her parents were Scientologists). When you're born into a faith it's a different animal -- not that it excuses buying into the faith... but it's just a different equation.

July 23, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nathaniel - yes, I understand that Moss was indeed "born into Scientology" which seems to give her much more freedom of speech and career choices. I believe that this also applies to the musician Beck? People tend to think that children born into the faith/cult enjoy much greater privileges than other members.

Never mind working with Kidman, starring in The Handmaid's Tale seems such a strange thing for a Scientologist to undertake!

July 24, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterkermit_the_frog

Everyone needs to binge all 8 episodes of Leah Remini's docuseries: Scientology & the Aftermath. I am not one for putting down other people's religions, but it is a real eye-opener.

July 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDAVID

Kermit -- totally agree. I'm always curious when artists who are a part of organized religions with actively discriminatory belief sets (i.e. most of religions) become involved in projects which are about organized religions with actively discriminatory belief sets. Cognitive dissonance i suppose.

July 24, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Lange looks ridiculously unlined n smooth for a 68 yo!! She probably can play Joan Crawford's daughter too! 😂

I dunno y she had to resort to botox to turn back 20 yrs, when she so well respected n widely recognised for her aging, matronly roles like Feud n Long Day's Journey into Night.

Its not like tt she is a fashion icon ala Kidman, desperate to retain her glamour queen title.

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

I don't watch This is Us, but I will say that I LOVED Chrissy Meitz talking about "I want to do a role that isn't about weight," because it feels so truthful and one of those moments that doesn't feel like it was scripted by a publicist. She made me want to watch This is Us in this interview, quite frankly (and I hadn't put together that she was the actress from AHS). It's always the least famous actor in these sea of movie stars, the "new find of the year" that I most respond to because they've been working to get to that table rather than just assuming it will be there like the other five would.

July 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Claran: Women in everyday life are very much defined by their physical attractiveness. That goes quadruple if you are in the entertainment industry, whether or not you are a fashion icon. Most women want to retain their physical attractiveness for as long as humanly possible. The urge does not disappear when you reach 68, especially if you have the money and means to keep yourself looking good. Most women accept losing their looks as they age it because they have no choice and don't have the money or resources to stem the aging process. Lange and many other celebrities can afford to stay looking better as they get older, and that can cause a bit of envy and bitterness in the general population, who lack the same resources.

Shaming older women for not wanting to become wrinkled, cardigan wearing, asexual grandmas if they can somehow avoid it isn't right. Most of us would stay youthfull if it was painless and affordable.Lange can still play matronly old women (wigs and make-up can do a lot in movies), but still walk around in her everyday life trying to stay looking fresh and vivacious. She doesn't have to turn into a wizened old crone in real life to be able to play on in front of the camera.

Basically, let the woman live. As long as she doesn't turn herself into a total freakshow (like Mickey Rourke or Joycelen Wildenstein), then I don't think it should bother anyone if Lange tries to stay as fresh and youthful as she can in her normal life. It has not affected her ability to be effective and believable in her roles as older women.

FYI; Almost every actress of a certain age in Hollywood uses botox or similar procedures to stay looking fresh for the camera. Even the ones who claim they don't. Robin Wright flat out admitted that's how her skin stays looking good. Do you really think think the average woman in their 50's looks like Julianne Moore or Laura Dern without a bit of help and upkeep?

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterknolie

Jessica. Lange. Goddess. Boom.

July 26, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

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