With preliminary voting for the Emmy Awards approaching, networks, studios, creators, and stars are promoting some of the most acclaimed works from the past year in hopes of scoring some Emmy love. HBO’s ‘Watchmen’ miniseries was definitely one of the best-reviewed and most-watched programs for the cable network last year, so there is a big push for it in the miniseries categories. Among the honors is Best Supporting Actress and Jean Smart, who played FBI Agent Laurie Blake (formerly the Silk Spectre) has a very strong chance to land a nomination if not a win! After all, she already has three Emmys on her resumé.
As part of her promotional campaign, Smart spoke to the Los Angeles Times about her character who is… let’s face it a little messed up. She is clearly still hung up on her former lover, the god-like Doctor Manhattan. That helps add tension to her interactions with the show’s focal character, Angela Abar (Regina King, a frontrunner for Best Lead Actress). As Smart said:
“That says a lot about her. Then she finds out that he is living here with another woman. She thinks that she’s kind of got it all together, but she’s really kind of a mess. And she tells Angela that, you know, you don’t strike me as the kind of person who has friends. I’m thinking ‘Just look in the mirror!’ She’s living alone, in an apartment with an owl and has a closet full of black pantsuits and no social life whatsoever. She’s in love with a man who, like you said, she hasn’t seen in 30 years. And another guy who’s in prison. A shrink would have a field day with her.”
Smart first gained fame for playing the slightly ditzy Charlene on the beloved ’80s sitcom ‘Designing Women’, but in more recent years, she has sunk her acting chops into much meatier roles on ’24’, ‘Fargo’, and ‘Legion’. ‘Watchmen’ continued this trajectory.
HBO recently made ‘Watchmen’ free for everyone to view in honor of Juneteenth, which arrived at a time when thousands were protesting for Black Lives Matter, following the deaths of George Floyd and Breona Taylor (among many others) at the hands of the police.
“This is what actors crave. I mean, yes, sometimes you want to do stuff that’s just fun and just entertainment. But there was a quote from an actor a long time ago that said, ‘As an actor, if you want to believe that you can affect people in your audience in a good way, in a positive way, open their eyes to something.’
“You also have to accept the fact that you can be a negative influence as well. You have to make your own personal wise choices about the kind of material you do. So you get to do something like ‘Watchmen’, it’s extremely rewarding. And it was nice that the audience responded the way it did. Of course, we had no idea what was coming. Like I said, it’s prophetic to an alarming degree. We had no idea about the pandemic. We had no idea how the race relations were going to come to a head in 2020.”
Ultimately, the timeliness of ‘Watchmen’ may give the series an edge when voters decide who to honor.
How did you feel about ‘Watchmen’? Is it Emmy-worthy?