September 13, 2011 7:39pm PT by Jethro Nededog
'Raising Hope's' Martha Plimpton on Her Emmy Nomination, 'I Was Doubly Surprised'
While Fox’s downscale family comedy with heart, Raising Hope, may have not have been a big ratings winner for the network in its first year, it has gotten the attention of its peers with two Emmy nominations. Martha Plimpton, who’s up for best actress in a comedy, tells us that she doesn’t take the honor for granted.
“It was thrilling. The company that I’m in is unbelievable. These other actresses are truly heroes in the game,” Plimpton tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I was blown away. I do know it’s unusual for a show in its first year to be recognized that way. So, in that regard I was doubly surprised.”
Plimpton took a moment to speak with reporters recently about her Emmy nomination, and what fans can expect on Season 2.
Cloris Leachman is also nominated for best guest actress in a comedy. How does she feel about your nomination?
Martha Plimpton: She’s thrilled. She was sweet enough to call me on the day the nominations were announced. We were just both of us thrilled and delighted.
Do you have any fun Cloris stories?
Plimpton: Oh my, everyday. Everyday is a Cloris story. She’s a barrel of laughs. You know, it’s like herding cats. She’s completely fearless and always has been. I think that’s what keeps her young. It keeps her vivacious.
Do you think about the show’s ratings much?
Plimpton: I don’t pay attention to the ratings. From what I understand we’re doing all right. Maybe Fox wants us to do more all right. From what I understand, our ratings are totally respectable for a new show. And I’m willing to ride it out as long as Fox is willing.
What do you think viewers love about the show?
Plimpton: People love these characters. They love the storylines and I think part of the reason why they love it is because they relate. They’re looking at a family that’s more screwed up than theirs is. It gives you some relief, like you’re not alone. And on top of that we’re sharing a common economic situation. It’s not so weird that four generations are living together under the same roof and trying to make it work. It’s how a lot of people in this country are living right now. When they watch our show, they get the feeling that we’re all in the same boat.
What changes have you seen in your character over the first season?
Plimpton: She started out a little bit more of a tough broad at the beginning of the season. She smoked cigarettes and she was a lot harsher. They brought out more of her sweetness as they went on. More than anything, I love how her and Burt [Garret Dillahunt] are all for each other. There’s still a youthful sexy love affair going on there.
Are there any big revelations ahead for your character in Season 2?
Plimpton: We’re going to find out some things, but we’re not at liberty to say. It’s very different and I’m learning a lot. I’ve never done this before, being a series regular. I’ve also never done it where I’ve gone away for five months and came back to a character, so it’s a process of discovery. I want to be true to the character and maintain some consistency and give the audience what they love while at the same time keeping things fresh and grow the character.
Do you have conversations with executive producer Greg Garcia about the direction you’d like to see your character go in?
Plimpton: I trust Greg implicitly. I never tell him anything. I believe in him. I trust him. Everything he does is A-OK with me.
Raising Hope returns Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro