dead to me

Photo Credit: Pop TV.

By Nate Millado

As they say in the biz: The show must go on. So despite the coronavirus pandemic nixing the typically glitzy, red carpet affair, the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards will still be handed out on Sept. 20—albeit virtually.

PopTV's critically acclaimed cult fave Schitt's Creek landed a whopping 15 nominations for its final season, including acting notices for all four fictional Rose family members (Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Daniel Levy, and Annie Murphy).

Both leading ladies of Netflix's dark comedy Dead to Me (Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini) were recognized for their roles as star-crossed besties Jen and Judy.

Perennial Emmy nominee Don Cheadle scored a second straight nod for playing Black Monday's ruthless stock broker, Mo Monroe. Will the 10th time be a charm?

Finally, Toni Collette turned in yet another Unbelievable performance in Netflix's searing limited series as a hard-nosed detective tracking a serial rapist.

Read on to find out how these eight incredible actors reacted to their Emmy nominations—and how they plan to celebrate on the big night—in their own words.

Eugene Levy (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy, Schitt's Creek)

Eugene Levy (Schitt's Creek patriarch Johnny, the most rational Rose) already has two writing Emmys on his mantel for SCTV. But the elder Levy tells Gold Derby "it felt pretty damn good" to finally score a nomination for acting:

"I spent a career playing the comic relief. I come into projects. I come in for a few scenes. I get my laughs. I don't have to carry any story, no exposition, and that's what I'm paid to do, and that was kind of a fun thing for me. I wasn't really expecting any trophies for that work. Just doing that work was rewarding enough to be able to come in and do that. So listen, I don't know, this is all a shock to me, to be honest, at this stage in my career, to have this kind of work, what you're doing on camera, recognized by the other people who are doing the same kind of work is pretty amazing. I have to say, if it's going to happen, I'd rather have it happen now at this stage in my life than if I had been 20 and had it happen."

Watch every episode of Schitt's Creek on Pop TV and on the Pop Now App.

Catherine O'Hara (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy, Schitt's Creek)

Catherine O'Hara deserves an Emmy for the way she pulls off Moira's over-the-top fashion and unique lexicon (one word: pettifogging.) The legendary improv queen tells The Hollywood Reporter she's "happy to be a late bloomer":

"Isn't that really the best way to experience on your show? We got to build the show and develop the characters without worrying about expectations, from anyone. We got to make the show the best we could make it ... There's so many projects that get a ton of attention right at the beginning, maybe before they're even quite ready for it, and then it's kind of downhill attention-wise from there. We're so lucky to do the show we wanted and, apparently, leaving people wanting more ... You have to have a bit of patience in life or just don't have any big expectations, just carry along and do the best you can and maybe someone will notice, maybe they won't, but if you enjoy the work itself, then that's enough of a gift."

Watch every episode of Schitt's Creek on Pop TV and on the Pop Now App.

Christina Applegate (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy, Dead to Me)

As sardonic, wine-chugging widow Jen Harding in Dead to Me, Christina Applegate absolutely kills it. In a bit of a role reversal in Season 2, it's Jen (not Linda Cardellini's Judy) keeping a terrible secret, and Applegate delivers an Emmy-worthy performance when it all inevitably unravels. She considers the nomination a silver lining in these increasingly tricky times, as she tweeted:

"I'm so proud of my wonderful friends @lindacardellini and @thelizfeldman and the entire cast and crew of @deadtome These are strange times. Sad times. But it's nice to have some good news. Much love."

Dead to Me streams on Netflix.

Don Cheadle (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy, Black Monday)

Don Cheadle at the 2019 Emmy Eve party

Photo Credit: Michael Buckner/SHOWTIME.

"Given that it's been announced on a Tuesday, I hereby regretfully decline my nomination for 'Black Monday.' I am a dayist. Been one for many years. My principles are my bedrock and sacrosanct." —Don Cheadle quipped in a statement the day the Emmy nominations were announced. All joking aside, Cheadle tells Gold Derby the entire crew deserves a pat on the back for any love Black Monday receives:

"We do this show on a five-day schedule, which is Herculean and really, really not possible to do without the crew that we have, putting in the kinds of hours that they do. They're there before we get there and they're there after the actors leave, putting the show together and giving it the look that it has and not just the crew that's on the set during the time, but also our post-production people are very gifted. We have a lot of effects that we do on the show. The music is a big part of the show. The editing clearly, obviously, is a big part of the show. These are all things that happen once the actors get to take their makeup off and go home. So we would not have what we have without their support and without their creativity ... So it's always them. Whenever we get any sort of accolades, to not turn around and thank them, we'd be incredibly remiss."

Stream Seasons 1 and 2 of Black Monday on SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME ANYTIME apps, as well as via SHOWTIME On Demand.

Linda Cardellini (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy, Dead to Me)

We've loved Linda Cardellini ever since she was hanging out with Freaks and Geeks, but as Judy Hale in Dead to Me, she gets to sink her teeth into her juiciest role yet. Of course, she faces stiff competition in the category—including co-star Christina Applegate. Still, she welcomed her second Emmy nod with total humility in a statement:

"I am thrilled and humbled to be nominated this morning with all of these incredible women whom I admire so much. Especially my dear friend and partner in crime Christina Applegate. You're my person. I feel so fortunate to collaborate every day with all of the incredible women who run this show. Liz Feldman, thank you for your genius and for giving life to 'Jen and Judy.' What a wild ride. This show is truly a team effort and I am so grateful to everyone involved. Especially our hardworking cast and crew. This is a celebration of everyone's work today. Love and congrats to all."

Dead to Me streams on Netflix.

Annie Murphy (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Schitt's Creek)

Had Annie Murphy not scored a nod for playing former socialite-turned-PR-maven Alexis, Schittheads everywhere would have let out a collective "ew." In an interview with Vulture, Murphy waxes poetic over her wonderful ride. "It's all ... a lot. But a wonderful lot." So, how will she celebrate come Emmy night?

"There will be pizza and pajamas. That'll be the extent of my plans. I'll put that out in the open right now. It's kind of my natural state anyway, so that's what I'm looking forward to. Did I mention the pizza?"

Watch every episode of Schitt's Creek on Pop TV and on the Pop Now App.

Toni Collette (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series, Unbelievable)

Toni Collette as a steely detective in Unbelievable

Toni Collette plays tough and tireless detective Grace Rasmussen in the Netflix limited series Unbelievable.

Photo Credit: Beth Dubber/Netflix.

Scroll through Toni Collette's IMDB credits and you'll agree she is the definition of versatility: Hereditary, The Sixth Sense, Muriel's Wedding, Knives Out, The United States of Tara, the list goes on. So it's no surprise the Aussie actress landed her fourth career Emmy nom for playing a steely detective in Netflix's Unbelievable. Her statement on nomination morning says it all:

"I've been acting for 30 years now. I love telling all kinds of stories about all kinds of people. It still excites me to get up at 3, 4, or 5 a.m. to go hunt out obscure parking lots where we set up a whole new world each day. But working on something like Unbelievable makes it all the sweeter. I am so proud to be part of a ridiculously talented team telling a story that really matters. It has been a thrill for all of us knowing that this story has resonated far and wide with both women and men all around the globe. And so, I'm truly over the moon to be nominated. We must celebrate all that we can in this unstable time of real struggle."

Unbelievable streams on Netflix.

Dan Levy (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series, Schitt's Creek)

Talk about multi-hyphenate! Not only did Dan Levy co-create Schitt's Creek with dad, Eugene Levy, he's also a showrunner, writer, director, and, of course, actor. Cynical, lovable, and GIF-able David Rose is—in the words of the great Tina Turner—"Simply the Best." The younger Levy tells The Hollywood Reporter how he plans on celebrating his show's 15 noms:

"For a tiny show out of Canada that never saw it coming, and then to actually not be able to go to the Emmys, is an incredibly Schitt's Creek way of winding this whole thing down. So on one hand I'm like, 'This tracks.' It's our crew that would have been so fun to see all dressed up and there. I would have loved for our team to get to have that 'pinch me' moment. My dad and I have already been talking about potentially doing a socially distanced event in his backyard in Toronto, so maybe we can all dress up and pretend, six feet apart, that we're there."

Watch every episode of Schitt's Creek on Pop TV and on the Pop Now App.

Photo Credit: Dan Doperalski.

By Sara Spruch-Feiner

Dead to Me is produced by CBS Television Studios and streams on Netflix.

Jen Harding (played by Christina Applegate)

She may be a hothead, but Jen's signature beachy waves and soft, rosy glow are as easygoing—and universally flattering—as it gets.

Christina Applegate in TV series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.

"Jen cries a lot on the show," says Applegate's makeup artist, Kim Greene, who keeps a stash of depuffing essentials on hand to calm the star's skin post-waterworks. She likes the caffeine-packed eye serum The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG and Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels, which are stick-on undereye masks that soothe swelling.

To make Applegate's complexion look polished, Greene blends on Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation. "The coverage is sheer but enough to even out her skin tone," she says.

Christina Applegate in TV series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

"Jen's no-nonsense personality is reflected in her makeup, so we use mostly neutrals around her eyes," says Greene, who for many scenes dips into MAC Cosmetics Art Library: Nude Model eye shadow palette with its mix of peaches, mauves, and browns. Greene weaves color into Applegate's look with raspberry lipstick, rotating between a few shades, including Senna Cosmetics Matte Fixation Lipstick in Sultry and Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Europa.

To create Jen's perfectly undone waves, Applegate's hairstylist, Romy Fleming, turns to the Gold 'N Hot 1" Professional Marcel Curling Iron. Working on one-inch-wide sections of hair, she alternates the direction in which she curls as she goes around the head. To lock in the ripples, Fleming mists each section with Ouai Memory Mist before wrapping it around the barrel, leaving the bottom a few inches out so they stay straight.

Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate in TV series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.

The finishing hair touches are Virtue Labs Refresh Dry Shampoo spritzed at Applegate's roots for volume and a dab of R+Co Two-Way Mirror Smoothing Oil on her ends.

Judy Hale (played by Linda Cardellini) 

With her tousled, '70s-inspired shag and natural pink-and-nude makeup, the tenderhearted eccentric is a low-key luminary.

Linda Cardellini in TV series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Eddy Chen/Netflix.

To bring a healthy flush to Cardellini's complexion and relieve any 5 a.m.-call-time puffiness, makeup artist Liz Lash begins by massaging the actress's face with the Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar, a vibrating facial roller.

One of Judy's staples is shiny lips with a hint of color, so to play up Cardellini's pout, Lash relies on Beautycounter Sheer Lipstick in Petal, a soft, nude pink. She tops it with one of two Beautycounter Lip Glosses: Peony, a watermelon hue, or Blush Shimmer, a peachy pink with subtle sheen.

"Linda has such expressive eyes," says Lash, who reaches for Tom Ford Eye Color Quad eye shadow palette in Body Heat to define them and give Judy the occasional smoky look. "Its glimmery gem-tone colors bring out her beautiful brown eyes."

Linda Cardellini in TV series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

The light, airy texture of Cardellini's hairstyle starts with the right shampoo. The actress loves Briogeo Be Gentle Be Kind Matcha + Apple Replenishing Superfood Shampoo. "It helps her hair look and feel super soft," says her hairstylist, Courtney Ullrich.

"Judy is carefree and a bit bohemian, so her hair can't be too perfect," says Ullrich, who uses a small-barrel curling iron to form relaxed waves on Cardellini's shag, adding just the slightest bend at her roots to give them some heft.

After curling, Ullrich mists R+Co Balloon Dry Volume Spray, a lightweight texturizer, into Cardellini's roots to keep them lifted and loosen up the style so it's a bit wispy. "The volume on top prevents a shag cut from looking triangular," she says.

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini

Photo Credit: Dan Doperalski.

Originally published in Watch Magazine, May-June 2020.

Dead to Me is produced by CBS Television Studios and streams on Netflix.

TV writer Liz Feldman with Dead To Me stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini.

Photo Credit: Leon Bennett/Getty Images.

By Fred Schruers

Three years ago, the seasoned writer Liz Feldman (2 Broke Girls) was sitting in a pitch meeting with potential producers, bereft of ideas and motivation. She had recently turned 40, was four years into an ultimately unsuccessful quest to get pregnant, and had just lost a beloved cousin to a heart attack.

And then, suddenly, inspiration came to her: A recently widowed woman becomes friends with someone she meets in a grief group. They bond over their shared pain until the recent widow learns that—well, let's not spoil that. "Forgive me for being woo-woo," says Feldman, "but that particular idea, it was like I'd channeled it."

Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate in a scene of TV series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

The producers passed, but soon thereafter, when CBS Studios comedy head Kate Adler heard the pitch with the surprise twist Feldman had plotted, Adler simply dropped her notepad on the floor—an instant go. Will Ferrell, Adam McKay (Vice), and Jessica Elbaum (Hustlers) joined Feldman as executive producers; Christina Applegate was cast as the widow, opposite Linda Cardellini and James Marsden.

Linda Cardellini abd Christina Applegate on the set of Dead to Me with head writer Liz Feldman.

Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

Dead to Me—which has been described variously as a "tragicomedy," "black comedy," and "traumedy"—earned immediate cult status among viewers, and reviewers marveled that a show Feldman described as being about "forgiveness" could be so soaked in irony. (Tauntingly upbeat songs like "Get Happy" are set against grim, plot-unfolding montages.) Applegate earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her role as Jen, whose brave, scalding humor never allows her to dip into mere sentimentality, and it's clear from the beginning that there's more to Judy than initially meets the eye.

Actresses Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini in Netflix series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

While the series is driven by its secrets, the characters are the heart of the story—lovable, flawed, and totally believable. "I'd like to think I'm a pretty good observer of humanity," says Feldman, "and I always try to do it from a place of understanding, not judgment. I approach all the characters from a place of empathy.

For Feldman, a former stand-up comic, performer in the Groundlings improv troupe, and graduate of Ellen DeGeneres' writing room, it was a big shift from her stint as a writer and producer on CBS' 2 Broke Girls. "Working in network television taught me a lot about what a mass audience will accept and enjoy," she says. "And at the heart of 2 Broke Girls and its success is the takeaway that a really good central relationship is a great foundation to begin with."

Actresses Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini in Netflix series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.

With the second season of Dead to Me unfolding, there are plenty of questions about how that central relationship will fare. As Feldman says of the end of Season 1, "There's a lot left to the imagination in terms of what actually happened." Now "there's a role reversal in terms of Jen's and Judy's decisions and the wrongs they've committed against each other. It was really exciting to dig into what it's like now that the tide has turned."

Actresses Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini in Netflix series Dead To Me.

Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

While audiences are riveted by the entertainment value, Feldman calls the show nothing short of "a gift," explaining, "Allowing myself to be open and vulnerable through my writing, and being as real as possible about these women's experiences, has really helped to heal me."

Originally published in Watch Magazine, May-June 2020.

Dead to Me is produced by CBS Television Studios and streams on Netflix.


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