It’s good to be Anna Chlumsky right now.
Shortly after giving birth to her first child in July, the actress got word that she received her first Emmy nomination for her role as Chief of Staff Amy Brookheimer on Veep, who spends her time trying to keep control of chaos magnet Selina Meyer, the Vice President of the United States, played by Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
In the first of TV Fanatic's Emmy Watch series, I talked to Chlumsky to find out what she thinks of her nomination and her hopes for Amy in the third season of Veep.
TV Fanatic: You're having a good summer with your new baby but you also received your first Emmy nomination! Congratulations on that.
Anna Chlumsky: Thank you so much. That was a pretty crazy week.
TVF: I bet. When did you find out about the nomination? Did you get woken up by phone calls with the news?
AC: No, I was up because I was feeding my daughter. She was a week old at the time. My manager called me. It being so early, I kind of knew. My husband had reminded me that the announcement would be that morning, but we weren't really having success in watching them online. It wasn't really the top thing that I was thinking about, and then my manager called me.
TVF: Wow. Do you get to pick the episode you wanted to submit?
AC: I did. I find that to be kind of funny especially in our show, which is such an ensemble show. I feel like you would want to just send the entire season. It's hard to choose one. But yeah, we chose our episode. I think it's episode eight [from the first season]. I think it’s a good one.
TVF: In terms of the second season do you think it was a good time for us to get to know Amy a little bit more since we met her family?
AC: Yeah, I think so. It also speaks to just how married to her work she is. If you keep her in the context of the office I think you get a taste of Amy, but once you take her outside of the office then you realize ‘oh geez, she's really only good at her job and not really good at anything else.’
TVF: What do you think the future holds for her in terms of romance?
AC: I actually don't know how Ed's going to come into play. It seems like it was - and this is really just conjecture - with the campaign brewing, the fundraising genius that he is, he's going to have to be present somehow. Narratively, I don't think they necessarily clicked as much as they were going to click but you never know how long it takes a character to figure that out before the audience does.
TVF: Since the campaign is going to be a big part of the third season, do you think it's a good or bad thing for Amy?
AC: I think she's going to love being part of the campaign. I think she's in a hinky position being the chief of staff because she's got to hold down the fort. I'm sure she would love to be at the forefront of all the excitement of the campaign as well. I think that could be one of her struggles is balancing being in the current administration with how it would interplay with what she would want to do with the campaign.
TVF: Given you being a new mother, do you think Amy would make a good mother?
AC: [laughs] Oh gosh. I wouldn't want to put that on her, honest to God. Just because I know that she's so conflicted about it in the first place. I think that she considers her work her baby, which is even kind of funny considering that she pretended to be with child at one point because of her work. That's the first season reference.
TVF: I do remember that.
AC: I definitely think that she'd like to put number one, number one. If anybody else becomes number one, she's terribly uncomfortable with that. For me it already takes up a lot of that room for her. Amy, then Selina, then gosh, would she have room for anybody else? I don't know.
TVF: This past year you still were dabbling in some drama series like Hannibal. Is that just something you consciously want to do as an actor, making sure you're doing some comedy and some drama?
AC: That's something I definitely do. I think that range and also stretching yourself is vital as an actor. I think that never, ever goes away no matter how busy you are. It is really important to me to play with other roles when I get the chance to.
Also, I personally approach comedy and drama the same way. I feel like scenes and how you face them can happen in both genres and if you’re telling a story, then you're doing your job. I don't really consider myself with mixing of comedy and drama as much as I try to look for different roles when I'm on hiatus from Veep.
TVF: How is motherhood? It's your first child, right?
AC: Yeah. It's new all the time. The learning curve is skyrocketing. There's days I'm like ‘oh my gosh! I have no idea what's happening.’ Then you learn something and you feel a little bit more confident so that's good.
TVF: The big question, of course: are you getting sleep?
AC: I am. There's no way I can complain. My husband and I have figured out a little shift system so both of us can get a good block in. There are no complaints here when it comes to sleep. I know a lot of people have all hours.
Veep returns for its third season in 2014. The 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards airs September 22 on CBS.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.