July 8th, 2010
05:25 PM ET
At first, Claire Danes was worried about becoming self-conscious about her lead role in the biopic “Temple Grandin,” based on the life of the venerated animal scientist and author, chiefly for three reasons, the actress told CNN.
"It was a little scary to play somebody who, one, is alive, and two, is valued very deeply by huge sways of people, and three who is wired in such a fundamentally different way than myself," Danes, 31, explained.
But after immersing herself in the study of Grandin’s movements and turns of phrase, Danes ended up portraying the scientist and autism advocate in a way that not only earned Grandin’s respect, but also the attention of her peers. Danes nabbed a nomination in the outstanding actress in a miniseries or TV movie category, and "Temple Grandin" is also in the running for outstanding made for television movie.
“I feel very grateful that the movie works and that people have responded so strongly to it and that more people are going to have a sense of who she is and why she’s important,” Danes said. “I’m especially happy that it received so many nominations because it was a shared effort for sure. Everyone invested a lot in the project and it’s fantastic that it amounted to something.”
But of course, Danes added, little compares to the relief she felt when Grandin approved of her performance.
“It’s a very intimate thing to play someone and be played by someone,” Danes said. “I respect her enormously, and my admiration only grew over the process of playing her and I feel very lucky and glad that she liked my performance.”
The actress, currently in Rome, Italy with her husband Hugh Dancy, will spend her evening celebrating her second Emmy nod (the first being in 1995 when the then 15-year-old Danes was nominated for her work on “My So-Called Life”) with a pasta dinner.
“Rome is a favorite city of ours, so it’s nice to find ourselves here when we’re in a celebratory mood,” the actress said. “Well, I think any dinner is Rome is sort of celebratory, but this will be more so.”
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