A birthday surprise for 'Justified' actress Martindale
July 14th, 2011
05:15 PM ET

A birthday surprise for 'Justified' actress Martindale

[Editor's Note: If you still haven't viewed the season 2 finale of FX's "Justified," you may want to watch that first. There's a spoiler below!]

Just four days before her 60th birthday, “Justified’s” Margo Martindale got a gift in advance: a congratulatory phone call from a friend telling her that she’d been nominated for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series for her role as Mags Bennett.

The FX show received four Emmy nominations this morning, all of which were for acting. Besides Martindale, series leads Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins and Jeremy Davies picked up nods as well.

Back in 2004, Martindale was nominated for a Tony Award after her turn playing Big Mama in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” “I’ve been nominated for a Tony and I thought that was as good as it can get,” Martindale told CNN, adding with a laugh, “So let’s just say the audience is a lot bigger for this!”

Since the announcement, she has received more than 50 phone calls offering congratulations. “I even got calls from people I haven’t heard from in years,” she said.

Martindale added that she had no idea her role as Mags, the leader of a ruthless clan who institutes her own brand of southern justice, would even garner accolades. But she’s hopeful that this acknowledgement, along with the nomination for her friend Kathy Bates, who’s up for an outstanding lead actress in a drama series Emmy for “Harry’s Law,” opens up more doors for older women in Hollywood.

“I think people want to see older characters. Wouldn’t you want to see [more] powerful older women?” Martindale asked. “People really identify with this character and I think it’s because it is a character that is powerful and older and extremely mean!”

The veteran actress said she wouldn’t be able to play that “extremely mean” character had it not been for “Justified's” creative team.

“I haven’t been able to thank them enough for writing a magnificent character and I will miss doing this show so much that it makes me wanna cry!” she said. (And here's the SPOILER if you have yet to watch the season 2 finale. Martindale’s character kills herself, so no recurrence for her on this show.)

Now for the most important part of this story. What is she going to wear, since it will be the first time she attends the awards ceremony as a supporting actress nominee?

“Being plus size it’ll be harder to find the most glamorous dress, [and] what do you do when you are 60…and have to show your arms?” the actress joked.

Besides what she plans to wear, she’s also doing one other thing between now and September 18, when the ceremony happens.

“I’m going out to have dinner and drinks with my husband tonight,” she revealed, “and then I’m going on the biggest diet I’ve ever been on tomorrow!”

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