At 5:28 a.m. on the West Coast, Anna Gunn woke up — despite her best efforts to sleep through Emmy nominations, which took place this morning. Lying next to her daughter, who’d crawled into bed with her during the night, she told herself to leave the TV off, lest the youngster wake. “If the phone rings, great. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t,” she told herself. It rang.
By the time Gunn called EW this afternoon, her face hurt from smiling, but it’s easy to understand why. The Breaking Bad actress was nominated for her first Emmy Award this morning in the Supporting Actress category, the show was nominated for the third time, her castmate Bryan Cranston was nominated for the seventh time (he’s won three for Breaking Bad and was nominated three times prior for Malcolm in the Middle), Mark Margolis was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor, and Aaron Paul and Giancarlo Esposito were nominated in the Supporting Actor category. If any day is happy dance worthy, it’s this one. So that’s exactly what she did.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So after your phone rang…
ANNA GUNN: I rushed downstairs and started making squealing noises. Then, of course, both girls woke up and did a happy dance with me. I was sorry I’d woken them up so early, but it was for a good reason.
I love how even on Emmy morning, your mom side took charge of the situation.
It really did! I was whispering [so I wouldn't wake them up] when I answered, went downstairs, then started making a bunch of noise and ended up waking them up anyway.
I find it interesting how you left the TV off — interesting Emmy morning strategy.
I didn’t have a plan or decide that beforehand. I just decided to let the morning unfold as it should. Honestly, it’s just been a pleasure to be on the show. Everybody says that, but it’s true. And it’s just been a great week. It started at Comic-Con with a reception that none of us could have expected, then our ratings were great on Sunday. It’s just been an awesome week already and anything that happened was going to be icing on the cake, and very good icing. I love icing! It’s my favorite part of the cake.
And your nomination wasn’t the only one for the show. So icing on top of icing.
It’s incredible. Bryan and Aaron both called and were yelling. And to see Giancarlo, who is such an extraordinary actor get that recognition. And Mark! We’ve all just been trading calls and yelling.
So what did Bryan have to say? He’s the Emmy vet. Any advice?
Well, Aaron left a message for me — he loves shouting my full name when he sees me. “ANNA GUNN!” It’s been that way for five years, so of course he called and yelled my name several times, and he said I should get a bottle of vodka and run naked through the street. That was his celebratory advice. So when I talked to Bryan and told him Aaron’s advice, he said, ‘Well, I would keep all naked reveling confined to your home. That’s my advice.’
So we know what Bryan’s doing…
Exactly! [Laughs] Who knows what he’s doing behind those shades. He’s probably in tighty whiteys — no! He’s really just been a great leader for the cast — all of us. He tells us to relish every moment, be in the moment, and enjoy it all. It can be such a whirlwind, and there can be moments where you’re not fully appreciating everything. And I’m fully appreciating it all right now!
Reflecting on last season, what part of your work were you most proud of? What do you think helped put you stand out?
There were a couple of key scenes last season and one of them was between me and Bryan where we were in the bedroom telling him that if he’s in danger we should go to the police. Then, he turns to me and says, “I’m not in danger. I’m the one who knocks.” That scene was an extraordinary piece of material…Everybody who works on the show knows that what we do is special and doesn’t always come around. So there’s just a lot of gratitude and we feel lucky to be part of it.
Watch EW’s interviews with the Breaking Bad cast from San Diego Comic-Con below.