Emmys: 'Friday Night Lights' Kyle Chandler: 'Nice to leave on a strong note'
With "Friday Night Lights" going off the air after five seasons, what could be a better send-off than Emmy nominations for the show and each of its two stars? For Kyle Chandler, not much beats that.
Where were you when you heard the news?
I’m in Austin, Texas, and I was outside tossing the ball with the dogs.
That is just perfect.
My wife came out and said, "Guess what, you just got nominated!" I immediately asked, "What about Connie?" She told me that she got one too. Then she shoved me in the swimming pool.
And the show got a nomination as well!
That’s what’s so great about this whole thing. Having the show nominated is having every single crew member and the writer — everyone as a team — recognized for all their work. This whole experience, the five years of “Friday Night Lights,” has been one of the more memorable experiences of my life. It’s just been such a hell of a ride. All this recognition just warms my heart.
Does this make it seem like the show hasn’t completely ended?
The show's been over in my mind for quite a while. People have asked me if I’m sad the show is gone. The truth is, I’m not happy or sad about it. I’m proud of what we did. The first episode, the pilot, was so incredible. And the very final episode was so incredible. Everything in between was strong. It’s so nice to leave the show on a strong note. That is something that I’m really proud of.
What did you find most challenging about the final season?
The hardest part of last year was the final scene I did with Connie in the restaurant. The end of the scene ends with us going outside. When we walked out, the whole crew — cast, producers, writers, everyone — was outside. Everyone just started clapping. I get chills thinking about that. The whole collective group was together, and it was an amazing moment. That whole feeling, that moment of celebration for our time together — there’s nothing like it.
How do you plan to celebrate?
I’m going into town to get my "Hollywood success sandwich." That’s what I call it. When I was doing [the ‘90s TV series] "Tour of Duty," I would get to the set and get myself a toasted bagel with lox. Put on some tomatoes, cream cheese and some capers. I’d sit there and start shaking. It tasted like success. Maybe I’ll add some onions.
That’s the best answer I’ve heard all morning.
It tastes real good.
Connie mentioned you were gloating because you predicted her nomination.
I talked to her this morning, yeah. I bet she didn’t tell you that she’s so happy because she just likes any excuse to be around me. I told her she was lucky because she’d get to be around me at another award show. And she started crying loudly. I think they were tears of joy -- but it could have just as well been tears of agony.
Tell her she can always get a dose of you on ESPN now that the network is airing “Friday Night Lights.”
I just found that out yesterday! You know, no one else has even told me that. I had to hear about it from my camera guy. But it’s fantastic. The show lives on. And this whole Emmy stuff, it gets all of us together one more time.
Photo: Kyle Chandler in "Friday Night Lights.' Credit: Bill Records / NBC Universal Inc.