For Connie Britton, Emmys recognition for the often under-appreciated "Friday Night Lights" means the world. After five seasons playing Tami Taylor on the show that almost went off the air early on, Britton says she's not sad now that the series has wrapped up.
Is all of this sort of an adrenaline rush for you?
Total adrenaline rush. It’s funny, my cousin in New York, who is my greatest fan, she was the first person to call me last year. She called my cellphone [today], and it was off -- because I was sleeping. My land-line rang, and so I actually heard the news from my publicist.
Is the nomination bittersweet?
Honestly, this one actually feels the most amazing because the show finally got a nomination. After five seasons, it just feels incredible to have the show recognized. It was long deserved, I think.
Have you spoken to your costar Kyle Chandler yet?
He was the second call I got. And he was gloating because he was feeling more optimistic about it. The other day, we were talking on the phone and he kept saying that I would get it, that the show would get it. We were both just really thrilled. We love the show so much. It was the little show that could.
How do you plan on celebrating?
I don’t even know. I’m in the middle of working on a movie ["The To-Do List"]. Today I have off, but I have a bunch of meetings. Maybe I’ll just take a moment to jump up and down in place.
Who else are you rooting for on the big night?
Right before you called, I was looking through all the categories. Wow. It's such a great roster this year. I think there’s a lot I’m rooting for. I actually love watching comedies. I think the comedy category is just fantastic, all the shows in the running.
Is it surprising to see how "Friday Night Lights" is finding a new audience even as it ends?
It’s the gift that keeps on giving. It’s really crazy. People would ask if it was strange with the whole DirectTV thing, but it was a blessing -- especially this year, it’s been so nice. The show has really extended its life, which I’m thrilled about. That was the thing about our show, it took people. I’m not mad about anything this morning. I don’t know how things would have been different. For a series that got to run for five seasons, the fans that watched the show have been so passionate. You can't take that away. And with it running on ESPN, more fans will get to enjoy it, and I’m thrilled.
Where would Tami and her family be had there been a sixth season or a seventh?
I’ve often wondered if we had continued, where they’d be. We probably wouldn’t have moved out of Texas. I think that’s the beauty of the show; we could have watched their lives indefinitely. I would have loved to have seen where they were going.
-- Yvonne Villarreal
Photo: "Friday Night Lights" stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles TImes