When feature producer-writer-director Todd Haynes began work on the five-part HBO miniseries adaptation Mildred Pierce, it was his first television project aside from a 1993 short film for PBS entitled Dottie Gets Spanked. It reeled in a chart-topping 21 Primetime Emmy nominations, including three for him alone. It was quite an Emmy initiation for the Oscar-nominated writer-director of Far From Heaven (2002) and I’m Not There (2007). Haynes spoke to Deadline TV Contributor Ray Richmond:
DEADLINE: What was it like to wake up the morning of the Emmy nominations and find 21 nominations?
TODD HAYNES: It was very unexpected, to say the least. I didn’t even know that Mildred Pierce was eligible in that many categories. This is a slightly new world for me. But it was obviously an incredibly prideful moment. So many people worked extremely hard on it, and we tried to bring the best to the project that we could. So to have the work be acknowledged like that was quite a special feeling.
DEADLINE: Did the experience of Mildred Pierce leave you wanting to make more television?
HAYNES: Oh, absolutely. I love those guys at HBO. I had such a unique experience making this for them. I’m used to always having struggles getting finances together and keeping precarious budgets alive in the independent film world. So it was such an amazing thing to work with a real studio that had money, that was solid, that was looking after the product and caring about how it was made. They were right there with me to make sure we delivered something comprehensive and … Read More »
HBO will air a 15-minute sneak peek of the first episode of new series Game of Thrones on Sunday, April 3, ahead of the fantasy series’ premiere on April 17. Part Three of HBO’s miniseries Mildred Pierce, which was scheduled for 9 PM that night, will now start at 9:15 PM. Following the one-time-only play, the Game of Thrones preview will be available online and on demand.
- Cinema Verite is about the groundbreaking 1970s PBS series An American Family, considered the first reality show. Reality TV “was such an intellectual exercise in the beginning, and it’s turned to such shit,” Gandolfini said. Asked if he watches reality TV, he said that he has “seen Real Housewives of Atlanta — that was extraordinary.” Jersey Shore? “No no no.”
- After the session, a beaming Gandolfini was asked why he had never looked so happy and smiling at previous TCAs. “Because I was on The Sopranos,” he said. “Because I worked 150 hours a week on a show, beating up women.” As for the long-gestating Sopranos movie, he indicated that it isn’t happening.
Kate Winslet, star of HBO’s upcoming mini-series Mildred Pierce and James Gandolfini, co-star of the the network’s upcoming film Cinema Verite, were on hand for their projects’ panels at TCA today. Here are a few amusing soundbites from the two:
- Winslet, who took part via satellite from Paris, on the difference between working in film and TV: “Film, shmilm. I’m telling you television is so much harder.”
- Winslet said she only watched the first 5 minutes of the 1945 movie starring Joan Crawford before turning it off. “I wouldn’t have been able to unsee it. I wanted to honor the book and be true to it.”