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Feature: Joan of Arcadia
Maid of Heaven
In a year when promising Fantasy series have been dropping like flies, Joan of Arcadia has flourished, winning Emmy nominations as a series, and for star Amber Tamblyn.
It’s a balmy summer evening at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, but the action on the diamond has virtually nothing to do with baseball, despite all the hot dogs and beer being shilled out to generous effect. Tonight, instead of players and umpires, the field is filled with reporters milling around a media party for CBS and its fall roster of shows and stars. And the belle of this ball is near home plate, surrounded by a small gaggle of TV critics, steadily but excitedly relating the story of her biggest professional home run so far – an Emmy nomination.
“I was sleeping, and all my phones started ringing,” explains Amber Tamblyn, who mixes both maturity and exuberance in a simple but stylish white halter dress. “I was in a hotel in Vancouver… and all the phones started ringing, and I ran into my dad’s room and tripped over the phone wire, because he had dragged the phone from the front room into his room and put it by the bed on the chair. It was so cute. So I told him, and I was up for the rest of the day. It was very exhausting.”
That’s how, just days earlier, Tamblyn had found out that she’d been nominated for an Emmy for her lead performance in the hit drama Joan of Arcadia. It was a remarkable achievement for so young an actress, for a series that was only in its first season, and for a show with such offbeat subject manner – a teenager who regularly, if reluctantly, speaks with God in all of His/Her many forms. It also was an event that’s already becoming a touch old hat for Tamblyn, right down to the physical dangers of hearing good news – back in January, she banged her knee against her bedpost while rushing to answer the phone call alerting her to her Golden Globe nod. But the thrill of the honor definitely is fresh for Tamblyn – doubly so because Joan also scored an Emmy nomination for Best Drama Series.
“Both [nominations] are completely shocking,” says Tamblyn. “Everyone seems to say that the show nomination was more shocking, but I think that’s only because I got the Golden Globe nomination. So it was like that had already been put out there. But our show to take the place of another show and to be put in the category with, like, 24 and CSI and The Sopranos, for God’s sake, is mind-boggling. I mean, obviously, I feel we really deserve it, but I feel like we’ve finally come into a place that is our own, and we’re being recognized for that.”
by David Waldon
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