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THE ENVELOPE Hollywood's Awards and Industry Insider
Emmy Contenders: Mary Steenburgen talks 'Justified,' 'Last Man on Earth'

Mary Steenburgen didn't bring her accordion, but she graciously shared the story about how she came to write a song for Will Forte on "The Last Man on Earth." And no, she can't discuss playing Pornstache's mother on the upcoming season of "Orange Is the New Black" (yet). She can (and did) talk about the beard her husband, Ted Danson, grew for his upcoming role on "Fargo" and how she made him shave it off, even though, for a time, she liked the whole sea captain look.

What we're saying is that although Steenburgen (that's pronounced Steen-bur-jen, despite what you'll hear in the video) says she has long maintained that she's "not that nice," she really is. And she does a pretty great Valley accent.

The 62-year-old actress has enjoyed an amazing run on television this year, much to her surprise ("I kind of thought I'd be gardening," she says) between her turns on "Justified," "Last Man" and "Togetherness."

"It's been an extraordinary year and I've had such a good time," Steenburgen says....

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Emmy Contenders: Thomas Middleditch riffs on 'Silicon Valley,' so much more

As Richard Hendricks in the Mike Judge satire of the tech world, "Silicon Valley," Thomas Middleditch plays on stereotypes with his character's mousy, reclusive demeanor. Yeah, he's sort of a genius, but he's also a fumbling, socially incompetent business leader. He has a penchant for vomiting when under pressure and bungles in his attempts at being taken seriously as he gets his startup off the ground.

In person, the Canadian actor is far less awkward. In fact, when he stopped by the Los Angeles Times recently for a chat, he used his comedy improv background to riff on everything from his addiction to "The Bachelorette," to his costumed attendance at L.A.'s Renaissance Pleasure Faire (or Renfair), to the tasty mixture concocted for Richard to spew when he's anxious and even how Richard just might be the next Walter White.

Take a look at the video above and try to keep up. You can also check out previous Emmy Contender conversations.

 

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Cannes 2015: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' wins Palme d'Or

Director Jacques Audiard's film "Dheepan," a drama about three Tamil exiles trying to reconstruct their lives in France, has won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. 

"These people are running away from a tragedy," Audiard told L.A. Times film critic Kenneth Turan earlier this week, "and I didn't want it to have anything to do with post-colonial France. Sri Lanka seemed like the end of the earth for me; before embarking on this project I couldn't have located it on a map."

FULL COVERAGE: Cannes 2015

"Son of Saul," about an Auschwitz Sonderkommando work unit, won the Grand Prix award, while best director went to Taiwan's Hou Hsiao-hsien for the martial arts film "The Assassin"

A complete report from Cannes can be found here. Below is the full list of winners:

Palme d'Or: "Dheepan," Jacques Audiard

Grand Prix: "Son of Saul," Laszlo Nemes

Best director: Hou Hsiao-hsien, "The Assassin"

Jury prize: "The Lobster," Yorgos Lanthimos

Best screenplay: Michael Franco, "Chronic"

Best actress:...

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Marty Pasetta dies at 82; directed 17 Oscar shows, Elvis satellite concert

Marty Pasetta, a veteran director of live TV extravaganzas, including 17 Academy Awards shows and inaugural galas for Presidents Carter and Reagan, has died. He was 82.

Pasetta died Thursday from injuries sustained in a single-car accident in La Quinta, where he lived.

According to the Riverside County coroner's office, the driver of the car in which the director was riding had left the engine on after they left the vehicle. The car struck Pasetta and another passenger. Pasetta died at the scene.

The operator of the vehicle, Keith Stewart, 75, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

During four decades in television, Pasetta directed and produced specials for many of Hollywood's biggest names, including Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, and oversaw star-studded tributes to Elizabeth Taylor, Fred Astaire and Alfred Hitchcock.

He was credited with convincing Elvis Presley to suspend his drug use and lose weight for the 1973 special "Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii," which has been...

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Envelope Screening: Less is more with music for 'American Crime'

"American Crime," ABC's drama about the racial and cultural impact of a brutal home invasion of a suburban white couple, is surprisingly quiet. Creator and executive producer John Ridley wanted to convey his story without a lot of music.

That doesn't mean the music wasn't a key factor. The show's composer, Mark Isham, said the series presented a unique challenge in terms of conveying emotion through music.

"I've always said the most important thing a composer can do is start and stop," said Isham, who has composed scores for more than 100 films. "That entrance can be the most impactful thing a piece of music can do."

Isham said Ridley had a "pretty rigorous aesthetic" about when to use music. "Consequently, we really milk it when we use it."

 

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Envelope Screening: 'American Crime' team felt 'emotional responsibility'

"American Crime," ABC's drama about the racial and cultural tensions surrounding the brutal assault of a young white couple, covered delicate and racially sensitive territory. But creator and executive producer John Ridley said he and his colleagues knew the series also had to be entertaining without being preachy.

"Everybody here felt a responsibility to have an emotional honesty to what we were doing," said Ridley. "I also think that to everybody's credit, this was obviously subject matter in and of itself, whether it's race, faith or class, are not traditional in terms of what we consider entertainment."

Ridley added, "But how it's delivered, through the language of cinema, which everyone used in presenting it, that can be — and there's no reason why it can't be — entertaining. And engaging. That's the operative perspective that everyone here was working with."

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