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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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Emmy chat: Join Mary Steenburgen on Wednesday to talk 'Justified' and more

Every time we turned on our TVs this year, it seemed there was about a 50-50 chance Mary Steenburgen would turn up on some great show.

First it was her season-long turn as the avenging widow on "Justified." Then she beguiled us as a Zen master on HBO's "Togetherness." Then she joined Will Forte, adding further proof that he was not "The Last Man on Earth." And in just a couple of weeks we'll be able to see her playing Pornstache's mother (!) in the new season of Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black."

Steenburgen will somehow find the time to join us at The Times' studio at 1:30 p.m. PDT Wednesday to talk about what she calls the "busiest" stretch of her career and answer any questions you might have. And maybe we'll even get her to sing a verse from the song she wrote for "Last Man." (Not this one.) Send us your questions via Twitter using the hashtag #AskLATimes. See you Wednesday!

Twitter: @glennwhipp

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Join a chat with 'Silicon Valley's' Thomas Middleditch on Tuesday

Thomas Middleditch has made a name for himself playing the guy perpetually doomed not to achieve a billion-dollar payday in HBO's "Silicon Valley."

As Richard Hendricks in the Mike Judge satire of the tech world, Middleditch plays on stereotypes with the mousy, reclusive demeanor. Yeah, he's sort of a genius, but completely incompetent. He has a knack 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 socially awkward. And he'll stop by the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday for a live-streaming chat at 2 p.m. PDT.

We'll also be taking your questions, which you can leave in the comments section here or tweet to us using the hashtag #askLATimes. See you Tuesday, and in the meantime, take a look at our other Emmy Contender conversations.


I tweet about TV (and other things) here: @villarrealy

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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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