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The 2017 Emmy Award nominations are out, and HBO is at the front of the pack (yet again) but not thanks to usual heavy hitter "Game of Thrones." This year it's all about "Westworld" and "Big Little Lies." Meanwhile there are plenty of battling co-stars in different categories, which is pretty on brand for FX's "Feud." Both Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange received a nomination for lead actress in a limited series or movie. And Sterling K. Brown and Milo Ventimiglia are competing against each other for lead actor in a drama series for "This Is Us."

Emmy nominee Jessica Lange calls Joan Crawford 'a great part' in 'Feud: Bette and Joan,' but she doesn't miss her

Susan Sarandon, left, as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford in "Feud: Bette and Joan." (Kurt Iswarienko / FX)
Susan Sarandon, left, as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford in "Feud: Bette and Joan." (Kurt Iswarienko / FX)

A revered actress and three-time Emmy winner, Jessica Lange was perhaps a shoo-in for this year's crop of nominees. After portraying Joan Crawford in Ryan Murphy's miniseries "Feud: Bette and Joan,” Lange earned her eighth Emmy nod, and she will be competing against co-star Susan Sarandan in the lead actress in a drama category.

It’s already midday for you in New York. What’s the morning been like so far?

It’s been a little hectic. But it’s so exciting. I’m so thrilled – and I’m thrilled about it for everybody involved.

What was it like to play such a complicated character as Joan Crawford? And what does this nomination mean to you?

You know, it was such a great part. And the part ended up meaning so much to me. Because I hadn’t, going into it, known that much about Joan Crawford and her history, and how she came up and the hard knocks, and what drove her. And suddenly, the part kind of opened up into this great, classic role with really tragic overtones. She became a character I really loved playing. So to be acknowledged – it makes it somehow more special.

Also, the fact that for Crawford, in the end after her death, to have the book “Mommie Dearest” and the movie done, it cast a shadow on her legacy that I always felt was somehow unfair. Because she was never able to respond in her lifetime. I feel like what we did with this was to approach it as honestly as we could from the research and everybody involved, and what we were able to do in those eight episodes was to create a complete picture of her.

Was the “Mommie Dearest” episode difficult for you?

They were all so emotional. It was such a huge, emotional character. That’s what I loved about it. I loved the idea that we could discuss her childhood and the violence and the poverty and the abuse. That was very important to me because it was my jumping-off point to the character.

It always is difficult – any time you play such extreme emotions, it takes its toll. But the longer you do it, the easier it is to move in and out of it.

How do you leave a character like that behind at the end of the day?

It didn’t exactly work that way. She was kind of with me all the time, I have to say. But I wasn’t home. I wasn’t around family. So it was all right. I was able to live with her.

Do you miss her now?

No, I can’t say that. But I do miss the work, the caliber of work that was done, the writing, the direction, the other actors. That’s what you end up missing at the end of the day.

Do you watch much television – and is there anything you’re inspired by these days?

I don’t. I have three homes and I only have TV in my New York apartment. I usually wait until the academy sends me screeners and then watch that. But I’m not watching anything right now.

What are you reading?

[George Saunders'] “Lincoln in the Bardo," which is very interesting.

What’s next, work-wise?

I’ve got nothing ahead of me right now, at least not for this year. Which is actually a really nice feeling.

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