Anthony Anderson received his first Emmy nomination Thursday morning for his role as Andre Johnson in the ABC comedy “Black-ish.”
The actor received the news in the middle of customs during a trip to South Africa. “I wanted to scream and jump for joy, but I was walking through security,” Anderson said in an interview with TheWrap. “I couldn’t get as excited as I wanted to because of where I was.”
Anderson was nominated for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, joined by Louis C.K., Don Cheadle, Matt LeBlanc, William H. Macy, Jeffrey Tambor and Will Forte. He discussed the compromising circumstances under which he learned of his nomination, as well as the nominations of two black actresses in the Drama category, an Emmys first.
TheWrap: What was your initial reaction to finding out you were nominated for an Emmy?Anderson: I wanted to scream and jump for joy, but I was walking through security at Heathrow airport on my way to South Africa. I literally got off the plane, turned my phone on — something I wasn’t supposed to do at customs, but I did it anyway — and it almost exploded from all the text messages and voicemails that I received … I couldn’t get as excited as I wanted to because of where I was.
Who do you see as your stiffest competition?
I don’t even look at it like that. We’re all very fortunate to have received a nomination, but just the climate of what we’re dealing with, with same-sex marriages and Caitlyn Jenner and her acceptance, just the work that Jeffrey Tambor is doing on “Transparent,” I would not be surprised if Jeffrey walked away with the award. We all have a shot, but I would not be surprised if Jeffrey did it — not to diminish his work as an artist, because he’s phenomenal — but it’s all coming together at the same time — the subject matter and what they’re doing. But I don’t see it as a competition at all.
What was your reaction to Taraji P. Henson and Viola Davis making history as the first two black actresses to be nominated together in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category?
It’s about time. No one ever mentions when there aren’t any people of color being nominated together. It’s never a big deal when we have white actresses dominating the categories … They’re talented women, they’re talented artists and they deserve to be there … More people of color should be up there … There’s great Latino actors and there’s great Asian actors as well. People of color, we represent. I have been representing in this industry for years, and whenever one of us is finally nominated, we always say it’s about time.
How do you plan to impress voters before the awards are handed out in September?
I will continue to do what I’ve been doing to get me to this point, continue to do the work that they recognized me for, and build upon that. There are things that I can control in the equation and the work that I put out. That’s all that I’m concerned about. I’m not concerned with impressing anyone — I’m concerned about being the best that I can be as an artist. That’s all I can do.