Tracee Ellis Ross, who plays family matriarch Dr. Rainbow “Bo” Johnson on the hit ABC comedy “Black-ish,” was nominated for her first Primetime Emmy Award on Thursday, for best actress in a leading roll. The actress, the daughter of singer/actress Diana Ross and music manager Robert Ellis Silberstein, talked with the Los Angeles Times the morning her nomination was announced.
Q: I assume you were up to watch your co-star Anthony Anderson announce the nominations?
A: Yes, I was watching Anthony this morning. I did my best last night – I let a couple of girlfriends know the nominations were happening but I didn’t let my family know because depending on what happened, I wanted to feel like I could go about my day. I clapped like a crazy person when Anthony’s name was said and screamed like a crazy person. And the fact that he got to say my name was so special. I danced around my coffee table and opened my front door and walked outside. Then I realized I didn’t know where I was going, so I walked back inside. And I called my mom.
Q: And? What did Ms. Ross say?
A: She was sleeping. Of course, she picked up the phone and was like, ‘Baby I’m sleeping. Can I call you back?” And I was like, “No, wake up!” And given that she has kids and grandkids, she went into, ‘What’s happening?’ ” She was ready for anything. I was like, “I just got nominated!” She said, “I can’t go back to sleep!” We screamed for a little.
Then I realized I hadn’t listened to hear what other women were nominated so I went to play it back. The other women in this category are ridiculous. Julia Louis-Dreyfus defies all odds. She’s had three hit shows? Utterly insane. Amy Schumer is someone that I’m friendly with and absolutely love. Laurie Metcalf – beyond and end all in life. Lily Tomlin – why don’t you just shut every front door. Are you freaking kidding me, right now? Shut up. And then Ellie Kemper, I mean, stop it
But nothing had me as excited as the show being nominated. It is so deserved. And I’m grateful that there is new blood. I like seeing a reflection of what is happening on television.
Q: There’s a lot of attention on well-liked shows once they enter their second season. It’s like – can you keep this going? You guys kept it going.
A: It’s like day-old chili. It gets better. There was a sense of confidence in who we were and an ease that happens when you’ve developed a flow. The subject matter we were able to tackle came with a sense of courage. And I know our show is called “black-ish” and race is one of the places we explore deeply, but, from my perspective, the way we talk about being a woman and a wife and all of that is equally extraordinary.
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