When Margo Martindale was announced last night as the Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her iconic work as Mags Bennett, the terrifying matriarch of a Kentucky marijuana cartel on "Justified," it seemed like everyone on my Twitter feed went nuts with happiness. My favorite reaction was probably Patton Oswalt's:
"MARGO WINS! MARGO WINS! MARGO WINS! Raise a toast of apple pie cider, everyone! #myonlyEmmyTweet" - @pattonoswalt
Granted, the people I follow are a self-selected (or me-selected) group that rightfully includes a lot of "Justified" fans, but it seemed like much of last night's goodwill went to the 60-year-old character actress's success story. And that's pretty cool, because in addition to being a fantastic actress, she sounds like an amazing lady. Here's a quick and easy guide to becoming a Margo Martindale superfan.
1. If you haven't already, watch her on "Justified," where Martindale played such an original character so well that she managed to steal the spotlight from the mesmerizing Timothy Olyphant. This is going to make some people mad, but the already-great show got so much better when Mags came along, so why not just start with her arrival in Season 2? It's available on iTunes, and it looks like FX is getting around to releasing it on DVD, which you can pre-order here.
2. Listen to Martindale on NPR's "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" from last week. In one of her best interviews of the year, Terry Gross effortlessly gets Martindale to open up about her preparation for her role as Mags Bennett (none: it just came from her own life experience, which happens to have included four years in Kentucky), her weight, of all things, but in an honest and relatable way ("I would like to be thinner"), and her Emmy dress ("It's red. I said no black, no jacket: I don't want to hide.") There's also a touching moment where Martindale, describing looking back over her own life during a scene in the film "Paris: Je T'Aime," openly weeps. I know it's the biggest cliché ever, but she couldn't seem stronger in that moment. (Warning: you might not want to listen to that part in a public place! It's very moving.)
3. Watch her on her new show, "A Gifted Man," premiering Friday on CBS. I'll admit I'm lukewarm on the pilot, starring Patrick Wilson as a jerky, egotistical, famous doctor whose life gets upended when he starts seeing the ghost of his ex-wife (it's "House," with ghosts!), but I'll keep watching a little longer just for Martindale as his long-suffering assistant. And she seems to have a sense of humor about the show's odd premise, telling Terry Gross "I like medical shows and I like ghosts, so there you go."