HOLLYWOOD – Sam Haskell and Hudson Hickman find themselves in rare and wonderful territory.
On Sunday, the Northeast Mississippi natives will be in the running for the first Emmy Awards of their long and respected Hollywood careers. The pair spoke with the Daily Journal during a phone interview from an office on the Warner Bros. lot.
“All the nominees and the stars of these shows are involved in all these parties, so it’s quite the celebration,” Haskell said. “I’ve been to many of these but never as a nominee, so I’m really thrilled to enjoy the experience.”
“It’s the first nomination for me as well, and the last six or eight weeks have been so enjoyable,” said Hickman, a New Albany native and resident.
Along with Dolly Parton and Pamela K. Long, Haskell and Hickman are nominated for Outstanding Television Movie at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards. “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors: Circle of Love” aired on NBC in December and focused on the power of family, faith, love and forgiveness. It’s a sequel to 2015’s “Coat of Many Colors.”
“It’s so gratifying that we clearly touched something in the hearts of the country because the ratings were so phenomenal,” Hickman said, “but then to also move the academy voters to recognize us is really wonderful.”
This year’s competition is “Black Mirror: San Junipero” (Netflix), “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” (HBO), “Sherlock: The Lying Detective” (PBS) and “The Wizard of Lies” (HBO).
“There are so many movies that were eligible,” Haskell said. “We’re the only commercial network movie that was nominated, and we’re the only family movie that was nominated.”
An Amory native and Oxford resident, Haskell recalled a trip to Pickwick in 1965, when he was 10 years old. His friend’s mother, Weesie Hollis, drove, and Haskell, who was devoted to TV Guide and Photoplay magazine, sat next to her.
“I said, ‘One day when I grow up I’m going to go to Hollywood and I’m going to win an Emmy,’” Haskell said, “and everybody in the car started to laugh, except for her. She said, ‘Hush, boys. If this young man thinks he’s going to win an Emmy then I believe he’s going to win an Emmy.’ I sat up nice and proud, and I’ve never forgotten that. If we are so fortunate to win, I will thank her.”
He’ll also be grateful to his friend and collaborator, Parton, who trusted him to tell stories about her life. Haskell said he’ll be sitting next to her during the ceremony.
“We’ll be nervous wrecks. Dolly said if she wins she’s going to run up those steps so fast to grab that award,” Haskell said. “I told her, ‘We’ll be running right behind you.’”
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are both nominated for their roles on the Netflix comedy, “Grace and Frankie.”
“So they’re going to have a ‘9 to 5’ reunion,” Haskell said. “They’re going to present an award together. That will be a special moment.”
Hosted by Stephen Colbert, the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards will air at 7 p.m. Sunday on CBS. Haskell said the Outstanding Television Movie winner should be announced during the last 45 minutes of the broadcast.