Tracee Ellis Ross Q&A: ‘Black-ish’
“Who the hell wants to take down Julia Louis-Dreyfus? If anything I want to jump in bed with her!” jokes “Black-ish” star Tracee Ellis Ross about competing for Best Comedy Actress against Louis-Dreyfus, who has won for the last five years in a row for “Veep.” Ross would love to win of course, but Louis-Dreyfus “is one of my heroes, and I think everyone’s hero … Do I want to take her down? I don’t know. But do I want to have coffee with her, dinner with her and maybe watch a movie with her on the weekend — sure. But I feel like I could list a whole bunch of other actresses that are possibly in this category that I would want to do that with as well,” including her “childhood hero” Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”). The best solution, of course, would be a six-way tie. Watch our exclusive video interview with Ross above.
Ross earned her first Emmy nomination in 2016 for her performance as Rainbow Johnson on the ABC family comedy, and then a few months later she won her first Golden Globe. “It felt very exciting, not just for me but in general,” she remembers. “I think it had been 32 years since a black woman had been nominated in that category, so it felt like it was much larger than me.” But as she recounted on “Ellen” she almost lost her Globe during a wardrobe change. That won’t discourage her from dressing to the nines at future events, but she notes, “There should be hazard pay for the heels, or at least a reflexologist that meets us in the back.”
“Black-ish” recently ended its third season, during which we met Rainbow’s siblings (Daveed Diggs and Rashida Jones) and she experienced a health scare when her fifth child was born. Maternal storylines often pay dividends at the Emmys: Candice Bergen, Helen Hunt and Jennifer Aniston all won Best Comedy Actress for childbirth episodes. “I do like this idea that childbirth — not because of what that means to me, but what that means in our culture — is something that is deserving of an award,” Ross observes. “I think there are so many things that women do that are extraordinary … but I think a lot of the performances that have come out of this last year of work and what’s happening for women on television is so amazing — childbirth and many other things, seeing the expansive humanity and experiences that women have portrayed on television.”