Jane Fonda is back in the Emmy derby competing for Best Guest Drama Actress for her role in “The Newsroom” as eccentric media tycoon Leona Lansing – and this time she’s got several strong plusses: she’s nice, she’s stoned (more on that in a moment) and she gives a rousing speech in the episode she submitted to judges (“Red Team III”).
Read Daniel Montgomery‘s fascinating article about how big, purple speeches often translate into big Emmy wins, as demonstrated last year by Fonda’s costar Jeff Daniels pulling off that jawdropping victory for Best Drama Actor.
Fonda’s Leona gave a speech in last year’s submitted episode, too, but she was lashing out at her rascally staffers in that one. This time she’s on their side, refusing to accept their resignations when a scandal erupts over their botched TV news coverage. And something else is different, too …
“I was stoned!” Fonda roars in our webcam chat. “Leona just came back from a fundraiser a little drunk and stoned. It’s quintessential Aaron Sorkin creating a character like Leona from pissed off to touched to moved – through the gamut of emotions. It was such an honor and a privilege to speak his words. I love the way he created this character.”