Brooke Smith launched a DIY Emmy campaign this year when ABC didn’t campaign her. She talks to AwardsDaily about her integral performance.
You definitely know Brooke Smith.
If you don’t know her from her excellent work on ABC’s buzzy sensation Big Sky, then you know her from her stint on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Or you know her from her work on AMC’s Bates Motel. But you most definitely know her as Catherine Martin, the “girl in the well,” from the Oscar-winner The Silence of the Lambs.
But what you may not know about Smith is that, after over three decades in film and television, she is not among the studio-endorsed 2021 Emmy campaigns for Big Sky. According to other outlets, ABC told her that her key role as Merrilee Legarski qualified as a recurring performance, not part of the main cast. Therefore, she wasn’t invited to participate in those all-too-important talent panels at the heart of any Emmy campaign.
However, most viewers, Smith included, consider her role as critical to the first half of the series, which was extended mid-run thanks to strong support. Merrilee serves as the emotional core of the Rick Legarski (John Carroll Lynch) storyline. Your heart breaks for her as she slowly discovers that two important men in her life are dangerous criminals. She commands all of your attention as she begins to put the pieces together, and you’re astounded at the end of her character arc with the shocking choice she made.
In short, Brooke Smith emerges as absolutely more than a recurring player in Big Sky. Over the course of her 8 episodes, she embodies the character of Merrilee Legarski, taking what could be a throw-away role and transforming it into a deeply resonant portrait of an ignored woman.
Here, Smith sits down virtually with AwardsDaily’s Clarence Moye. She talks about her DIY Emmy campaign, and why she chose to pursue it. Smith also dives into her performance as Merrilee and the key decisions she made along the way to so beautifully portray this woman. Finally, she talks about what went through her head as Merrilee committed that shockingly graphic act before the mid-season break.
Please consider Brooke Smith for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.