Cherry Jones talks playing the president and the first lady

Emmy nominee and out lesbian Cherry Jones, who already has been recognized for her brilliance on stage with multiple Tony Awards, is up for her first Emmy this year for playing President Allison Taylor on 24 — and rightly so.

The past season of 24 found President Taylor dealing with a terrorist attack from the inside that took the lives of friends and family — and Jones’ performance rocked the White House.

She talked to the New York Times about the Emmy nod in its latest installment of “Get to Know Your Emmy Hopefuls.” Here are some highlights.

On her reaction to the Emmy nomination:

I really truly just giggled a lot — even though I’ve been on the show for two seasons, I still feel like a bit of impostor who just snuck into town and is pretending to be a television actor.

On the difference between working on stage and in television:

Honestly, the biggest adjustment was just that I could start over. “That was a take. Do it again.” [Laughs] … I’m like a farm animal, you know? I’ve been trained to keep going.

On her inspiration for President Taylor:

I throw John Wayne in to add a little testosterone to the mix of Golda [Meir] and Eleanor [Roosevelt], although you could argue that with Golda, you don’t need any testosterone thrown in — she was so tough. The compassion and the brilliance of Eleanor Roosevelt. I’m a huge Eleanor Roosevelt fan so I always have to throw a little Eleanor into anything I do.

On playing Eleanor Roosevelt in “Amelia”:

I have a little Eleanor cameo. In fact, I had a great thrill one day: I worked all day long on a Monday on 24 playing the president. Then I got on a red eye to Toronto and arrived early in the morning and went right to the set and I shot Eleanor Roosevelt all day. So within 24 hours I played both the president and the first lady! [Laughs]”

On whether she’ll attend the Emmys:

Look, I’m a tourist. I’m a tourist in Hollywood and I want the full ride. So I went down to Neiman Marcus and I got myself a dress and I got myself a pair of shoes. The gals from the show are going to do my makeup. I’m going to go like Cinderella to the ball.

Let’s hope she brings Princess Charming.

You can read the rest of the interview at the Times website.

Will you be pulling for Cherry to win an Emmy Sunday? Does she have a good chance to win in such a strong category? Will she give Sarah a big ol’ kiss if she does?

UPDATE: Cherry won! Look for our Emmy recap on the site later today.

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