Big Little Lies, Handmaid’s Tale among Emmy front-runners with Canadian ties – Entertainment

Some of the biggest contenders at Sunday’s Emmy Awards in Los Angeles have major Canadian connections, including Big Little Lies and The Handmaid’s Tale.

The miniseries Big Little Lies, which is up for 13 awards and won another three at the Creative Arts Emmys earlier this month, was directed by Quebec filmmaker Jean-Marc Valleé. Valleé, who was behind the Oscar-nominated film Dallas Buyers Club (2013), is nominated for an Emmy as director, editor and executive producer.

The series stars Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley and Nicole Kidman as mothers and friends in an affluent California town. Witherspoon and Kidman were also co-producers.

Director Jean-Marc Vallee (Wild, Dallas Buyer’s Club) is nominated for Emmys as director, co-executive producer and an editor for Big Little Lies. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

“Reese and I fought like crazy with our producing partners to get this thing made,” Kidman told CBC News. “It was like pushing a rock up a mountain but when we got it there, we were like, ‘We did it.’ And I said to Reese at the end, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if this was a big success? Can you imagine sharing that?’ And we get to share it, and that’s fantastic.”

French-Canadian cinematographer Yves Bélanger is also up for an award, along with many of the Montreal-based post-production staff involved with editing and sound mixing.

Big Little Lies, about the secrets and lies of families in an affluent California community, is nominated for 13 Emmys Sunday. It already won three at the non-televised ceremony. (HBO/Bell Media)

‘Extraordinary’ performances

Even though it’s an American series, The Handmaid’s Tale is based on Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel and the entire show was filmed in and around Toronto.

Among its 13 nominations, three of which it already won at the non-televised ceremony, is a lead actress nod for Elisabeth Moss.

The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood, left, makes a cameo appearance in the series alongside Offred, played by Emmy nominee Elisabeth Moss. (George Kraychyk/Hulu)

“There’s so many amazing performances in my category, and also so many incredible performances that were not included this year,” said the American actress, who was also nominated several times for her role as Peggy Olson on Mad Men. “To be chosen as one out of all of those is sort of a crazy, surreal thing.”

Moss is considered a front-runner in her category, but the series has…

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