After what she calls a "bleak" time in her life, Kathy Bates’ career resurgence just keeps getting better. The veteran actress picked up an Emmy earlier this year for her part in American Horror Story: Coven, and now she’s being recognized once again for her role on FX’s hit anthology series.
Early Thursday morning, Bates snagged her seventh Golden Globe nomination – the first since 2002’s About Schmidt -- for her portrayal of the bearded lady, Ethel Darling, on American Horror Story: Freak Show, pitting her against the likes of Orange Is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba and True Detective’s Michelle Monaghan in the Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie category.
ETonline caught up with Bates, a two-time Globe winner, after the actress earned her latest nomination.
ETonline: Kathy – another Golden Globe nomination! How are you feeling?
Kathy Bates: I’m very proud, and I didn’t expect it because it’s a very tough category. It’s a tough category because there’s so much competition for roles like [Ethel]. I’m just very grateful to be [nominated].
ETonline: How did you find out about your nomination?
Bates: One of my friends called me. He’s been my best friend for years and years, and he always keep his ear to the ground with these kinds of things. Also, my little dog wakes me up at 8 o’clock every morning whether I wanna get up or not and scratches me on my nose, and so I was able to get [my friend’s] call. That’s how I got the news.
ETonline: You’ve credited AHS showrunner Ryan Murphy for reviving your career after your battle with ovarian and breast cancer and also the cancelation of Harry’s Law in 2012, so this must feel like a very special honor.
Bates: It does. And I just received a lovely email from Ryan. Life is good now, and that’s due in no small part to him. I don’t know where he gets these amazing characters in his head, but I feel so lucky to have played two now. I’m so proud of all of us. I think this year has a very exciting ensemble, and it’s been fun to go to work and be with lots of different people every day. I just feel blessed.
ETonline: Having openly talked about ageism before, what’s it like being a 66-year-old woman in Hollywood?
Bates: Before [American Horror Story], it really was a bleak time for me. I couldn’t see past Harry’s Law being canceled. I couldn’t see past the breast cancer. I didn’t have anything to look forward to at that time on my calendar. It was a scary time because I’m single. I’m the only one that makes my livin’, and if I can’t do that, then my life will change drastically.
It’s very real. I’ve seen this happen to older actresses who really end up with nothing, and they’re so old that they can’t work anymore. I know that’s gonna happen to me some day – it’s gonna happen to all of us. We don’t like to think about it, especially in Hollywood where we’re all thinking about beauty and youth and joy – all those things we need to escape to; we need to, for a little while, get away from the dark side of the moon – but it’s something I do think about. I don’t take any of this for granted.
ETonline: Have you come to terms that, one day, you may not be acting as much or at all?
Bates: I don’t like to think about it! (Laughs.) I try to stay positive, and really, more than anything – and I know it’s a cliché – but I really, really appreciate every day. I really appreciate every person I come across and every conversation I have. I wanna try and be a positive person for change.
ET talked to Bates's AHS: Freak Show co-star Jyoti Amge on-set last month. See her interview in the video below.