Why Dylan McDermott Is 'More Grateful' Than Ever for His 2020 Emmy Nomination (Exclusive)

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The 'Hollywood' star reflects on the 20-year span between Emmy nominations and working with fellow nominee Holland Taylor.

After a 20-year stretch, Dylan McDermott has finally (and deservedly) earned his second Primetime Emmy nomination, this time for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for playing a local gas station pimp named Ernie in Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood. The nomination is his first since 1999, when he was up for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for The Practice. In total, the Netflix series is up for 12 awards the 2020 Emmys.  

While speaking to ET, McDermott reflected on his journey and what it means to be nominated again after so long. “It’s so sweet after all this time, because when you're young, you always think that things are going to keep happening. That’s kind of the mistake of being a young person and it takes a long time,” he says. “So this time around, I'm more grateful.”

The actor continues by saying, “I'm well aware of that fact that Ryan created this opportunity for me. He wanted to reinvent me -- his own words -- and he did. He absolutely reinvented me with this role. Because, you know, the good news about being an actor when you're successful is that people get to know you. So, you have to change people's minds. And this role has done that for me to change people's minds about me as an actor.” 

When he previously spoke to ET about the role, the actor credited Murphy with helping him change the perception around him as a performer. “It’s really hard for actors, over time, to sustain [momentum]. So, you always have to reinvent yourself, maybe every 10 years,” he explained at the time. 
On the revisionist history drama about the Golden Age of Tinseltown, McDermott plays a character loosely based on the notorious Scotty Bowers, who turns to pimping after his acting career doesn’t work out.

The actor most notably shares the screen with Holland Taylor, his former co-star on The Practice who is also up for an Emmy for her role as a studio executive, Ellen Kincaid, who takes an adoring interest in Ernie. The two end up together, both finding love and happiness in an industry that’s notorious for splitting people apart. 

“I just wrote a quote for Holland just now, saying that she's quite possibly the greatest actress on television and film today,” McDermott says. “She's a national treasure.”

He adds that their bedroom scene “will go down as one of my favorite scenes of all time. It’s just the work that we both did together and the relationship, and as a human being, she's just such a lovely, lovely person.”

Like Hollywood, McDermott is now getting his happy ending -- and will once again return to the Emmys, if there is an in-person ceremony. Despite revealing the nominees for the upcoming 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, there were no new details about how it will take place amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Whatever it is or shape it takes, I'm just happy to be there,” the actor says, adding, “It doesn't matter to me as long as there was recognition of the work.”

The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards will be handed out Sunday, Sept. 20 during a broadcast hosted by Jimmy Kimmel on ABC.