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Golden Globes nominee Connie Britton on adapting 'Dear John' for the screen and the tyranny of Elf on the Shelf

Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Star of Bravo's adaptation of the hit L.A. Times podcast "Dirty John," Connie Britton earned the second Golden Globe nomination of her career on Thursday after last being recognized for her 2013 role in the series "Nashville." Below, she talks about the challenges in bringing the story of Debra Newell and her relationship with a con artist to the screen as well as the seasonal parenting trap of Elf on the Shelf.

Q: How did you get word of your nomination?

A: Well, I was asleep and my son came in to wake me up to see if he could go find his Elf on the Shelf. And I was waking up and I saw that my phone started ringing. It was my publicist in New York and I was like, oh no, did I forget an interview? I didn't pick it up, I was telling my son to go look for his elf. And then I saw that I had all these text messages and I kind of figured it out.

Q: Wait, Connie. Where was the elf?

A: The elf was on the piano this morning. Yoby 1/8short for Eyob3/8 has piano lessons today and the elf must have known that and was too excited to wait.

Q: You have the distinction of giving Bravo its first Golden Globe nomination. How does that feel to put it on the map in the scripted world?

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A: I'll be truly honest with you. This all happened and then I was getting my son off to school and I've got a bunch of meetings today, so that's why I'm talking to you from the car. But the whole thing, to me, is such an honor and it's so nice to be acknowledged in this way.

And "Dirty John" was such a huge team effort and Bravo was very intentional about how they wanted it to go and what they wanted it to be for them. The L.A. Times too. It really, really felt like a team effort. If I could be the one who is stepping forward and being honored this way, it's really representing all of that hard work and all of that intention.

Q: For Bravo, it helps people think of the network beyond reality TV. There were a lot of fans of the print and audio package who were worried when they heard it was being adapted by Bravo.

A: Yeah, it's true. And we had those conversations right from the beginning because that felt like something different, and it felt like something different for them as well. They wanted this to be a real departure for them. I think we kind of went with the idea that "all the networks are changing" on this one. Bravo did too. They were ready to expand and to step up into a different world and that doesn't mean -- listen, the "Real Housewives" aren't going anywhere, and for good reason. People love, love that and it's a very specific genre. But that doesn't mean that Bravo can't also expand beyond that.

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