Thought it would be great to get her to chat with us about the voting process since she's not only a seasoned Emmy veteran but a high-ranking member of the TV academy, serving on both its board of governors and the executive committee.
Please pardon all the background noise in this video. Frenzied construction was going on around us as workers buzzed and banged away to get the red carpet area ready for Sunday. In case you have trouble hearing what she has to say, some of her choice comments are below.
Emmy-winning actors, remember, are chosen by a group of fellow actors who watch an episode submitted by each nominee as an example of their best work. Which one did she choose?
"I submitted the last episode of the season where we bury Ida in the baseball field," she says. "I thought that one would work because — that whole burial poem, real poignant and all. Then I say, 'OK, let's dump her!' "
Orginally, producers told Joosten to submit a difference episode. "I just said, 'No, I'm going to do this. It's my submission!' "
She also reveals that producers initially planned to enter her in a different category.
"First of all, they had me down for supporting, and I knew that wasn't going to work," she says. "You've got those five women. You think I'm going to go up against them for supporting? No. Besides, I am a guest star. That is what my contract says."
How does Emmy voting work?
"The first phase is — we send out a paper ballot with everybody who's considered," she says. "That's voted on by people just checking off what they want. The top 10 of those become the pool for selecting the top five. And then people again volunteer to judge different categories, whether it's male or female or comedy or drama. Then they get tapes and they vote again and that leaves the top five. Once the top five are selected, again we go back to the voters for a third time and ask them to pick a category that they want to vote on and then they have to sign an affidavit that they did watch all of the submissions in that category and then that determines who the winner is."
This year there was a huge increase in the number of actors participating as voters — up about 50%. How'd that happen?
"We finally realized that all of the mailing and e-mailing we were doing to our performers, who are the only ones who judge those categories, were going to third parties like managers and publicists and business offices," she says. "Performers weren't getting it. So we made a big move this year to get that direct contact with the performers so we can make sure they get the material and the ballots in hand. We had a very big return."
When she won best guest actress last weekend, she told the audience that it's good thing she now has two because her sons won't have to fight over the first one she won in 2005 when she dies. Now they can each have one.
So I ask her: Which Emmy will go to which son?
"Oh, they can fight about that, and I'm sure they will," she says with a devious smile. "They'd fight about what time it is if they had a chance. I won't be there to watch. I don't give a hoot!"