“Desperate Housewives” Emmy nominee Brenda Strong is thrilled with her nod from the Television Academy, but hard-pressed to come up with a reason why she’s been singled out for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance honors this year and not the other six years the series has been on the air. “I have no idea. Did somebody on ‘Family Guy’ not submit?” she asks wryly. It could be just an accumulation of appreciation, friends have suggested to her, or it just might be her turn.
Strong, who narrates the show as deceased housewife Mary Alice Young, will be appearing in front of the cameras more often as flashbacks begin to reveal more “Desperate” secrets come fall. “Mary Alice is book-ending the season. We have to act like it’s the last season, because we don’t know if it is or not,” she says. As for herself, “I would be happy to be Mary Alice Young ’til somebody sent the cows home and turned out the lights.”
If by chance “Desperate Housewives” did continue beyond what’s expected tobe its final year, Strong would be doing double duty — because she’s heading for Dallas this October to begin playing Mrs. Bobby Ewing in TNT’s 2012 “Dallas” reboot. But that wouldn’t be a problem. As she points out, “Technology is such now that as long as you have an ISDN line, you can record voiceovers from Timbukutu if you want to.”
If she does have any concern about work, it’s that audiences that still fondly remember Victoria Principal’s (late) Pam Ewing will accept her as Ann Ewing. Comments Brenda, “The people on ‘Dallas’ were bigger than life when I was an up and coming actress. I think it’s a great idea that we get to reshape it for another generation. I love that we get to explore these real Shakespearean themes with our tongues in our cheeks. Really, it’s family drama of Biblical proportions.”
Meanwhile, there are the Emmys. Strong is being escorted by her 16-year-old son, Zakery, who is now also an actor. Asked about feeling like her fellow nominees in the category are strange bedfellows, she quips, “Yes, but I won’t be sleeping with Porky Pig anytime soon.” Porky Pig actor Bob Bergen is among the nominees in her category, as is Seth Green for multiple voices on his “Robot Chicken,” Maurice LaMarche for “Futurama,” Dan Castellaneta for “The Simpsons,” and Christopher Plummer for narrating “Moguls & Movie Stars – The Birth Of Hollywood.”
“In a weird way, it takes the pressure off, because they’re not doing what I do,” she says. “But I’m honored to be in a category with these seasoned pros — and to be in the same sentence as Christopher Plummer, who I have so much respect for, that’s really a great place to be.”