Dan Bucatinsky is redefining the word overachiever.
Not only is he an executive producer on Lisa Kudrow's Web Therapy and a consulting producer on Grey's Anatomy, Bucatinsky also finds time to break hearts as James, Cyrus' (Jeff Perry) long-suffering husband, on ABC's breakout hit Scandal. And now he's gone and earned himself an Emmy nomination! Bucatinsky was nominated for Outstanding Guest Star, along with Scandal's star Kerry Washington, who landed a nod for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
Bucatinsky, who has previously been nominated for his behind-the-camera work on Web Therapy and Who Do You Think You Are?, was gracious enough to call us from the set of Grey's Anatomy, which is currently filming its season premiere, to tell us how he found out about his surprising nomination, why he thinks Washington will hear her name called on Emmy night and how Scandal has gone from guilty pleasure to "groundbreaking" drama...
E! Online: Congratulations! We have to admit we may have squealed when we learned you were nominated! How did you find out. Did you wake up for the announcements?
Dan Bucatinsky: I didn't wake up at 5 a.m., I set my alarm for 5:45 because I'm on set for Grey's Anatomy and I had to be here at 7 o'clock. At 5:45 I figured if no one's called me, I guess it's over. I was like, 'Fine,' because I didn't think it was possible really. There were so many amazing guys in my category who were actually famous and I didn't think it was possible.
But then I got a tweet when I was desperately searching for a list on my iPhone, which I could absolutely not find. I get a tweet from Josh Malina, and I thought, 'What are you talking about?' Because he's a famous prankster, so I thought he's teasing me. Then I saw my Twitter feed exploded and then I woke up my husband and I said, 'This is not confirmed, but I think I may have been nominated for an Emmy.' And he pops up like, 'What?!' It was so not on his radar, so we looked online and then my phone went crazy and I got an email from Shonda [Rhimes].
Who was the first person you called?
I called Jeff Perry, my costar, and was like, 'Dude, you're my first call. I owe everything to you.' Acting with him is like an acting class every single time you say a word to him. I'm blown away. You imagine in your head, like total fantasies.
He and [his wife] Linda Lowy, who is the casting director of Scandal and Grey's, I was just telling them how grateful I was and they were really supportive and positive. These recognitions are special on a show like Scandal where every scene you're in you owe to the scene partner and to the writers who wrote those words.
Have you talked to any of your other coworkers yet? We know you have your first table-read of the season later today, which is perfect timing!
I talked to Jeff because he was my first call, but I got texts and emails from most of the cast. Tony Goldwyn emailed me. I'll be seeing the gang at our set for the table read, so I'm really excited.
Kerry Washington also landed a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama. How excited are you for her?
I'm so excited for Kerry. I really believe if Kerry can get nominated, I really think she has a shot at winning. She's phenomenal and it's a groundbreaking role and there's never been an African-American in a drama series who's ever won…I just feel like it's high time we make history this year, not only with gay marriage, but with portrayals of this kind of woman on national television because it's important. I'm so over the moon for Kerry.
Finally, when you took on this role, did you ever think it could lead to all of this? The series really exploded in season two and became such a phenomenon.
No! When I was a kid being beaten up and being called in high school, I never imagined I would grow up and be married with two kids, let alone playing a gay guy on a television show who's married to the chief of staff and then adopting a baby on television; having this role have an explosion and the show exploding the way it did, all of it is so unpredictable and amazing. Those things we have no control over, Kerry always says that. You control the things you can control and you don't think about the things you can't control.
After our chat, we reached out to Bucatinsky to ask if fans can expect to see more of James in season three or if he will continue to appear as a guest star. While he "would welcome that opportunity," Bucatinsky tells us, "As of right now, I don't think there are any plans."