With the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards a few weeks away, Burn Notice's Sharon Gless is not afraid to admit that she's a bit nervous. Though she's a 10-time nominee and a two-time winner — both for her leading role in Cagney & Lacey — Gless, 67, considers herself a "dark horse" this year. She's up against The Good Wife's Christine Baranski (The Good Wife), Rose Byrne (Damages), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) and Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife).
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But Gless' gig as the chain-smoking mother to the smoking hot Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) isn't such a bad job to have. TVGuide.com caught up with Gless to talk all things Emmys and Burn Notice, including what the future holds for Michael and Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar).
TVGuide.com: You're back at the Emmys once again, this time with your first supporting actress nod. Though you've won twice before, are you still nervous?
Gless: I'm nervous. Actually, you would never know it by the roles that I play, but I'm actually shy. The red carpet is part of it, but if it was just me, I'd just walk straight through and go and sit down. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: The supporting actress category is pretty wide open this year. Do you think anyone could take the win this year?
Gless: I've always considered myself a dark horse in this race. It's a strange year. People that are always nominated aren't. Burn Notice is the highest-ranked cable show in the nation, but we've never been acknowledged by the academy before. This is our first time, which makes it a little bittersweet because I would love everyone to be nominated — at least Jeffrey Donovan, who works so hard. At least this opens Burn Notice to the academy. I am very excited. I jumped up and down when I got the call. I'm not too old to jump up and down.
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TVGuide.com: When you joined Burn Notice, did you ever think you'd be nominated for it?
Gless: No. I'm not being overly modest or critical of myself, I just never think that way. When you take a job in a pilot, you're just wondering if it's going to sell. I only had two scenes in it, so actually when they notified me that this show had been picked up, I had forgotten I had done it. [Laughs] I don't think about the Emmys at all when I'm working.
TVGuide.com: Executive producer Matt Nix joked at Comic-Con that Madeline Westen is based on his chain-smoking grandmother.
Gless: That's funny! In the pilot, all it said was "chain-smoking hypochondriac." I do rehearse that cigarette. [Laughs] Nix gave me this note: Michael Westen gets all his moxie, all his smarts, from her. She is very smart. She's smart enough not only to help him, but to manipulate him. She knows where his bodies are buried like nobody else does. I think her presence grounds him.
TVGuide.com: Maddie has really stepped into the fold of the group. Will that put her in even more danger as we head towards the end of the season?
Gless: I think so. I mean, they haven't had me kidnapped...yet. They have been using me more and I'm enjoying it. It's realistic in its own fun way. He doesn't run home to mom all the time. Though, they use me in the capers now. They usually had Bruce Campbell babysitting Maddie. When they're short a hand, they approach Maddie. I like it because it's always with reluctance that she accepts. But when she gets into character, she starts to have fun with it.
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TVGuide.com: This season's big secret has been that Michael burned Jesse (Coby Bell). Will that blow up in the finale?
Gless: You're going to see it sooner than that. We're shooting it right now. I can say without ruining the story that Jesse's going to try to kill Michael. I didn't say Jesse's going to leave, but it does come to a head.
TVGuide.com: Maddie does seem to support the off-again, on-again relationship between Michael and Fiona.
Gless: They have a difficult romance going on. Michael has a hard time with his feelings because he was abused as a child. He grew up an angry kid. I think Maddie's hope is that someday they'll find each other. If you put people together, the story is over, like on Moonlighting. I hope we never see them go off into the sunset together.
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Burn Notice airs Thursdays at 9/8c on USA.