Laurie Metcalf didn’t have time to properly celebrate her Golden Globe nomination for playing the mother of a rebellious teen in Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird because she was busy being a proud parent herself.
“I got a text from my best friend in Miami, and then I got my daughter ready for school and made her lunch,” Metcalf tells EW of her casual morning, which also happened to include her first acting nod from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in 22 years. “Then, I was in my morning carpool. So, I’ve been in the car. And now, weirdly, I’m in my dressing room at Roseanne because we’re about to do a table read for our last episode.”
Soaking in her new nomination on the set of Roseanne‘s upcoming revival is a fitting way to come full circle for Metcalf, whose last big-screen credit was a voice role in 2010’s Toy Story 3 (she’s played Andy’s mother since the first installment in the Pixar series), as the hit sitcom gave the celebrated performer her first pair of Golden Globe nominations in 1993 and 1995.
“It’s surreal because I’ve never done a significant part in a movie. I’ve done these little things where I’ve popped in and out, but those were all about 20 years ago. I knew I wanted to dip my toe back in, and this independent movie came along,” she says, noting the experience of being recognized for a film is a strange — but nonetheless welcome — feeling when compared to her past success in television.
“That was in the TV bubble I’d been working in,” Metcalf continues, referencing her other earlier Golden Globe nominations. “This feels different because I’ve not had a chair at the table with other movie actors for a long time, you know? I’ve focused my whole career on theater and TV. It’s a different world for me.”
Though she credits her Lady Bird director, Greta Gerwig, with inspiring her standout performance in the film, she’s understandably disappointed that the freshman helmer didn’t land a spot among the Golden Globes’ best director set for her solo filmmaking debut.
“It’s a real pity because [how] special it was is all because of her,” she remembers. “It’s just a shame that she wasn’t acknowledged [because] she created an atmosphere on the set that was so warm and maternal. Everybody in the cast and crew wanted to do their best for her because she worked her ass off, [so] everybody felt taken care of, listened to, and appreciated, so it just made you want to show up every day at 5:00 AM and do your best work.”
“I’m spoiled rotten now because I’ve been on one of her sets,” Metcalf continues. “I know what it feels like for a director to have your back. That’s very freeing for an actor, and it’s rare.”
As rare as Gerwig’s talents are, so is the kind of praise Lady Bird has gotten since its debut on the fall festival circuit, as the film recently unseated the Metcalf-voiced Toy Story 2 atop Rotten Tomatoes’ list of best-reviewed movies of all time.
“I hope so,” Metcalf says with a laugh when asked if she considers herself a connective thread of quality. “If I start to be known as the lucky charm and it makes the phone start ringing, I’ll take it.”
Lady Bird is in theaters now.