Margaret Cho Sees Beauty in Her Emmy Nomination: ‘You Don’t Have to Give Up’ (Q&A)

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As the first Asian American to hold a lead role on a TV sitcom for 1994’s short-lived All-American Girl, Margaret Cho sees plenty of meaning in her Emmy nomination for guest comedy actress on 30 Rock.

“It’s great. It just proves that you can stay around in this business and keep trying and keep working and surviving,” Cho, 43, tells Celebuzz.

“And that’s a really great thing to know,” she continues. “You don’t have to give up on anything. You can keep on going. It’s really a rewarding and beautiful thing.”

With Saturday’s Creative Emmys ceremony approaching, we spoke to the Drop Dead Diva actress and musician about the hilarious role that snagged her the nomination, what it means to her and, of course, what she’s wearing.

Celebuzz: When Tina Fey first asked you to play Kim Jong Il, what did you think?
Margaret Cho: I was flattered and super-excited to do it. I was like, “I want to do this right now. This is the best idea.” I couldn’t do it fast enough. I mean, it was just so exciting.

CB: We don’t see a lot of footage of the guy. How did you decide how you were going to play him?
MC: It was really hard to find sound and image link of him, because it’s really tightly controlled. It was actually impossible for me to really find out what he sounded like. So, I just made him up. He’s really kind of an amalgam of people in my family and people I know. And part of my family is from North Korea, so that helped with the accent. And I look like Kim Jong Il, so that was perfect. I thought it relatively easy to do.

CB: Were you surprised when you found out about the nomination for such an out-of-the-box role?
MC: Yeah. I loved it. I was super-excited. I didn’t expect it, I didn’t even think about it. But, I found out and I was so elated. I’m really excited to go. I think it’s going to be a blast. I’m really honored to be nominated, especially among such great people, so it’s really cool. And I love Ben [Feldman, who’s nominated for his guest role on Mad Men]. So, I’m glad to be there for that.

CB: Do you care about being on the best or worst dressed lists?
MC: Oh, I don’t care. But, I am going to be dressed up nicely. I have made a commitment to myself that I’m going to shave my legs. I promise that I will do that. Ina Soltani is making my dress. She’s just got beautiful designs and she’s just glamorous. She makes clothes for Kim Kardashian. I’m super-excited about it.

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