"Hatfields & McCoys" received 16 Emmy Award nominations Thursday (July 19), and Leslie Greif, the executive producer who spent 30 years trying to get the project on TV, is somewhere beyond ecstatic.
"Oh my God!" Greif says. "Who would have thought that out in the middle of friggin' nowhere, freezing our kishkas off, now here we are."
Grief is referring to interviews he did with Zap2it in a Romanian forest while shooting the six-hour miniseries that traces the iconic American feud between two families.
Kevin Costner, who starred as Devil Anse Hatfield, and Bill Paxton (Randall McCoy) are nominated for lead actor in a miniseries.
There was no way Greif was going to try to handicap that race.
"I am genuinely, truly overwhelmed," Greif says. "Listen -- you are talking to a proud papa who loves all of his kids. They were all just stunning."
If Greif has but one gripe, it is how the Emmys divide nominations, and "Hatfields & McCoys" is competing in the "miniseries or movie" categories.
"They are all wonderful programs and I am thrilled and honored just to be considered," he says. "But I am disappointed the academy has combined the limited series and movies of the week because they are different art forms that should be celebrated for their own accomplishments. It is disingenuous to the intent of the Emmy. Having said that, I am thrilled to be nominated and I am in terrific company."
Considering the three-night special broke all ratings records on History -- and during the traditionally ho-hum Memorial Day weekend -- he says, "I am so elated. Not only do I feel, after a 30-year journey, the validation, but the audience loved it, which was the most important crowning achievement. It was so widely accepted and loved, and now to be honored by your own academy members is just an extra polish for me."
The miniseries was recognized for costumes, makeup and many technical achievements in addition to scoring nominations for Mare Winningham and Tom Berenger in supporting roles.
Photo/Video credit: History Channel