A David amidst Goliaths in the Emmys
Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - August 1, 2008 - 12:00am

“It’s a nice surprise,” says Lee Pace, lead actor of the TV series Pushing Daisies, of his Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series which was also  revealed recently on Good Morning America (GMA). The 29-year-old actor is pitted against veterans Tony Shalhoub for Monk, Steve Carell (The Office), Charlie Sheen (Two And A Half Men) and Alec Baldwin (30 Rock).

“It’s more than I expected,” Lee continues. “It’s a great feeling and I’m very grateful for that.”

Does he expect to snag the statuette come awards night on Sept. 21? “I’m not thinking about that yet,” Lee quickly replies.

Lee also owes his acting nomination to his character Ned, the loner owner of Pie Hole in the drama-comedy Pushing Daisies. It premieres on Aug. 4, 10 p.m. on AXN Beyond and will be launched in an exclusive party tonight at 10 at The Fort’s Embassy with another AXN Beyond show Journeyman, a mystery-romance. The first 100 guests who come in out-of-the-ordinary attires will get free entrance to the club.

Lee says he finds Ned interesting because he can bring back the dead to life with his Midas Touch. Among those he has given a second chance at life to is childhood crush Charlotte “Chuck” Charles (Anna Friel). Ned is delighted to see the girl of his dreams again, alive and in one piece. 

Old ties are rekindled; old feelings are reawakened. But there’s one problem Ned and Chuck will face if their encounter will lead to romance. Ned can’t hold Chuck nor embrace her. If he does, Chuck will be sent back to the grave in a snap.    

“I have had a great time with everybody,” says the 6’3”-tall Ned of the working atmosphere on the set of Pushing Daisies. “I never auditioned for the role. It was made and written for me (by executive producer Bryan Fuller of Heroes).”

Asked what does he like about his character Ned, Lee replies, “We are both pretty shy. We talk the same way. He is kind-hearted. All he wants is to be a good guy.”

That’s what televiewers should find out when Pushing Daisies hits the small screen. It’s up to them to decide whether they will love the quirky Ned or the handsome Lee.

Though he may not have that magic touch of Ned in real-life, Lee is happy he could train and tame his Pointer dog named Carl. It’s enough to convince  himself that he has some magic over things. His character also has a loyal dog, Digby.

Given the chance to possess a power or magic, Lee prefers to have a spell that will make him fly so he  can see the world for free. If he could bring back any prominent deceased person back to life, it would be (Mahatma) Gandhi “so he can spread peace in everyone of us.”

Unlike his character who has found love and is ready to give himself another chance at it, Lee says he is single and romantic. He looks for a good-hearted, easy-going woman. Lee likes the idea of cooking up surprises for that special someone.

As an actor, he is content crossing over to TV and movies and even on stage. Before Pushing Daisies, he has appeared on  Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Soldier’s Girl and Wonderfalls. It was in the TV-movie Soldier’s Girl where critics took notice of him as a transgender woman falling for an army soldier.

Lee, a graduate of Julliard School of Drama,  also starred in Infamous and The Good Shepherd and will be seen in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and Possession opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Lee says he just wants to “keep working and doing interesting movies” in the coming years.

On his possible win in the Emmys, Lee has this to say: “We can only hope for the best.”

ALEC BALDWIN LEE NED PUSHING DAISIES
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