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Me and My Emmy
December 18, 2018

Me and My Emmy: Julie Berghoff

  • Corey Nickols

Primetime Emmy Tally: One

How She Got the Gold: For Outstanding Art Direction for a Contemporary or Fantasy Series, as production designer for Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale, 2017.

Now for the Noms: Berghoff won on her first nomination.

Emmys, A to Z: "The entire experience was so special. It started with congratulatory calls, then my favorite part: shopping for the perfect dress. [On Emmy day] we started with champagne, then my makeup-artist friend, Deanna Franchot, dolled me up. From the limo picking us up and the interviews, to meeting colleagues from across the world, there were moments of love, appreciation and laughter."

The Big Moment: "I literally jumped out of my seat and shouted, 'Yippee!' like a little girl. I had not prepared a speech. I have no idea what I said because I was so nervous."

Power Source: "The Handmaid's Tale has a unique vernacular, and we wanted to be authentic to Margaret Atwood's beautiful book. We studied it like a bible and absorbed every detail, especially the hierarchy of society, which was spelled out in color.

Reed Morano [director of the series' first three episodes], Ane Crabtree [costume designer] and I made it our mission to connect the costumes with the environments, inspired by Dutch Masters."

True to the New: "I didn't know that I wanted to [do this work] until I discovered what a production designer's role was in film. My parents always asked when I was going to get a real job — then they visited a set. My father said, 'Now I understand what you do. You're similar to a general contractor.' I said, 'Yes, but I don't follow any rules.' I love production design because I learn something new every day."

This article originally appeared in emmy magazine, issue No. 11, 2018

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