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Canadian casting director Jackie Lind celebrates Emmy win for 'Fargo'

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TORONTO - Canadian casting director Jackie Lind felt a rush of nerves as she waited for her name to be called at the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday, even though she'd won once before.

"It was pretty overwhelming," she said in an interview. "I had been there before and thought somehow this one would be easier. It wasn't. There was a lot more anxiety.

"I had a tremendous team that worked so very hard and I wanted to win it for them. Also, my mom is very ill, and frankly I didn't even know if she was going to make it to see me win. So I wanted to win this one for her."

Fortunately, Lind's name was called — along with Rachel Tenner and Stephanie Gorin for their casting of Calgary-shot FX series "Fargo." The moody drama based on Joel and Ethan Coen's 1996 film was nominated for a total of 18 Emmy Awards.

This weekend, Lind will deliver her trophy to her ailing mother in the Sunshine Coast area of B.C.

"I told her this one's hers," said Lind, 53, who previously won in 2007 for Alberta-shot western miniseries "Broken Trail."

"It's funny, because when I told her that I was nominated, she said, 'Well, don't be disappointed when you lose, because it's an honour to be nominated.' When my brother told her I won, she said, 'See, I told you she was going to win.'"

"Fargo" airs north of the border on FXX Canada and stars Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman and Allison Tolman. As the Western Canadian casting director, Lind scours B.C. and Alberta for talented actors who can nail a Minnesota accent.

A number of Canadians were up for awards Saturday for their work on "Fargo," including cinematographer Matt Lloyd and editor Bridget Durnford, but only the casting directors won.

When the remaining Emmys are handed out Aug. 25 at the televised ceremony hosted by Seth Meyers, "Fargo" will vie for writing and acting honours as well as best miniseries.

"I think it'll win best writing. The writing is absolutely phenomenal. Certainly, the acting is extraordinary. I wouldn't be surprised if they won quite a few, actually," said Lind.

Canadians weren't so lucky in other categories. "Degrassi" was nominated for best children's program but lost to "One Last Hug: Three Days at Grief Camp"; Canadian-produced "Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan" was trumped by "Deadliest Catch" in the unstructured reality program category; and Toronto-raised Maurice LaMarche of "Futurama" was beaten by Harry Shearer of "The Simpsons" for his voice-over performance.

But the writing team for "The Colbert Report," including Montreal standup comedian Barry Julien, won its fourth Emmy on Saturday. ABC's "Shark Tank," which features business pundit Kevin O'Leary and is the American version of CBC's "Dragons' Den," won best structured reality program.

Lind, meanwhile, hopes she can set an example for other small-town Canadians who dream of success in the television industry.

"I'm from a small town, from Weyburn, Sask., and I never thought that anything like this would be possible. I realize that it is possible if you work hard and you have passion. I'm really lucky because I have a very supportive family," she said.

About five years ago, even after winning one Emmy, Lind decided she was going to quit the industry because the competition was too steep. She recalled her husband telling her, "I just know you're a star."

"I was lucky to have someone believe in me, but when you believe in yourself and you have passion, then it doesn't matter where you're from," she said.

"Whether you're from Weyburn, Sask., or Los Angeles, it is possible to win an Emmy. For me, winning one Emmy is one of the greatest things ever. Winning two is just, like I said, extremely overwhelming."

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