Primetime Emmy Tally: One
How She Got the Gold: In 2009, as outstanding supporting actress, for the HBO mini-series House of Saddam.
Role Call: “When I took the role of Sajida, wife of Saddam Hussein, I realized she was a complex person. She had great patience, she was fearless — she lived with this man for decades and was really in love with him. She was Saddam’s cousin; she and her brother and Saddam would run around barefoot when they were children. They were called the Three Musketeers.”
Anger Management: “There was a scene in which Sajida finds out that Saddam has had her brother killed, which really did happen. I played it full force, running and shouting at him. Afterwards the director asked me why my character wasn’t afraid of Saddam. I said, ‘She and he had been raised together. Everybody else was afraid of him, but she wasn’t.’”
Cherished Character: 24’s Dina Araz, wife, mother and terrorist. “That show still has so many fans all around the world. In a bazaar in Marrakesh, this little boy was following me. I thought he wanted money, but he wanted to know if I was the artist from 24! I bought him a sandwich and told him how happy I was that he watched the show.”
Emmy Memory: “When they called my name, my husband had to reassure me that I had won. I was speechless. By the time I got on stage, I was not in this world. I was so proud and honored. But I wish someone had told me to breathe, because I couldn’t catch my breath.”
Handle with Care: “When I was a child, every time I got a good grade, my mother would buy me a doll. I still collect dolls, and each time I look at them, it gives me a good feeling. It’s the same with my Emmy. Each time I look at it, with its golden shine, I feel like I’ve done my job right. It makes me feel happy.”