NEW YORK – These days, Marcia Gay Harden (search) is glowing — and it's not just because of her Oscar nomination.
The actress, who already has an Oscar statue for her role in "Pollock," is pregnant. Oh, yeah, and she's still riding a wave of rave reviews for her turn in this year's "Mystic River," for which she was nominated for best supporting actress.
In the film, she plays Tim Robbins' nervous wife who comes to believe the worst about her husband. Fox News spoke to the actress, who also stars in this weekend's "Welcome to Mooseport," about her new movie, impending motherhood (again) and, oh yes, giving birth live on the red carpet.
McCuddy: It sounds like a cliché, but pregnant women just "glow."
Harden: That's what everybody says. (Laughs) My brother-in-law had come to town the other day, and he said, "Oh my god, you're a house. You're, uh, well, radiant!" (Laughs) That's like saying, "What beautiful eyes you have." I actually do think it's true. I think there is a glow. And how can you not? Because it's the most amazing miracle when you think about it. The chances, and the way it all happens, and the growth of a child. It's astonishing that anyone's ever born at all. It's kind of a miracle. And it's an honor in the strangest way to be the one to carry it. It's really good. (Laughs) We could talk about this forever!
McCuddy: Well, you're a good looking "house."
Harden: Thank you!
McCuddy: You're "House Beautiful."
Harden: (Laughs) House proud, thank you.
McCuddy: Not the first time.
McCuddy: And not the first time for an Oscar.
Harden: (Eyes wide) It will be? What do you know!?
McCuddy: Well, not the first time going.
Harden: OK, yes.
McCuddy: Does it get any easier the second time?
Harden: It's absolutely thrilling the second time. And now I've been there. And I got to present the next year, so I kind of know what it is, but none of the thrill is gone and none of the joy or the pleasure — none of that's gone. And it's still quite fun. It's just a little different, without the fog of the newness of it all. (Shuttering, acting like the first time) "Oh my God!" It feels more like, "Ohhh, yeah."
McCuddy: So less pressure, per se?
Harden: But there was no pressure the first time. I didn't put it on myself. So I don't feel it this time, eiher. Because I think the chances of winning are — it's one in five — if it happens it happens. But the nomination is really the great part. So I don't feel pressure.
McCuddy: When are you due? How far along are you?
Harden: I still have two months to go.
McCuddy: So there's no chance that on the red carpet...
McCuddy: "Natural birth with Ghandi."
Harden: (Laughing) There you go.
McCuddy: That's what we're lookin' for on the red carpet.
Harden: It's live. Anything can happen.
McCuddy: In "Welcome to Mooseport" you have a crush on a president. Ever have a crush on one of our real ones?
Harden: No, I'm happy to say. No.
McCuddy: No one ever got your vote because you thought...
Harden: ...he's cute? No. That was someone else with dark hair. No, however, if Gene [Hackman] was president, I'd have a crush on him. He would get my vote for that very reason. He is dreamy and kind of wonderful. The person he apparently imbued with was this great man, and then my character sees him descend into this power hungry, stoop-to-anything kind of person. Which, we've also seen at times. (Thinking) Uh, lets not go there.
McCuddy: But we love to see the mighty fall. It's become kind of a hobby, now. And then we love to see them back on their feet.
Harden: I hope so. I hope it's not just about the fall anymore. I think in this case this is a silly, wacky comedy that takes you through that. And then you're so proud for someone to get back on their feet. In drama we do love to see it.
McCuddy: What was the turning point for you? When did you say — in high school or college — "I don't want to wait tables," or whatever. "I want to be an actress and this is why."
Harden: You are so innocent to think that in high school or college I was waiting tables and then you decide, "I want to be an actress." And that stuff (she gestures with a dramatic flourish) leaves you behind. Of course you decide you want to be an actor and you're (still) waiting tables forever until it finally happens for you.
McCuddy: (Short Order Cook Impression) "Pick up Marcia, you're order's ready. Oh, she's on Broadway?"
Harden: (Laughs) You know, in high school and college I was more pursuing a cultural attache. A diplomatic career, because my father was in the navy. So that's more where I thought I would go. And I think it was just maybe my second or third year of college I thought what speaks to me, what gives me pleasure, what I feel like I do better is act, and so that's where I'm going to go. And then there's no looking back. Then there's plenty of waiting tables and plenty of a million other things on the road to being an actor. Do you remember when (the department store) B. Altman's was still in town?
Harden: I demonstrated how to squeeze cheese on crackers. You have to make money, you have to pay rent. Actors take this myriad of jobs believing in the possibility that one day they will be allowed to interpret a character.
McCuddy: So was that the last bad job you had before the first acting gig?
Harden: The squeezing cheese was not great. But I was still catering. After "Miller's Crossing," I went back to babysitting and I went back to catering. You've got to pay rent. That's it. You have to meet your bills and then go do the thing you love to do.
McCuddy: Presumably now the rent is being paid these days.
Harden: Now the rent is. (Laughs)