Since making an indelible impression as Toni Collette's cynical friend in the 1994 international hit "Muriel's Wedding," Griffiths has played a wide variety of diverse characters.
And now she's the recipient of another Emmy nomination for best supporting actress in a drama series for ABC's ensemble show "Brothers & Sisters."
Griffiths plays Sarah, one of five siblings in a wealthy family that is dealing with the sudden death of their father. And Sarah is having a hard time maintaining a healthy balance between her children and husband and managing the family business. The new season of "Brothers & Sisters" begins Sept. 30. The first-season DVD is scheduled for release Sept. 18.
Are you jaded by awards at this point in your career?
Television is such a marathon.... I was really nervous I wouldn't be able to sustain the level of intensity or focus or the openness over a whole year [on "Brothers & Sisters"]. I never worked so hard, and I don't think any of us have worked as hard. I take the Emmy nomination as some kind of acknowledgment of that focus.
I think that's also why marathon runners comes into their own in their 30s and why there are so many fantastic women in their 30s on television, because they can sustain. They have the maturity, the focus, the skills and the personality. I think of all the women in my category as marathon runners.
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You have two children under the age of 4. How do you juggle the demands of an hour-long drama with motherhood?
The hours are hard, but it's actually turning out pretty well.
But the great thing about this job is that I have women friends who work in all areas of life, and I think as far as employers go you couldn't, as a mom, have any more child-friendly environment than acting [on a series].
You are allowed to take your kids to work. TV is really great because it's really stable and I'm only 15 minutes from the house.The kids can come up in the afternoon and I have a playroom.
All my girlfriends are pretty envious, let's put it that way.
Did you say during the final season of "Six Feet Under" that you wouldn't do another series?
I said it pretty lightheartedly. "Six Feet Under" was a pretty perfect job. The show kept evolving, so one didn't feel that one was playing the same character as in the first year, and then I also got to do other things. To me, the hardest commitment to television is not being able to get back to Australia when the desire or need occurs.
But what I found freelancing after "Six Feet Under" is just dragging everybody around was very disruptive. I made a decision as a mother and an artist that if a TV role came along that I felt had a room I could really fill out, a role as big as I feel inside myself, I guess, that it would probably be the best thing for my family for the next five years. I couldn't enjoy myself as an artist if they weren't happy. It is not worth it.
It's a really committed cast of actors [on "Brothers & Sisters"] who talk about acting and how to make the scene better. I think we are all trying to find out in the first series what the role is, what works about the role and found ourselves in the role.
So how often to get you to visit Australia?
I take the hiatus as long as we have and go home at Christmas. We are getting into iChat a lot, and that has made us feel a lot less far away. Just to see faces on a computer; it is great. And L.A. is feeling more like my home and Australia is more a place of our roots and our holidays.