The three-time Tony winner, 66, nabbed his seventh Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in July, making him the most recognized actor of all time in that particular category.
“I’m old,” Lane joked about the achievement during an interview with Gold Derby at the time. “It means I’ve gotten very old, older than I’ve ever wanted to be. It’s a lovely thing. I mean, it sounds impressive until you actually realize I haven’t actually won. But it’s nice to be invited to the party and be part of the conversation for sure. It has a lot to do with the quality of the show, Only Murders in the Building.”
The mystery-comedy series, which premiered on Hulu in August 2021, was created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman and follows three strangers: Charles (Martin), Oliver (Martin Short) and Mabel (Selena Gomez) as their love for true crime podcasts leads them to solve a real murder.
The Producers star plays Teddy, deli king of the Upper West Side and an arch nemesis of Oliver. He agrees to sponsor Oliver’s new podcast with Charles and Mabel, but quickly gets implicated in the murder of Tim Kono (Julian Chi). The seventh episode of season one, “The Boy from 6B,” served as Lane’s Emmy submission and is told from the perspective of Teddy’s deaf son Theo (James Caverly).
The hour is dialogue-free, with the exception of one word uttered by Charles in the final moments. It also serves as a deep dive into the broken father-son dynamic between Teddy and Theo. Lane, for his part, had six weeks to learn American Sign Language for the role — something he referred to as a “thrilling challenge.”
“Sometimes they would change things and you would go, ‘Oh, don’t do that. It took me long enough to learn the first version,’” he quipped to Gold Derby. “Very often, they wrote things that were hard to translate to American Sign Language and [ASL coach] Doug [Ridloff] had to reinterpret certain things. You don’t want to embarrass yourself and you want to make it look as if you’ve been doing this for a while, but one of the helpful things about the character of Teddy Dimas was he was someone who was ashamed he had a deaf son and didn’t learn American Sign Language for a long time, so he’s not supposed to be so great at it.”
The New York native credited his successful performance to Ridloff and scene partner Caverly, 24, who was not recognized by the Emmys for his performance along with Lane. “So much of what I had to do is about that relationship and my work with him, so I like to think this is a nomination for the both of us,” the Lion King voice actor explained.
While Lane’s 2022 Emmy nomination is attached to his performance from the show’s first season, the Modern Family alum will also be eligible in 2023 for season 2, in which he returned to the role of Dimas. However, for now, Lane is focused on his current nomination — and hopefully taking home his first ever Primetime win.