Bay Area Emmy spotlight: D'Arcy Carden is in a 'Good Place'

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D'Arcy Carden attends the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. - Mike Coppola/Getty Images North America/TNS

This has been a huge year for TV performers and producers with roots in the Bay Area. Although we have no way of officially quantifying it, we’re pretty sure that, collectively, they’ve collected more Emmy Award nominations than ever before.

To celebrate their achievements, we’re spotlighting local nominees individually during the run-up to the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards telecast on ABC Sept. 20.

D’Arcy Carden

Bay Area connection: A Danville native and graduate of San Ramon Valley High School grad (Class of ’98). Performed in local productions with the Town Hall Theatre Company.

Nominated for: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy for her role as Janet, the relentlessly cheery, not-quite-human personal assistant on NBC’s acclaimed afterlife comedy “The Good Place.”

The lowdown: After years of doing improv and sketch comedy with the Upright Citizens Brigade, and scraping by with guest roles on shows like “Broad City,” “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Carden finally scored a major breakthrough in 2016 when she was hired for “The Good Place.” It was her first regular role in a major network show and landed her in a cast that included big stars Ted Danson and Kristen Bell. When the show debuted, Janet appeared to be a relatively minor role, but Carden evolved her into a scene-stealing fan favorite. “The Good Place” ended its run in January.

A Heavenly experience: In an interview with the Bay Area News Group, Carden reflected on her time with the show. “(We had) this perfectly little magical cast and crew, and group of writers, and I think everyone is very aware of how lucky we had it,” she said. “So there’s this feeling that this was not just a show and not just a job. It’s something that really impacted our lives in a very positive way. … It’s like you just have no idea how good it can be until you experience it. And then you kind of don’t want to do anything less.”

There’s no crying in baseball: Carden has capitalized on her success with “The Good Place,” landing roles in other projects, including HBO’s Emmy-winning “Barry.” She will also be seen in Amazon Prime’s upcoming “A League of Their Own,” a series adaptation of the 1992 big-screen film about a 1940s-era women’s professional baseball team.

“I play this character named Greta — very different from anything I’ve ever played before,” Carden recently told The A.V. Club. “I’m so excited for people to see this show. I can’t wait for people to see this cast. Everybody’s so unique and special. It was such an interesting experience to meet each other as baseball players, because we trained in baseball way before we started acting together. We were playing baseball for months before we shot anything, which was a really unique experience.”

Emmy trivia: This is Carden’s first nomination, although many fans and critics believe that she should have been nominated last year. Other nominees in her category are Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Betty Gilpin (“GLOW”), Marin Hinkle (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”), Annie Murphy (“Schitt’s Creek”), Yvonne Orji (“Insecure”) and Cecily Strong (“Saturday Night Live”).

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©2020 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)