While many aspiring EMMY nominees were in hair and makeup preparing to talk to the press when the nominations were announced in July, KATE WINSLET was givin a chicken a lickin.

“Nobody knows this, but I didn’t really know that the nominations were coming out that day,” the actor said by satellite from London last week while promoting her film CONTAGION. KATE starred in the HBO miniseries MILDRED PIERCE, based on the 1941 JAMES M. CAIN novel, which grabbed a top 21 EMMY bids.

“I was in England and I was doing some really great day long cookery classes with my best friend. And my best friend and I, that particular day, we happened to be doing a butchery class. And literally, as the email came through telling me that I had been nominated and that we had received 21 nominations overall — I am not kidding you — I was hacking up a chicken.”

“Isn’t that great? I just love that story.”

KATE is nominated for LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES/MOVIE for her title role in MILDRED PIERCE.

“I have never been nominated for an Emmy before. I’ve never been to the ceremony before. And it’s a wonderful way actually to reconnect with all the people who were involved with Mildred who I haven’t seen in actually for over a year now. So I’m really really excited.”

“Mildred was a very special part of last year for me and for all of us who were involved. And it was a really extraordinary group of people who all stuck together for 17 weeks of really hard slog. So, you know, all the hard work paying off in these nominations is just fantastic.”

The 2011 EMMY AWARDS will be presented Sunday in Los Angeles and broadcast on Fox.

“Someone is making me a very lovely dress and I’m not very good at being prepared this far out. I usually go into full on organizational preparation mode about 48 hours beforehand. And somehow it sort of all comes together.”

“So I’m hoping that it will be all right. And I’m really looking forward to it.”

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