Multitasking Mama

Jean Smart Dedicates Critics Choice Award To In-Labor ‘Hacks’ Director

Smart said Lucia Aniello was “directing us between contractions” over the weekend.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 13: Jean Smart poses in the press room with her award for Best Actre...
Randy Shropshire/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

In her acceptance speech for Best Actress in a Comedy Series at the Critics Choice Awards Sunday night, Hacks star Jean Smart wowed the crowd with a story about showrunner Lucia Aniello, who directed the cast while she was in the early stages of labor on Friday.

Smart began her speech with a few standard thank yous, including a nod to her co-star Hannah Einbinder (“half of this is yours”), before announcing she had bigger news to celebrate.

“Friday morning, our director Lucia went into labor, so we kind of were making do,” Smart recalled. “She was literally at home on her computer, getting the feed, directing us between contractions.”

“I kid you not, this woman is my idol,” she continued. “Yesterday, she and Paul Downs became parents for the very first time to a beautiful baby boy. Smart added that Aniello also won a Director’s Guild of America award for directing over the weekend.

Smart then held her statuette high and said, “This is for Lucia and Paul and their little boy.”

Along with Jen Statsky, Aniello and Downs created Hacks. The trio were awarded the inaugural Variety Showrunner Award in February for their work on the HBO Max series.

These awards were not the first critical recognition for Hacks. In September, Aniello received two Emmys, for directing and writing, and Smart has wept the Best Actress category this season — winning the Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG award and the Critics Choice — for her role as comedian, Deborah Vance.

Smart was accompanied to the Critics Choice Awards by her youngest son, Forrest, 13, who explained why he thought his mom should win.

“She's working like 13, 16 hours a day, every Monday through Friday,” said the teen. “The one time she got a day off since December, she decided to spend it with me.”

Forrest continued, “She works really hard for, like, everything.”

Now the whole world knows how committed Smart and Aniello are to motherhood and their art!