Huffman Nominated for a Film She Thought Only Mom Would Love

It was 5:30 a.m. on the West Coast when the Academy Award nominations were announced, and best actress nominee Felicity Huffman was lying in bed with her actor-husband, William H. Macy.

"Bill went, 'Ha ha ha. Don't answer it,'" said the Emmy-winning "Desperate Housewives" star who was nominated for playing a pre-op transsexual man in "Transamerica."

She did answer the call and got the good news.

Yet her competition is formidable. She will have to contend with Judi Dench, for "Mrs. Henderson Presents;" Keira Knightley for "Pride & Prejudice;" Charlize Theron for "North Country;" and Reese Witherspoon for "Walk the Line."

Huffman called her mother, who responded "Glory be to God," and she called her brother who told her that he could not believe that Huffman, "the little girl with yellow skin with big circles, was nominated for an Academy Award."

So far, 2006 has been a huge year for Huffman. She has already won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award for her role in "Transamerica."

"It's incredible," she said. "It's been an amazing year. It's like my brother said, 'It's like you're in a parallel universe.'"

But Huffman never expected the movie to do as well as it did.

"It was a tiny movie that we did for $2.50," she joked. "You were holding lights while you were acting. … I was thinking I could probably get my mom to watch it. … I never thought it could take off the way it did."

But Macy loved it, she said, and he can be a tough critic. As a celebration, she said they would probably go out to dinner.

"You can't pasteurize this. You can't negotiate this," said Huffman, who at the time of the interview had to be on the "Desperate Housewives" set in 20 minutes.

There she expects Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria and Nicolette Sheridan to hop around, hug and scream.