In 2008, Laura Linney appeared in the seven-episode HBO miniseries, “John Adams,” a biographical series chronicling President Adams’ political life from 1770 to 1826. Linney played Abigail Adams, opposite Paul Giamatti. And while the focus was much more on the Founding Father’s political life than his personal life, Linney was front and center in the cast, especially in Part IV. In this episode, the couple have a big post-war reunion, and Abigail later convinces John to accept a nomination for vice president.
The miniseries boasts an impressive critical score on Rotten Tomatoes, and it was an awards juggernaut, garnering 23 Primetime Emmy Award nominations and winning 13, including one for Linney for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries. or a movie. Linney also won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her work as Abigail. Although Time called the role “underwritten,” that clearly didn’t stop Linney from eating it. “Laura Linney, with charm and determination, shows why Abigail was so important to her husband and, indirectly, to the birth of the nation,” noted AP’s Barry Garron (via The Hollywood Reporter). Other publications said she played the role “exquisitely” (The New Yorker) and with “willing delicacy” (Entertainment Weekly).