08/04/2006 at 04:30 PM EDT
Playing sugar-loving L.A. detective Brenda Johnson on the TNT drama The Closer gave Kyra Sedgwick a kick-start in her career after taking time off to raise her kids – Travis, 17, and Sosie, 14 – with husband Kevin Bacon. Now the Golden Globe nominee has also earned an Emmy nod for her quirky role. PEOPLE.com recently caught up with Sedgwick, 40, about the secret of her 18-year marriage's success, how she stays centered and her need for a chocolate fix.
The fact that The Closer is such a hit must've been a pleasant surprise for you.
It's one of those things where you take the job because you love the part and you think it's going to be fun and cool and you work really hard, and then it actually pays off. I think that those times are rare and really wonderful when they happen.
One of your character's quirks is that she's a serious sugar lover. What's one of your personal quirks?
I would definitely say eating is something that drives me for sure. I like to eat a lot and I'm pretty addicted to chocolate and have to have it every day. I (love) See's Candies, which you can only get on the West Coast.
You shoot the show in L.A., but you and your family live in New York City. How do you work that out?
The kids come out on their spring break and every other weekend and they spend the summer here in L.A. It's challenging. They're a lot older now – this is something that wouldn't have happened before. For years, I was like, "Don't even send me anything that shoots in L.A. – there's just no point because I'm not coming."
You and Kevin are very supportive of each other's careers. Is that one of the reasons your marriage has been successful?
We have our priorities straight, but we also know that work is really important to us. It's very important for me that I support him in his work and vice versa. It's good in that way.
You turned 40 this year and I read a quote where you said you were anticipating you'd be "vacillating between moments of elevation and moments of horror." How was it when it actually happened?
Kevin gave me a really amazing surprise party, so that was really awesome and lovely. I am proud of what I've accomplished and what I've done with my life, so I think it was a good moment for that.
What keeps you centered?
Looking at your kids growing up and that they've ended up becoming good, decent, wonderful human beings keeps me really grounded. And reading the paper and seeing what's going on in the world and getting out of this small tunnel vision of media madness and realizing that the world doesn't revolve around this.