“I didn’t think we were going to win tonight,” said Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan about his second drama series trophy, “We were up against some stiff competition. Doing this show, is still like winning the lottery for me.” Best drama actor Bryan Cranston reflected that after playing the gravitas of meth lord Walter White, a feasible segue and diversion for him was playing President Lyndon B. Johnson on Broadway in All The Way. “They have similarities: Both are determined, achievement-oriented men who will stop at nothing.” “It’s funny, I’ve done a lot of comedies, and seems the last thing you do, is what you’re always known for. After seven years on Malcolm In The Middle, I was the comedy guy, until this brilliant script by Vince Gilligan came my way and he had the audacity to hire someone like (me) who was out of the envelope,” added Cranston. Just like the audience for Breaking Bad, the cast rubbed their hands each week, waiting to see what Gilligan and his staff wrote next, particularly toward the end. “(Any actor) looks forward to well-written words coming forward and that’s what Vince and his staff were adroit at: Writing good stories. We could never guess where he and his staff were going, and that’s amazing storytelling.,” said Cranston. Summing up his award-winning work on Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul kept it simple: “I like saying the word ‘Bitch’.”
Modern Family co-creator Steven Levitan groaned backstage when a questioner asked if the five-time comedy series winner was anticipating a 6th win in 2014. I can’t do the joke,” he said. “We’re just fully enjoying this moment. This is it.” Cast member Sofia Vergara was asked how she felt about some early Twitter and media outrage about an onstage bit this evening in which the actress posed on a rotating pedestal in her tight white gown as evidence that TV has always known how to present viewers with “something compelling to look at. “Was it sexist? “It is absolutely the opposite — it is saying that someone can be hot and also be funny and make fun of herself,” Vergara said defiantly, to applause. “Somebody who started this…I know who she is and she should lighten up a little bit.”
For Emmy-winning actress Julianna Margulies, it just ain’t fair to compete 22-episode drama series like her show The Good Wife against short-order cable series like Breaking Bad. “I’m a huge fans of the shows that were nominated in best drama, but when you look at what our writers do, they don’t do it six or eight times a year. They’re under a lot of pressure to deliver 22 a year. They’re writing the second we finish the last script. We don’t have the luxury of time. I think they deserve the Emmy love.” The large series order also gives Margulies the opportunity to “peel layers” and experience a “slow development” for her character, attorney Alicia Florrick. “I love where they’e going with her. She’s taking herself less seriously. I like this constant dilemma she has. She always wonders if she’s doing the right thing. She could use a little more love in her life, eventually, especially after the Will Gardner tragedy. It will be awhile before you see her in the sack again.” Margulies revealed that they’ve shot four episodes so far, however, she doesn’t expect a fate like Gardner’s. “I don’t think they’ll kill my character because then the show will go away.” However, Alicia isn’t always a good wife, right? “It’s a constant oxymoron that title. I like it.” Also backstage, Margulies further discussed what she mentioned on stage; how it’s a great time for women in TV. “Look at what’s happening right now: Viola Davis handed me an Emmy and she has her own show this fall, as well as Tea Leoni. There are complicated, interesting characters for women now. You don’t see that in film, and if you do, it’s far and few between. It’s the time for women in TV.”
As could be expected, backstage Julia Louis-Dreyfus got more questions about the kiss than her Emmy. That is, her elaborate smooch-fest with fellow winner Bryan Cranston. First question: Was it a good kiss: Joked Louis-Dreyfus; “You saw it on TV, you saw it on TV, you tell me! I thought it was pretty good. He went for it, man. He goes for everything.” She added that the the two consulted their respective spouses before doing the bit and that the bit had to work whether or not she won the Emmy for outstanding comedy actress. On a more serious note, Louis-Dreyfus said she has loved paying a character that is both “powerful and powerless at the same time.”
When asked backstage what she wanted to win next after this Emmy, Jessica Lange joked: “I want to win the Belmont stakes.” She described working on American Horror Story as “a lot of chaos, but I find I work well in chaotic situations.” She described a favorite “fan” moment when she was walking down a street in New Orleans and passed a group of young men sitting on a stoop and one of them gasped out: “Shitballs, she’s the Supreme!” — referring to Lange’s character Fiona Goode. Lange sidestepped a question from someone who said he has heard that the “circus” season would be Lange’s last. “Who told you that?” she replied coyly, adding: “I’m looking forward to this season, it’s the most extraordinary that we’ve done.”
Mentors were at the heart of Louis C.K.’s backstage speech for his comedy series writing win for his FX series Louie. Reflecting on late comedian Robin Williams who guest-starred in the third season of Louie in a funeral episode, C.K. said that Williams reached out to him. “He loved my show, and we met up in San Francisco. I went over to his house we became close. He was a big influence on me as a person. I grew up watching him and I loved him very much. He was somebody who worked hard at his craft and was explosive with energy.” C.K.’s conversation turned to Ron Lynch, the Boston/current L.A. stand-up comedian who he mentioned onstage in his acceptance speech. “He ran a room called the comedy clubhouse. He’s an inventive and wonderful act. He had this show every Saturday (in Boston) and he now does a similar Saturday show over at the Steve Allen Theater. It’s the strangest and most interesting show. He took a shot at me, and he started letting me be on stage. He gave me my first opportunity at being a stand-up comedian.”
Backstage Stephen Colbert appeared bemused when asked if he was worried that tonight’s Emmy-winning The Colbert Report might end up competing with his upcoming new gig replacing David Letterman as host of CBS’ Late Show. “Am I looking forward to competing with myself? That sounds like a form of self-abuse — which I do look forward to. (But) no, I have another way of doing that,” he quipped. He reacted with similar bemusement when asked about his plans for doing late night TV. “I don’t know. I’m already there. I just won the award for it,” he said. Colbert added that the new job would be “more of the same, but different, how about that? We still have 4 months of our show to do, that takes 400% of my brain. I’m still really enjoying watching Dave right now.”
Girl power. That’s what outstanding director in a comedy series Emmy winner Gail Mancuso spoke about backstage. “This encourages young girls that they can do something behind the camera, not just in front,” said Mancuso about how her second Emmy directing win might impact the future for more women in the craft as well as younger voices as well. “When something like this happens, it normalizes the situation. We need to rise each other up. When young directors male or female come in, we need to allow them to shadow us – studios and executive producers need to give these young upcoming filmmakers a shot,” added the Modern Family director.
Colin Bucksey, directing winner for Fargo, said that aside from shooting in Calgary’s January and February deep freeze of “minus 30 degrees every day” it was easy paying homage to the Coen brothers with producer John Cameron, a veteran of several Coen brothers movies, at his side. “ I could raise my eyebrows as a question and he would nod” and that would be all the director would need to know he was on the right track, Bucksey said.