Nominations for the 70th annual Emmy Awards were announced this morning in 122 categories. Here are some key reactions from nominees.

Drama Series

Shawn Levy, EP and Director, Stranger Things


“Our whole thing about season 2 was no complacency,” Stranger Things EP and Director Shawn Levy said. “Make it better, make it more cinematic and push our own limits, so this nomination is really really gratifying.” Having made a smash hit with Season 1, the show has clearly suffered none of the dreaded Season 2 blues. “We wanted to be true to the things about our show that people connect with,” Levy said. “We wanted to stay loyal to those core elements, but we did want to aim higher and tell a bigger broader story so that balancing act was scary, but it feels like we pulled it off.”

Comedy Series

Liz Flahive & Carly Mensch, showrunners, GLOW

GLOW Alison Brie

After their nom in the comedy series category came in, GLOW showrunners Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch were sitting outside an ice cream store waiting for it to open so they could celebrate. “It honestly feels great,” Flahive said of her first nom for the female-centric, politically-relevant show. “Things sort of bubbled up around the show as we were making it. I feel like we came along at a time in our country when things are a garbage fire, but I’m just glad people seem to be responding to the show, and it brings people joy, and people have things to talk about when they watch the show.” “I think a lot of people were refreshed to see that the will-they, won’t-they at the center of our show was not a woman and a man,” Mensch added. But Flahive and Mensch had not yet gotten the call for renewal from Netflix, they said. “We’d love a Season 3 pick-up,” Flahive laughed. “So we’ll just be eating ice cream and celebrating our nomination until we hear something.”

Lead Actor In A Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish


After receiving his fourth nomination for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Black-ish, Anthony Anderson reflected on how the show has broken diverse storytelling barriers. “Kenya and I, that’s what we talked about 6/7 years ago. We looked at the landscape of television and how we wanted to change that landscape and how we wanted to have our stories be told and be represented and what that would do for other people of color. So it’s part of the process,” Anderson told Deadline this morning. As Anderson is gearing up to being production on season five (he’s directing the premiere episode), he’s going into it with the same attitude as he’s had with previous seasons, which is to stay true to the story. “There’s never any pressure [to prove yourself] with authenticity. As long as you’re true to who you are and the stories you want to tell, there’s never any pressure to be honest with yourself and to be honest with others.”

Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series

Betty Gilpin, GLOW

Betty Gilpin was “shocked” when she found out she received her first Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the Netflix series. “I don’t know If It comes from a place of protection, but I really never let it enter my brain that this would happen or be possible,” she said. Along with Gilpin, the show picked up its first Emmy nom for Outstanding Comedy Series. “Our show is perfectly timed with the amazing exploding necessary fem-pocalypse that’s happening right now,” she opined about why GLOW resonated with audiences and critics. “With so many different female voices being raised in the world we’re realizing that inside every woman is a cast of 15 different crazy clown people and we happen to have a show about 15 different crazy clown people.” On what she’s gained from working with GLOW’s two female showrunners, Carly Mensch and Liz Flahive: “I realized retroactively how many times I stood on my own was because I was comfortable… Your weird ideas and out-of-the-box-choices are not as welcomed with open arms [on a male-dominated set]. … In GLOW, I’m doing that weird choice 100%… it’s a learned bravery.”

Megan Mullally, Will & Grace

Will & Grace

While Megan Mullally was gracefully philosophical about Will & Grace’s snub in the best comedy category, saying, “There are 500 shows on television, some of the categories have 400 some people in them and there are so many really good shows,” she also called her supporting comedy actress nom (her eighth, of which she’s taken home two), “unbelievable”. Mullally said she was most proud of the episode ‘Rosario’s Quinceanera’ for its challenges. “I’m turning 60 this year and I’ve been doing this professionally since I was 20,” she said. In all these years, nobody had ever handed me a script like that and said, ‘We think you’d be great at this, we have full confidence.’ That meant a lot.” Mullally will also be busy next season, she said. “Karen is getting a divorce, and I think there’s going to be an episode where she gets so wasted she outdoes herself. There might be a little singing involved. There might be a torch song somewhere in that episode.”

Lead Actress In A Drama Series

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

BBC America

After a long time waiting for a nomination for her multi-character role in Orphan Black, Tatiana Maslany won at last in 2016, and now with another nom after the final season’s close, she’s thrilled the show is still being recognized. “It’s really such a surprise,” she said, “because I figured people would have been like, ‘OK, moving on’, it’s been a long time and there’s just so much amazing television, I was just completely blown away that people recognize our show and it means a lot to all of us.” For Maslany, the fifth and final season ended on a gratifying note as the story explored Sarah getting her freedom, especially, she said, “the losses and the sacrifices that are made to get that freedom, and what you are left with after..I was really glad we got to deal with that. I was really excited about that in the last episode.”

Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

Vanessa Kirby, The Crown

The Crown

Vanessa Kirby learned of her Emmy nomination while standing on the red carpet at the Paris premiere of Mission Impossible, and was, she said, more than a little surprised. The biggest challenge of playing Princess Margaret was in “playing a real person and playing somebody that everybody had a lot of love for and remembered, and who wasn’t here anymore. I think all of us were in the same boat. We felt like, ‘If we’re going down, at least we’re going down together.’” The role expanded from the age of 17 to 34. “That was a massive challenge,” Kirby said. “The other thing was we filmed it out of sequence so you have to really try and find the journey and understand it and hopefully play it out to best of your ability…I just loved playing every part of her really. It was honestly the happiest time of my life being on this job.”

Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie

Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Melrose


Before taking on the title role of Patrick Melrose, Benedict Cumberbatch had long loved and admired the “extraordinary” books by Edward St Aubyn, so playing the role was something of a passion project for him. Of his nomination he said, “I’m really blown away by it because the reward is playing the role itself, let alone how it was critically received, and by fans of the books and also communities affected by abuse and dependency and alcohol and drug abuse. It’s incredibly important to me to feel they were represented in a way that was true.” Cumberbatch was also a producer on the project, which was nominated in four other categories. “I’m so happy as a producer as well,” he said, “that the casting, the writing, the adaptation and the direction and the production as a whole has been recognized. It’s magic. I’m very, very happy.” Cumberbatch treasures the connection he made with the author St Aubyn, too. “What I’m most proud of is my friendship with Teddy, to be honest. He’s an extraordinary human being whose life is reflected through the art of his alter ego Patrick Melrose.”

Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie

Michael Stuhlbarg, The Looming Tower


“I wanted to know as much about him, about his job, about his accomplishments, about his thoughts,” Michael Stuhlbarg said of playing the real-life role of Richard Clarke, the National Coordinator for Security in The Looming Tower. “Particularly on the day of 9/11, and to honor what his experience must have been.” While Stuhlbarg has not heard any feedback from Clarke– “He’s a very busy man, I wouldn’t expect to “– he did meet him prior to the shoot. “I was shooting Fargo’s third season at the time, so I apologized profusely when I met him to say I hadn’t had the time I needed to be as up to date on all that I needed to to know, so I asked him a lot of stupid questions, but he was very generous and I had a very pleasant time with him. I hope he feels that we did some justice to not just his story but to everyone’s story.”

Lead Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie

Jessica Biel, The Sinner

The Sinner
USA Network

“On top of the world” this morning with her first Emmy nomination for USA mystery series The Sinner—in which she plays a psychologically complex killer with unclear motivations—Jessica Biel spoke with Deadline about the profound challenge that came with the character of Cora Tannetti. “What we had to really create was this multilayered, multifaceted, psychologically complex person who the audience couldn’t trust, and who she even herself couldn’t trust, which is such a mind explosion as you’re trying to guide this performance and create the thread of this show,” the actress said. Starring in only one season of the series while remaining intimately involved as an executive producer—alongside creative partner Michelle Purple—was a “real appetizing idea” for the actress, given the daunting time commitment involved in signing on to most television series. “Knowing that there’s eight hours or less of unraveling this human and this story is very, very appealing,” Biel said. “The limited series world is a really special place to work.”

Guest Actor In A Drama Series

Cameron Britton, Mindhunter


Receiving his first Emmy nomination for his portrayal of real-life serial killer Edmund Kemper in Netflix drama Mindhunter, Cameron Britton was hit by wave after wave of emotion—“and then I had some hot dogs,” he laughed, “and that really calms me down.” Seeking to bring a human side to a haunting figure, “not just focus on the creepy tidbits,” Britton embraced the privilege of working with world-class auteur David Fincher in his first major television role, learning from his intensity and artistic drive. “I had never really worked that hard on my art, comparatively to Mindhunter, and I learned a lot of that from him directly, and from just watching him work,” Britton said. “I just saw the euphoria of hard work.”