(LOS ANGELES) — Here’s what the winners had to say backstage Sunday night at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles:
— Riding a wave of momentum from its captivating final season, AMC’s Breaking Bad was named outstanding drama series. And star Bryan Cranston put it best when he declared backstage, “What a way to go out!”
Calling the win an “answer to a wish and a prayer,” Cranston said what he’d wanted was for the entire cast and crew to be celebrated.
As the show winds down its run, Cranston said he and his co-stars can relate to the roller coaster of emotions viewers have felt in recent weeks, because they had felt those emotions, too. He recalled that reading the scripts was “like unwrapping a present because we too were wringing our hands and saying ‘Oh my God’ to ourselves.”
Given that the final season of Breaking Bad was split in half — the last episode is set to air next Sunday — it’s not hard to imagine the show getting another outstanding drama series nomination next year.
— Jeff Daniels believed his work held up to that of his fellow outstanding lead drama actor nominees, but entering the ceremony he thought it was “anybody’s game.” Having said that, The Newsroom actor was happy to come out on top.
Daniels doesn’t have too much time to revel in his victory. He has to fly to Atlanta on Monday to begin shooting Dumb and Dumber To with Jim Carrey. He promised the Farrelly brothers sequel will have elements that will make the disgusting toilet scene in the original comedy seem “lame.”
— Homeland star Claire Danes has no plans to bond with her nine-month-old son over the fact that she’s won the outstanding lead drama actress Emmy two years in a row. She told reporters she won’t let him watch any episodes of her show, and she won’t let him play with her new Emmy statuette, either. Danes joked, “I’m just hoping he’s not going to impale himself on this thing. I’m going to keep it very elevated.”
— Modern Family creator Steven Levitan was humbled by the fact that his ABC show is now tied for the second-most wins for outstanding comedy series; it has a total of four, as do The Dick Van Dyke Show, All in the Family and Cheers. Frasier holds the record, with five.
As grateful as he said he was, Levitan lamented the fact that none of his actors won an individual Emmy on Sunday night, since “they play as big a role in this as anybody.”
— Julia Louis-Dreyfus has now claimed back-to-back Emmys in the outstanding lead comedy actress category for her role on HBO’s Veep. She was excited to take her latest statuette home with her and “sleep with it.”
Louis-Dreyfus said this Emmy triumph feels just as special to her as her previous three victories. She pointed out that she’s lost an Emmy race 10 times in her career, so as far as she’s concerned it is “delicious to win.”
— The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons picked up his third Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series. How does it feel when his name is called? He compared it to the adrenaline rush a person feels when “you narrowly miss getting into a car accident.”
It didn’t sound as if Parsons was in a mood to party after the ceremony. He said after-parties are “more of an afterthought to me. I prefer to read in bed. But that’s because I’m 100.”
— Michael Douglas clarified the remarks he made in his acceptance speech for outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie, when he praised his Behind the Candelabra co-star, Matt Damon, and referred to their collaboration as a “two-hander.” Basically, he said, he meant that Damon was an excellent “partner” to work with in the Liberace movie.
In addition, Douglas elaborated on his “shout-out” to his 34-year-old son, Cameron, who is serving time in prison for drug-related crimes.
Douglas said in his acceptance speech he hoped “they allow me to see him soon.” Backstage, he explained that Cameron is currently in solitary confinement, and he is not allowed to visit his son. Douglas continued, “I’m questioning the system. Obviously at first I was certainly disappointed with my son, but I’ve reached a point now where I’m very, very disappointed with the system.”
Of note: Douglas made a casual reference to his “wife” Catherine Zeta-Jones, just as he did on stage. The couple announced their separation last month.
— Anna Gunn has received a lot of backlash from fans for the transformation of her character, Skyler, on Breaking Bad. But she did not feel a sense of vindication after she was awarded the Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series. She remarked, “What the Skyler haters do, they do. It doesn’t really have anything to do with me.”
— Boardwalk Empire star Bobby Cannavale was so shocked to hear his name called for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series that he couldn’t remember much of his speech. He said he remembered Mad Men actor Jon Hamm, with whom he plays card games, giving him a thumbs-up.
— Nurse Jackie actress Merritt Wever was a surprise winner for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series. Even more surprising was her very brief acceptance speech: “Thanks so much. Thank you so much. I gotta go. Bye.”
Wever made sure to give credit where credit was due when she met with the media backstage. She said she wanted to thank Showtime, which airs her show, and “most of all” her co-star, outstanding lead comedy actress nominee Edie Falco.
When asked how it felt to hold an Emmy statuette in her hand, Wever joked, “I’m scared because it was unexpected….I have therapy next week.”
— Stephen Colbert and The Colbert Report snapped The Daily Show and his buddy Jon Stewart’s 10-year reign as outstanding variety series. Colbert was quick to note backstage that Stewart’s streak is still alive, in a way, because he’s an executive producer of The Colbert Report. Colbert exclaimed, “Congratulations, Jon! If anybody could do it, you could!”
— Tina Fey was appreciative of the fact that her NBC comedy, 30 Rock, was acknowledged with an Emmy for its final season, especially since it concluded last January. The show was honored for outstanding writing in a comedy series.
With Saturday Night Live‘s season premiere a week away, the former SNL cast member and head writer was asked for her opinion of Cecily Strong’s addition to the “Weekend Update” segment. Fey was confident that Strong will appear comfortable in front of the camera.
Strong will join returning anchor Seth Meyers on “Weekend Update.” Meyers’ future at the fake news desk after he takes over for Jimmy Fallon as host of NBC’s Late Night next February remains to be seen.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Frank Pallotta, CNN
Ben Westcott, CNN
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com