“This is so freaking weird.”
Regina King summed up the 72nd Primetime Emmys — and very much the last six months on planet Earth in a nutshell — when the Watchmen star received the award for Lead Actress in a Limited Series Sunday night. King was already a few seconds into her acceptance speech live from her home as her Emmy, possibly delivered by a representative in a hazmat tuxedo, arrived. King was beaming in from her living room via one of 130 camera kits the producers sent to nominees. (See full list of winners here.)
“Backstage” at the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted show was really just a bunch of journalists in a virtual “press room” set up by the Television Academy for winners to answer questions via Zoom. And virtually all the winners had something to say about the absurdity of the so-called “Pandemmys.”
John Oliver, whose Last Week Tonight With John Oliver on HBO won Outstanding Variety Talk Series for a fifth consecutive year, was delivered his Emmy via a black box that spewed confetti and contained a plastic hand holding the award.
“This is different from the others,” laughed Oliver, who delivered his acceptance speech from the same nondescript room in his house where he films the series in, and who noted his kids were asleep in a nearby room. “Mentally half of my mind is on, ‘How am I going to clear up all of this f****** glitter?’ But this feels very nice. A decapitated hand gave me an Emmy out of a box and that’s how I always dreamt it.”
“It’s both a loss, on some levels, that I don’t get to be there with the community and with the rest of the cast of the show,” said Strong. “[There are] plusses and minuses. It does feel a bit incongruous with our world right now to be giving out awards to actors. I wish we could be giving out awards to people working on the frontlines and MTA workers and hospital workers and delivery drivers.
“But I miss being with everyone, and having a sense of the magnitude of it all. You know, I’m alone in a room in front of a computer.”
After winning best lead actor for his role in #Succession, Jeremy Strong says the #Emmy award feels somewhat "incongruous" given the world's troubles. The @HBO series won best drama. pic.twitter.com/bKiuNtdhey— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) September 21, 2020
King, who won her fourth Emmy in six years, said she experienced more jitters at home than she would’ve at the Microsoft Theater, where the ceremony is typically held. “What a blessing to win four times. But something about being in the room, and being able to share that moment with your peers and your family and be able to look in everyone’s faces, get hugs and know that you’re going to get a hug. … I’m missing that.
“My brain kind of went blank. I didn’t get a chance to say, ‘I love you, Mom.’ Because it’s such a weird moment. I didn’t get to recognize my cast, which I know I would’ve done for sure looking at them out there. So yeah, I like the real awards better. Not that these are fake! I don’t know what to call it, man.”
Zendaya, who at 24 became the youngest woman ever to win Lead Actress in a Drama Series, was asked about experiencing so much joy in a year filled with anguish and turmoil.
“I’m just grateful for moments like this, moments where we can have joy and we can wrap our arms around our loved ones and tell each other we love each other,” said the Euphoria winner, who upset the likes of Jennifer Aniston (The Morning Show) and Laura Linney (Ozark) in the category and watched the telecast with her family. “It’s moments like this that we have to all hold onto and cherish. So I’m just grateful that my whole family is all here to celebrate with me and be here. I definitely felt this wrapping of love around me as I was sitting here.”
.@Zendaya says she's happy others feel seen through her character Rue in #Euphoria. The 24-year-old made history as the youngest to win an #Emmy for best lead actress in a drama.— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) September 21, 2020
AP's full coverage: https://t.co/hcUDrYjYew pic.twitter.com/UxxEdq3rau
Elsewhere, the Schitt’s Creek cast was in predictably good spirits after sweeping the comedy categories, the first time that feat has been accomplished in Emmys history. “It is absolutely incredible,” said star Dan Levy, who created the beloved Pop TV show with his father Eugene Levy. “I think my dad said it best earlier tonight, that it feels like a dream that you just don’t want to wake up from, to be perfectly honest. And that’s really how it’s felt for all of us. It still feels very strange.”
Despite 10 total Emmys for HBO’s Watchmen (including Outstanding Limited Series), creator Damon Lindlelof continued to maintain that despite fan demands, there will not be a second season — at least under his watch.
“It would feel like a huge betrayal of winning Limited Series to come back and say, ‘Well, it was only a limited series dot-dot-dot,” he said. “Watchmen is something that I’ve loved since I was 13 years old and someone else created it, and I feel like this was my run on it. If any other artist who wants to take the baton, I'll teach them everything that I know. … I think it makes the experience so much more special for having been just these nine episodes.”
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