Emmys: The Winners' Reactions
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jeffrey Tambor, Amy Schumer and more reflect on their wins.
Mark Burnett, reality competition series winner for The Voice:
"This is young America's favorite show," exec producer Mark Burnett said of The Voice's second Emmy win for outstanding reality competition series. While the producers behind the NBC singing competition series relished their win over The Amazing Race — it was Monday that Burnett hoped to win as The Voice returns for its new season in 24 hours. "Let's hope we win tomorrow," Burnett said when asked if he thinks The Voice will represent NBC's lone Emmy win Sunday. As for NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, the exec producer praised now host Arnold Schwarzenegger but stopped short of confirming what the former governor's "You're fired" phrase will be, though he did address the question with an enthusiastic, "You're terminated!"
Allison Janney, supporting actress in a comedy winner for Mom, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, lead actress in a comedy winner for Veep:
Allison Janney and Julia Louis-Dreyfus trotted out backstage together, where the former described how she felt about tying Ed Asner and Mary Tyler Moore as the only actor to win seven acting trophies. "It's never not bad to win an Emmy," said the Mom star, who's putting her seventh Emmy in her kitchen with her first six. "It's extraordinary." As for Louis-Dreyfus, she expertly channeled Veep alter ego President Selina Meyer when asked to comment about Kentucky clerk Kim Davis' refusal to grant licenses to gay marriage: "I'll tell you something. I think President Meyer would find a very expressive way of not expressing an opinion, straddling the subject so to speak. She would applaud her right to not do what she did, say something about the law of the land and, at the end of the day, not say one goddamn thing."
Jill Soloway, director of a comedy series winner for Transparent:
First-time Emmy winner Jill Soloway, whose dramedy Transparent is based on her life, used her platform backstage to build upon her acceptance speech calling for transgender equality. "People talk about the trans tipping point — and we're in such the early days of the trans civil movement," she told reporters Sunday. She singled out trans friends who are repeatedly denied jobs and noted that she hoped her Amazon comedy would help further the conversation. "If people understood … they'd work harder to change that," she said, plugging TransEquality.org. "It's amazing that a TV show, an Emmy and Amazon creates cultural change — and political change must follow." Soloway also used her time with reporters to push for more diversity behind the camera. "Directing is litigating for the way I see the world. Straight white men have had their hands on the camera and protagonists for way too long," she said, calling for more women, people of color and transgender directors behind the camera.
Jeffrey Tambor, lead actor in a comedy series winner for Transparent:
First-time Emmy winner Jeffrey Tambor — who became the first actor or actress to win an Emmy for playing a transgender character (for Amazon's Transparent) — called Maura Pfefferman a 71-year-old teenager in that she's still learning how to be herself (and put on makeup, as well as walk in heels). Tambor, who had been nominated six other times for supporting work, called playing Pfefferman a "huge responsibility" because he wanted to do it right — and because "lives are at stake." "With our stories and our humor, we're moving the whole question forward. … I always thought there was teaching in the laughter and in humor. With the laughter and real humor, you can kill prejudice and keep it far away." Like series creator (and fellow Emmy winner) Soloway, Tambor hoped that the victories mean more people check out the Amazon comedy. "This is bigger than me; it represents Amazon and what the trans community is doing and what the show is about. We're the little engine that could. I hope more people watch it and get to experience this revolution."
Frances McDormand, lead actress in a limited series or movie winner for Olive Kitteridge:
Speaking on behalf of the many winners of outstanding miniseries Olive Kitteridge, lead actress winner Frances McDormand was not shy about her desire to keep mining the character in more projects. "I want you all to start a social media campaign so we can all film more short stories from Olive Kitteridge," said McDormand, noting that there's more from Elizabeth Strout's source material that didn't make it into the mini.
Amy Schumer, creator of outstanding variety sketch series winner Inside Amy Schumer:
Regina King, supporting actress in a limited series or movie winner for American Crime:
Regina King was almost as excited about her win as she was for lead actress in a drama victor Viola Davis. Veteran actress King found out about Davis' history-making win — becoming the first African-American actress to win in a leading role — backstage. "I want to curse right now!" she enthused. "That's pretty awesome. Her performance [in ABC's How to Get Away With Murder] was jaw-dropping to me. I felt like I was watching an actor's clinic." As for when her name was called from the stage, King didn't really believe she had won. "Did they really say that?! I wasn't expecting it!" she said, calling the ABC anthology a "special experience." In terms of celebrating, King said she'd knock back two martinis.
Armando Iannucci, creator of best comedy winner Veep:
The team behind Veep didn’t seem too concerned that they broke Modern Family’s winning streak. "We’ve made history by this being the first time we’ve won best comedy," Iannucci countered backstage, adding: "So in many ways, the tradition is maintained.” When asked whether he’s beginning to regret his decision to leave the series and pass his showrunning duties on to Dave Mandel, he seemed sure of his decision. “Like Italian tennis players who bow out as soon as they win the Open, this is a good course to follow," he said. "I feel that I’ve taken the show to where I wanted to take it, and I’m pleased to pass it on. ... Every show can benefit from new energy and new names and new ideas."
Tracy Morgan, presenter for best drama:
Morgan also said a big part of his recovery process was his desire to walk his wife down the aisle without the use of a cane. "After that, I said I'm going back," Morgan said, crediting longtime publicist Kay with coming up the idea of letting Hollywood welcome him back. Morgan also credited Saturday Night Live boss Lorne Michaels with setting an example of how to bring the funny back after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "If God can get you to it, he'll get you through it," Morgan said. "I’m here and we'll get through it. That's all my wife kept saying: 'We'll get to the funny again,'" he said. "I learned that from Lorne."