Emmys: 'Veep's' Tony Hale on How to Survive Small Talk at Afterparties

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Tony Hale

"You can't spend too much energy on the awkwardness of conversation and the whole 'who wins and who loses' talk. The minute I find myself worried, just slap me."

This story first appeared in the Sept. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Last year after the Emmys, somebody came up to me and said they felt really bad that I didn't win [for best supporting actor on Veep]. That can be awkward — you don't want anyone to waste their energy on that. But the night that I won [in 2013 for the same role], people came up to me and said, "That's so great!" I just said, "I know!" I was able to match everybody's energy because I was floating. It was surreal. I attacked and hugged everybody I saw. I apologize to everyone if I was obnoxious that night. Because there are times when people come up to you and say how fantastic it is that you're celebrating something, and you can't always match the enthusiasm because you know the full story of what's behind it. As for the person who felt bad when I didn't win, it can be a very kind thing to say, but I'm just thankful to be on that list of nominees. Plus, I'm just happy to be at a great, free party. Put a dessert in front of me, and I forget everything. Or put five desserts.

It's all about the food. If you win, you're pretty much set with adren­aline, and if you lose, it's one free food-and-bar crawl. It's also a really great date night for my wife and me. It's fun both ways.

You can't spend too much energy on the awkwardness of conversation and the whole "who wins and who loses" talk. The minute I find myself worried, just slap me. And turn on CNN to check out what's going on in the world. We're spinning on a planet here, and there's a lot going on outside. It's my responsibility to keep a healthy mind-set. And to think about the food.

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