Reactions from Emmy nominees
While in the midst of moving his family back to the mainland, Matthew Fox had "no idea" that the Emmy nominations were happening this morning. "We were asleep and I woke up to my phone vibrating," Fox said. "I knew in the back of my mind that it might be good news." As for his plans to celebrate, Fox is simply taking some time in between unpacking boxes to relish in his first-ever Emmy nomination. "I get to go to a big party and see people I haven't seen the whole summer." Fox has no immediate plans to jump into another project. Right now, the "Lost" star is focusing on "moving away from Hawaii and getting settled in Oregon. It's a huge transition."
Turns out the fans who campaigned to have octogenarian Betty White host "Saturday Night Live" were right: She landed her 17th career Emmy nomination for her hosting duties. "The silly thing at my age, at this point in my age it's the last thing in the world that I would expect," she said. "You can't be in this business for 63 years and not get emotional about it. The thing that surprises me, everyone says I'm having a 'career resurgence.' I never went away! I've been working for all 63 years, and to have it turn like this is amazing."
"True Blood" creator/exec producer Alan Ball was stunned that the HBO genre series received five noms, let alone its first for best drama. While the recognition is gratifying, Ball -- who was in the writers' room prepping for Season 4 -- said the nods won't change the show's direction nor will there be much celebration. "I'll probably treat everyone to Starbucks," Ball laughed. He talked about the controversial sex scene at the end of the most recent episode, in which two vamps take part in a twisted, violent sex romp. "We were thinking about hate sex and how that would be for vampires, creatures that cannot be destroyed," he explained. "How would that play out with people who can't die?" In terms of what's next for the citizens of Bon Temps, "We're going to find out what Sookie is ... and that's going to be a gamechanger," Ball teased. And "werewolves are not the only supernatural beings that will be revealed this season."
Aaron Paul was groggy with the best of the L.A. crowd Thursday, but mostly because of late-night movie viewing. "I am so tired from staying up to watch 'Taxi Driver,' " said Paul. "What can I say? I love dark movies and zoning out to Scorsese's genius." Paul, who said he planned to "drink a Sierra Nevada and go back to bed" to celebrate his Emmy nom, is humbled by his second nomination for supporting actor in a drama for "Breaking Bad." "It's huge. Just a huge stepping stone for me to be listed among these actors," he said, adding how grateful he is to be able to work with such rich, dark material on his show. "Vince (Gilligan) is the kindest man you'll ever meet, and he comes up with some amazing dark shit!"
"Modern Family's" Eric Stonestreet, a first-time nominee for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy, was trying his hardest to stay asleep when he got the call from his best friend. As a working actor for 14 years, he didn't forsee this type of recognition for his work; the actor was just happy to be steadily working. Though the majority of the ensemble cast for the ABC comedy was well-represented in the supporting categories, there was one obvious omission. "We're bummed that Ed [O'Neill] didn't get nominated," Stonestreet said. "He doesn't think of himself as a lead guy, but if he thought of himself [as such], maybe he would've been recognized."
Jane Lynch was "over the moon" about her two noms -- for supporting actress in a comedy for "Glee" and guest actress in a comedy for "Two and a Half Men." The woman who plays snarky coach Sue Sylvester said "Glee's" 19 noms are like "a real godsmack to the heart." As for her musical choice to celebrate? "Sue's would be (Supertramp's) 'Bloody Well Right,' while Jane Lynch is (Katrina and the Waves') 'Walking on Sunshine,' " she said.
It's been four long seasons for "Friday Night Lights" fans but the wait finally paid off when leads Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler each received their first-ever Emmy noms for the critically-acclaimed show -- as lead drama actress and actor, respectively. The years of being shut out kept Britton in bed for the announcement. "I'm not a masochist," she joked. "We had three seasons of not getting nominated for Emmys so I certainly would not have gotten up for it." Britton said she phoned Chandler -- who was up until 4:30 a.m. filming a football scene on the show's fifth and final season -- to congratulate him noted that they were both like "deer in headlights" when it came to their respective nominations. "That we were both nominated and are both partners on this show is really gratifying," she said. "We both feel that it's a recognition of the show." Britton added that the noms, however, are bittersweet since the cast is in Austin filming the show's finale. "To have this happen now when the end is in sight is amazing." To celebrate, Britton will head to the set and "enjoy our last couple weeks that we have together. We're such a close family," she said. "This will feel good for everybody."
It was too little, too late. "I was relieved that the Academy spelled my name right and as I am now a free agent, Lebron and I will be announcing our plans later this evening," 12-time nominee and two-time Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus said in a statement. Nominated for the canceled CBS comedy "New Adventures of Old Christine," the actress was referring to a spelling mishap on her star on the Walk of Fame that she received May 4.
"It really is boring. I was kind of mad when I got nominated. I was like, 'Enough already!,' " John Slattery deadpanned. Celebrating his third straight nomination for his portrayal of Roger Sterling on "Mad Men," he reiterated the steady success the AMC drama has achieved thus far. "It's an amazing stretch here," Slattery said. "It's achieved a certain level of popularity yet it continues to be a place where you can exercise creativity." Though the morning started off on a good note, it was back to work mode as the cast and crew begins prep for the ninth episode of the upcoming fourth season. "I'm going to take off all my clothes ... and do an Irish jig," Slattery joked.
Each year "Lost" co-executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof prep for Emmy nominations with a special "tradition". "I don't sleep the night before," Lindelof explained. "I put myself in a position to maximize my suffering." While the superstitious Cuse sleeps through the nominations and rolls out of bed at a leisurely 7:30 a.m. Call it hocus pocus, but the ABC show earned 12 Emmy nominations this year, including outstanding drama series. "I had 50 emails this morning," Cuse said. "It was either good Emmy news or LeBron is going to the Lakers!" On a more sentimental tip, Lindelof added: "It's a really big deal for us, because it would have been easy to say, 'out of sight, out of mind.'" Both Cuse and Lindelof agree that it's too soon to move on from "Lost" into new TV ventures. "There's sort of a mourning process that's been going on," Cuse said. " 'Lost' is the only thing that's occupied our brain for six years." While Lindelof has jumped on board to write and produce the "Star Trek" sequel, he says that it will take something "really special" to return to television. For now, they're happy to celebrate with cast and crew the recognition the final season has generated.
Seth Green has a way of torturing his publicist -- "anytime my publicist calls me with good news, I'm usually asleep." And this year was no different as Green received the good news wake-up call that his "Robot Chicken" had scored repeat noms for both shortform animated series and voiceover performance. "I don't think you ever get acclimated to people saying that they like what you did," he said. When it comes to celebrating, Green was going to visit his allergist and get back to work. "We're in full production on a few things, so it's just hectic times right now. I'm sure we'll have a big group hug and say, 'Go Team!' But we're still going to make our deadlines today."
"I'm so grateful to all the people who poured their hearts and efforts into making 'Georgia O'Keeffe,'" said Joan Allen via a statement, of her nomination for outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or movie. "I thank everyone who worked on the film and am very appreciative that the Emmy voters have acknowledged their enormous contributions. Thank you!"
Christina Hendricks had little time to bask in the glow of her first-ever Emmy nomination for supporting actress in a drama series for her role as Joan Harris on "Mad Men." "My publicist called at 6 a.m. as I was drawing a bath and lying in bed about to get up for work,” said Hendricks from the L.A. set of "Mad Men." "I've been working really hard and it’s so nice to be recognized for that. It hopefully means I will be able to keep working even longer!" In true form, it was back to the grind for Hendricks for the rest of Emmy-nominations day. "I'm celebrating by working! It’s the best way," she said.
Will Arnett used his nomination for guest actor in a comedy series for "30 Rock" to plug his latest effort for Fox, the forthcoming comedy "Running Wilde." "I'm 'Running Wilde' with excitement," said Arnett in a statement. "I can recall all the times I thought, "Man, it's Tuesday at 9:30. I hope 10 years from now I can say I have a show this fall, on Fox", and be referencing something I'm proud of."
"In classic Phil Dunphy fashion, I was fast asleep when the nominations were announced and am deeply saddened to have missed Sofia's pronunciation of Mariska Hargitay," "Modern Family's" Ty Burrell, a first-time nominee for supporting actor in a comedy series, said in a statement. "All kidding aside, I'm so proud of the fact that 'Modern Family' was recognized in so so many categories, from Chris Lloyd and Steve Levitan, to Jason Winer, our unbelievable crew and my fellow yahoos in the cast -- the Television Academy so graciously shared the love with our entire modern family. I am starting the campaign today: Ed O'Neill 2011!!"
Husband and wife team Robert and Michelle King had been up doing rewrites on a "The Good Wife" script when they found out the show and the majority of its cast had been nominated, including best drama series and a nomination for leading actress Julianna Margulies. "[The series] is not in everyone's comfort zone. It's a serialized show yet there's self-contained stories in each episode," co-exec producer Robert King said. "I hope [these nominations] create more shows like this." Nods for supporting players Archie Panjabi, Christine Baranski, Alan Cumming and Dylan Baker only added to the duo's surprise. In addition, the Kings were rewarded for writing the pilot. "We are celebrating by making our deadline," Robert King exclaimed. Later "in the writing room, I'll get drunk." While Margulies was unaware of upcoming storylines for the second season, King had something up his sleeve. "We wanted to take our most settled characters, like Kalinda (Panjabi's character), and give them a curveball to really throw them off-balance," he teased.
Vince Gilligan is just a little superstitious. "I figured if the phones were on, they wouldn't ring, so I turned them all off last night," said Gilligan. "I guess my method worked!" The "Breaking Bad" creator/executive producer was "over the moon" that his AMC drama was honored for second straight year with a best drama series nomination. "It means so much. It never gets old," said Gilligan. "It was exciting last year, and even more so this year." As far as celebrating goes, Gilligan said that might have to wait. "We have to be back in the writers' room on Monday, and I have a garage that needs cleaning."
Lead actor in a comedy series nominee Alec Baldwin said in a statement of his ninth Emmy nomination, "once again, I am grateful and delighted to be nominated. And I am deeply indebted to Tina, Robert Carlock, Lorne, Marci Klein and Jeff Zucker."
Wanda Sykes was celebrating her two nominations -- for variety, music or comedy special and writing in the same category for her HBO comedy special "I'm a Be Me" -- and Betty White's multiple mentions for her guest spot on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." "To be nominated twice is incredible," said Sykes, who was previously nominated in the category for her 2006 "Sick and Tired" special. "And thank God I'm not up against that Betty White. I'd even vote for her," she added in a statement.
"Working on ‘Nurse Jackie’ has been a joy from the get-go," eight-time Emmy nominee Edie Falco said in a statement of her lead actress in a comedy series nom. "It's an embarrassment of riches."
Julia Ormond said her first Emmy nomination for acting was a bit of a shocker to take in first thing in the morning. "I saw my manager's name on my phone and instantly thought, 'Oh no, what's happened?" said Ormond of her nom for best supporting actress in a miniseries or movie for "Temple Grandin." "The last time he called me that early was at the Cannes Film Festival, telling me to stop partying and get more sleep. It honestly didn't register with me this morning why he'd be calling!" Playing Temple Grandin's long-suffering mother Eustacia was for Ormond the latest in a "richer diversity of characters" she's been able to play in TV. "HBO and Showtime in particular offer such wonderful parts for women," says Ormond, who also recently completed an arc on "Nurse Jackie." "For me, these supporting roles really allow me to stretch and do more as an actor." As for researching her "Temple Grandin" role, Ormond didn't meet her namesake until the film had wrapped. "Eustacia is still very much around, and she and Temple still have a wonderfully complex relationship."
Bruce McKenna, co-exec producer of 24-time nominee "The Pacific," the most for any program this year, knew it was good news when he received about 700 emails in three minutes. "Then my wife went online and made sure it was real," McKenna said. Nominated for penning the last episode of the HBO miniseries, "Home," he expressed happiness that everyone behind the scenes was recognized. His only regret? That none of the actors were acknowledged for their roles. To celebrate, McKenna plans to go about his normal routine. "I'm going to work and make a living," he joked.
Three-time Emmy nominee Mick Jackson was in an appropriate place for celebrating when he heard of his nom for directing HBO's "Temple Grandin." "I was sitting in a bar in Rome, at the Excelsior Hotel," he said. "We were gathered around one laptop trying to read the news from America. There will definitely be champagne later!" The veteran British director said his recognition is "reassuring" that the biopic has not only resonated with people, but "they liked everything about it!" He also said it's heartening that a film about a "very unusual woman" has been so embraced all over the world. "I'm just really glad the Academy has recognized this movie and this woman," said Jackson. "If we have done any honor to her life, then we've done our job."
For Brenda Vaccaro, hearing about her nom for supporting actress in "You Don't Know Jack" was, literally, an unexpected wake-up call. "I got the call from HBO and I was still sleeping," she said. "I'd completely forgotten about this morning. I was like, 'Who is calling at this hour?! My pugs were staring at me. They couldn't believe it either." She added that "it was the greatest day" being recognized for her work as Jack Kevorkian's devoted sister Margot Janus. As far as celebration plans go? "I don't know. I haven't even had my cup of tea yet. Holy shit! It's just so exciting for my acting family. The biggest honor ever," Vaccaro said.
Compiled by Lesley Goldberg, Philiana Ng, Stacey Wilson and Leslie Bruce