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Emmys 2012: Jon Cryer on First Lead Actor Win: 'I'm as Shocked as You People'

The first-time winner in the category tells reporters he excepted "The Big Bang Theory's" Jim Parsons to take home the statuette.

Jon Cryer
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Jon Cryer

Two and a Half Men star Jon Cryer really, truly, legitimately was surprised to hear his name called as the winner for lead actor in a comedy at Sunday's Primetime Emmys.

After seven nominations -- and one win -- in the supporting category, the victory marked the first time he was submitted in the category, following years of his former co-star Charlie Sheen representing the Chuck Lorre comedy in the field.

"I'm as shocked as you people, that's all I'm going to say," Cryer told reporters backstage Sunday before the questions even began. "That's why my speech sucked!"

Emmys 2012: THR's Instagram Photos From the Red Carpet

The humble actor said he had no regrets about not submitting himself in the leading category sooner as it made sense for the former star to be entered in the field.

"When Charlie and I were doing the show together, the show really rested on Charlie," he said. "He was the one practically in every scene. The show was structured around his character."

Cryer's win follows a year that saw the CBS comedy reboot itself after Sheen was oustered from the series after his very public meltdown that saw the actor take stabs at Lorre and Men studio Warner Bros. Television. The series has now changed fundamentally with the addition of new lead Ashton Kutcher, Cryer noted, with the comedy now feeling like more of a "partnership."

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"With Charlie [the chemistry] was automatic; with Asthon, we're always working on it and coming up with new stuff," he noted. "It's a different way of working, we rehearse a little more. Show nights go incredibly fast right now and it's a blast."

As for his stunned and rambling acceptance speech, Cryer said his mind went back and forth with shock as he wondered if his name -- rather than the somewhat similarly sounding nominee Don Cheadle (House of Lies) -- really was the one that was called.

"You sort of can't believe it's happening, then you don't want to trip on the stairs and get up to the microphone before the applause dies down because that's just embarrassing," he said, noting he expected The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons to take home his third trophy in the category. "Mostly I was just in enormous shock."

Meanwhile, Cryer -- who noted he popped a Vicodin ahead of the show to help deal with injuries he sustained in a recent bike crash -- noted filming on the upcoming season with guest star Miley Cyrus has been going well. "They gave her pagelong monologues, and all week she was on book with them. … Then we did in front of audience and Miley brought it. … Then I remembered she was hatched in Disney labs in Burbank and grown for just this sitcom situation."

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit