September 23, 2012 6:48pm PT by Lesley Goldberg , Kimberly Nordyke , Michael O'Connell
Emmys 2012: The Winners React
Modern Family grabbed three awards early in the evening, with wins for stars Julie Bowen and Eric Stonestreet, and co-creator Steve Levitan. Meanwhile, Julia Louis-Dreyfus took home an award for HBO's Veep, and Jon Cryer snagged his first win in the lead actor in a comedy series category for CBS' Two and a Half Men.
On the drama front, Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul beat out co-star Giancarlo Esposito for supporting actor in a drama series, and Claire Danes and Damian Lewis were honored for Homeland.
Here are what the winners had to say backstage after their wins at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards:
Julie Bowen of Modern Family, supporting actress in a comedy series: Reacting to her second consecutive win in the category, Bowen actress told reporters after her win that she would put her statue up high, where her son couldn't reach it. (He broke her previous statue.) Read the complete story here.
Steven Levitan of Modern Family, outstanding directing for a comedy series: The co-creator of the ABC series expressed surprise that Emmy voters still showed enthusiasim for the show. "I'm praying that everybody doesn't get sick of us," he quipped. "This has far exceeded my expectations. Those are incredible co-nominees in this category, and I did not expect it. My money was on Palestinian Chicken. I'm a bit shocked but very grateful." Read the complete story here.
Jon Cryer of Two and a Half Men, lead actor in a comedy series: Cryer said his win "shocked" him. It was Cryer's first time being nominated in the category, as Charlie Sheen was submitted in that category when he was on the show. That made sense, Cryer said. "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." Read the complete story here.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Veep, lead actress in a comedy series: "Well I would say this is just a hell of a lot of good fortune," said Julia Louis-Dreyfus, now having Emmys for Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine and Veep. "I'm thrilled to get this for a third series I've done. I need an Advil. I have a headache. I'm going to have a glass of wine, and my husband and I brought our 15-year-old son to the show tonight, so it's very excited that he's here. He'll go to the governors ball with us, but then he has to go home because he has school tomorrow."
Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad, supporting actor in a drama series: "I cried in his arms; I said, 'This doesn't make sense to me that I'm on this stage and you're not,'" Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul said backstage of his win that came at the expense of fellow nominee and co-star Giancarlo Esposito. "What he's done with Gustavo Fring is just impeccable; it's so bizarre that I’m the one standing in front of you all right now." Paul noted that the win, his second as supporting actor in a drama, is "unreal" and stands as proof that dreams do come true. "It's unreal that I'm able to do what I've always dreamed of," he said, noting that he hopes Jesse gets a fitting send-off. Read the complete story here.
Louis C.K. of Louie, writing for a comedy series: Louis C.K. -- who won two writing awards, for his FX comedy series Louie and his variety special Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre -- called his two wins "weird and excessive, but I'm happy." He praised FX, which also aired his stand-up special after he streamed it online through his website for $5, grossing more than $1 million in the 11 days following its release (a large part of the proceeds were donated to charity).
"From my point of view, they just let me do my show, and they watch it and give me a couple of great editing suggestions," he said. "I don't think I've ever had a disagreement with them in three years." His last Emmy win was in1999 for writing for The Chris Rock Show, but he is hoping it won't be as long a stretch until he wins again. His philosophy on why his losing streak -- he's been nominated a total of 16 times -- was broken Sunday?
"I'm better than I was before, and hopefully I'll be better later too," he quipped. "Hopefully, what I'm doing now will be considered not that good ... I'm older now too, and older people are smarter and funnier."
The Amazing Race, reality-competition program: "We don't expect to win, we just don't know how it happens," said The Amazing Race co-creator Bertram van Munster of the show's ninth win in ten years. "It's a true reality judge. There are no judges. You either win or you lose. Every episode we do is a completely different one, there's a different country, a different climate. When I stand at the finish line, I'm completely surprised by who's coming in first and who's coming in last."
Homeland stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, lead actress/actor in a drama: Claire Danes and Damian Lewis took home top acting honors for their terrorism-themed drama. Of one of the show's most notable fans, President Obama, Danes said: "It's way cool that he's a fan. It speaks to the relevancy of the show. It's hugely validating." Lewis pointed to the show's themes after his win. "9/11 changed the world," he said. "When people have not been at their best, we've behaved badly... the west... Brits... Americans... but on the whole we are doing the best we can after an atrocity that changed the world."
Game Change's Julianne Moore, lead actress in a miniseries or a movie: After winning for her portrayal of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Julianne Moore praised two women for the influential role they played in the 2008 election. "The one thing I left out of my acceptance speech was Tina Fey and Katie Couric," she said of the Saturday Night Live impersonation and CBS News interview that prompted much of Palin's criticism. "In my research, I saw how influential they were. I really learned a lot." Read the complete story here.
American Horror Story's Jessica Lange, supporting actress in a miniseries or a movie: With her series competing in the miniseries category, Jessica Lange declined to say whether the FX series would have done better in the drama category. She said the series, which reboots with an ew location and plot every season, feels like doing different films.
"I felt we had told that story in the first season and to return to it and revisit it was less interesting to me than starting fresh with a whole new place, time, characters, story, circumstances," Lange said.
Hatfields & McCoys' Kevin Costner, lead actor in a miniseries or a movie: Kevin Costner used his platform backstage to re-pitch The Explorers Guild, a drama about a secret society exploring what exists beyond the edge of the world. "It's a show I've been writing for a long time that perhaps I'd like to direct," the lead actor in a mini Emmy winner for History's Hatfields & McCoy said.
Noting he hasn't been acting much in the past five years --he's now got three children, ages 5, 3 and 2 -- the first-time Emmy winner revealed he's always been most drawn to good writing, regardless of the platform which is what drew him to the History Channel mini.
"We see this as a big win [for History]. If you go back a year ago, the risk was really great; careers can be on the line, Nancy Dubuc's [career could have been on the line] and now she tastes the fruits of victory," he said of the president of entertainment and media at A&E Networks. "She had creative courage to say yes."