Emmys: Rami Malek, Thomas Middleditch, 12 More Actors Reveal Their Favorite Scenes (Face Plant? Bring It On!)

10:35 AM 8/29/2016

by Anna Lisa Raya

Plus, their favorite lines of dialogue and favorite episodes as TV’s top actors open up about their nominated work.

What were the favorite scenes filmed by this year's Emmy-nominated actors?

The Hollywood Reporter asked a group of 14 nominees for their responses on that, as well as their favorite lines of dialogue and favorite episodes.

Check out what they had to say below, and read more about their process here.


  • Aziz Ansari

    Master of None (Netflix)

    Courtesy of Netflix

    "The 'Mornings' episode. It's maybe my favorite because I wanted it to be a real depiction of modern, long-term relationships, and I was really happy it resonated with people. Also, like my friend and fellow person doing a lot of these interviews, Kenya Barris, I worry that all the talk of diversity on our show is taking away from all the great stuff we did that had nothing to do with diversity and with just making a strong show. Plus, let's not forget to give props to our white talent! Noel Wells [Rachel] and also Eric Wareheim [Arnold], who directed this episode, were truly fantastic.”

  • Kyle Chandler

    Bloodline (Netflix)

    Courtesy of Netflix

    "The one between Eric O'Bannon [Jamie McShane] and John in the cabin with the gun.”

  • Bryan Cranston

    All the Way (HBO)

    Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/HBO

    "I have two: One was just fun, and the other was meaningful. The fun one was when I cornered Sen. William Fulbright [Ned Van Zandt] in the elevator to lobby him to my side of the Civil Rights Bill. True to LBJ's famous 'Johnson Treatment,' I made up some B.S. about the cuff links he took a liking to and how they were the only ones in the entire world and he was now the proud owner of them … then I whisper to my Secret Service escort, 'I'm gonna need another set of those cuff links.' The meaningful one was when LBJ, in one of his depressed moods, vented about how poorly his father was treated — he was humiliated in public. He witnessed how it broke him as a man and, reflecting on his own feelings, said that all he wanted was a little solace, a little love. That was very illuminating to the character of the man.”

  • Will Forte

    The Last Man on Earth (Fox)

    Jordin Althaus/FOX

    "It's more a series of scenes from the last act of the fall finale, when we cut back and forth between Jason Sudeikis [Mike Miller, his character's brother] hurtling down from space and Mary Steenburgen [Gail Klosterman] unsuccessfully trying to perform an appendectomy. It was fun to try something so intense and so different.”

  • Tom Hiddleston

    The Night Manager (AMC)

    Courtesy of Des Willie/The Night Manager Ltd

    "At the end of the first episode, Olivia Colman's character, Angela Burr, asks Jonathan Pine why he risked his career [to join her effort to capture a weapons dealer]. Pine responds, 'If there's a man selling a private arsenal to an Egyptian crook, and he's English, and you're English, and those weapons can cause a lot of pain to a lot of people, then you just do it.' For me, his response sums up the ferocity of John le Carre's anger at the hypocrisy and cynicism of the worst men in the world.”

  • William H. Macy

    Shameless (Showtime)

    Courtesy of Showtime

    "The cancer concierge scene where Frank is shopping for a terminally ill woman. That was 'shameless.’ "

  • Rami Malek

    Mr. Robot (USA)

    Kramer/USA Network

    "The scenes in Ray's [Craig Robinson] basement will be etched in my mind for a long time. Elliot is at the end of his rope, struggling to breathe, barely able to move and still resolved to find the truth. Every moment between Christian [Slater] and me down there was charged with rage and compassion. You got the sense that at any moment we could either come to blows or reconcile the past, but neither one of us really ever knew which was coming.”

  • Thomas Middleditch

    Silicon Valley (HBO)

    Frank Masi/HBO

    "I liked the face-plant scene [in episode four this season]. I've always been a physical comedian, and that was a chance to stretch those muscles with Richard, who is normally quite restrained. It's pretty symbolic, too — it comes right after sticking it to Jack Barker [Stephen Tobolowsky], and Richard, just like the Pied Piper guys, always falls right on his face when things start going his way.”

  • Bob Odenkirk

    Better Call Saul (AMC)

    Courtesy of AMC

    Favorite line of dialogue: " 'I did it for Kim! She worked her butt off to get Mesa Verda while you and Howard sat around sippin' scotch and chortling!' For the use of the word 'chortling.' "

  • Matthew Rhys

    The Americans (FX)

    Courtesy of FX

    Favorite line of dialogue: " 'Well, I'm sorry the man you loved died and you're stuck with me.' It was part of a huge argument Elizabeth [Keri Russell] and I had that was much needed after four seasons. Relations between them had been a gathering of storm clouds that finally culminated in some thunderous lines being thrown at each other. But they needed that vent. That, or when Elizabeth simply said, 'We’re in trouble,' and I replied, 'I know.' That summed it all up.”

  • Peter Scolari

    Girls (HBO)

    Courtesy of Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

    "I had to be told [my character] was brave … by Jenni Konner, in the season finale of season five, when Tad knocks on the door to the apartment where he's had this tryst and was scared, in the second episode, to even go back and get his wallet, and he sent his daughter. He finally knocks on that door at the end of season five, and I was knocking on that door in rehearsal with fear and uncertainty and Jenni Konner, who was directing that episode, said ‘No.' She said, 'No. You're not scared anymore. God damn it! Enough with everyone else's version of your life. This is your real life. Go have it. Go take it.' So again I took direction that went against what my best-laid plan was. I had very, very close family friends who saw the episode and said, 'I loved what you did when you knocked on the door and the look on your face.' I can't even tell you what the look on my face was, because it wasn't my plan. I can just tell you that I just listened and I just did what the series director was asking me to do. Sometimes as actors if we work hard enough and stay at it long enough and are malleable and directable then good things can come of that." (Read more of what Scolari had to say here.)

  • Kevin Spacey

    House of Cards (Netflix)

    Courtesy of Netflix

    "It's difficult to boil down to a favorite scene, but I would say in the final scene for the season, [the line] 'We are the terror' embodies the duplicity, complexity and closeness of the relationship between Francis and Claire — solidified and bonded, both within themselves and the audience.”

  • Jeffrey Tambor

    Transparent (Amazon)

    Courtesy of Amazon

    "There was a Seder scene the Pfefferman family took part in, no table, just sitting on the floor — and each one went around passing the ingredients and speaking their innermost thoughts. We shot it for almost a whole day. I could watch this scene on a loop to the end of my days.”

  • Courtney B. Vance

    The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX)

    Byron Cohen/FX

    "The jail cell scene with O.J., when I [Johnnie Cochran] related to him who I thought he was. I prepared very hard for it and was so pleased with the results. My favorite line of dialogue was in the courtroom cross-examining scene, [when Johnnie asks] the police officer, 'You had O.J.'s shoes in the trunk of your car for three days? Three days … in Simi Valley … Mnh … Mnh … Mnh!’ " (Read more of what Vance had to say here.)

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