Emmy Party Diary: Inside the Weekend's Star-Studded Bashes

Governors Ball Vince Gilligan H 2015

The Hollywood Reporter has been at all of the big Emmy parties since Friday, when the weekend's festivities began in earnest. Check out what staffers saw and heard.

Sunday, Sept. 20

Amazon, held at the Standard Hotel

11:50 p.m.: Amazon Studios chief Roy Price says that Transparent's two Primetime Emmy wins are "gratifying and really meaningful for the show and Jill [Soloway] and Jeffrey [Tambor]." He showed up late to Amazon's party in a Ralph Lauren white tuxedo jacket. "It's like 100 degrees," he jokes. "A white dinner jacket was designed for hot tropical conditions." 

11:20 p.m.: Late arrival and Emmy winner Tambor ,  who sits with his wife and Emmy statuette near the fireplace at the Standard's rooftop bar, says he's honored by his win for lead actor in a comedy series for his turn as transgender woman Maura in Transparent. "It's certainly bigger than me. It sheds a great light on a really important subject and it's important that we're the little engine that could — that it will shed light on Amazon. That's quite big. It's great to be part of that." Transparent, which recently wrapped production on its second season, has been renewed for a third season that, Tambor says, will start filming in February. "I love season two," he adds. "We're taking the bubble wrap off of Maura."

10:04 p.m.: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos arrives with wife MacKenzie and is immediately surrounded by a group of devotees near the bar. He introduces himself to one attendee who responds, "I know who you are." The tech billionaire, who attended the Emmys, tells THR that he enjoyed the show, especially host Andy Samberg.

Fox, held at Vibiana

10:13 p.m.: Fox siren Taraji P. Henson greets newly minted American Horror Story star Lady Gaga at the bar before ordering a round of tequila shots. The two, easily most popular women at the party briefly hug — and 12 iPhones simultaneously rise to snap the moment before Gaga shields their faces with her hand and a respectful "no thank you."

10:01 p.m.: Empire's Henson has a press rep declining interviews on her behalf. "She's very thrilled for Viola [Davis, who won the best drama actress Emmy for which Henson also was nominated]," her rep says, deflecting THR's interview, before adding details about which designers she's wearing. 

67th Emmys Governors Ball, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center

9:25 p.m.: Host Samberg, clad in a powder blue tux and sneakers, is surrounded by those looking to congratulate him. Consensus on the show seems to be strong, and he appears relieved that it's now over. Elsewhere in the room, Mark Burnett (clutching his Emmy for The Voice) chats up David Oyelowo, while James Corden and Vince Gilligan separately make their rounds.

9:15 p.m.: Jon Hamm arrives and heads for Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, whom he bear-hugs. January Jones hugs him next, as well-wishers gather around snapping photos. "You can't fake that smile," says one. A few tables away, Amazon's Bezos and Price enjoy dinner as Andrea Bocelli performs. On the other side of the room, Jon Stewart introduces "a young Jimmy Kimmel" to his pals at the Daily Show table.

9:02 p.m.: Stewart and Trevor Noah stand by one of the Daily Show tables, deep in conversation, not yukking it up. Kimmel joins in, with hugs all around.

AMC, held at Boa

11:58 p.m.: Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul creator Vince Gilligan says he "has to congratulate Jon Hamm before I go home." Moments later, lead drama actor winner Hamm and Mad Men creator Weiner enjoy a long hug in front of a throng of fans and flash bulbs just before Hamm exits the restaurant.

HBO, held at the Pacific Design Center

12:03 a.m., Monday, Sept. 21: Orphan Black best actress nominee Tatiana Maslany has a steady flow of fans waiting to meet her. Beat from the sun on the red carpet, Maslany has ditched her gown and heels in favor of a pair of rolled-up slacks and Vans. "I gotta get my stylist to get more tennis shoes in my wardrobe!" she quips to THR

11:31 p.m.: Anna ChlumskyTony Hale and other Veep-ers get down on the dance floor to Pitbull's "Don't Stop the Party" and a remix of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," with Chlumsky leading the pack.

10:56 p.m.: Drunk History creator Derek Waters arrives at the HBO party, having just dropped off his date — his mother, in from the East Coast. "If you're going to lose to someone, at least you can see it coming," he tells THR of being bested by Amy Schumer

10:48 p.m.: Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Mel Brooks hug and mug for lots of fan photos. Bill O'Reilly, bottle of Voss in hand, surveys the crowd with bemusement.

10:35 p.m.: "Yessss," Orange Is the New Black's Laverne Cox greets Emmy winner Davis by the entrance to the HBO party. She adds, "I was bawling," and then hugs the actress.

8:45 p.m.: Justin Theroux, sans bride Jennifer Aniston, shares a laugh with her former Friends castmate Lisa Kudrow.

Saturday, Sept. 19

TV Academy Performers Nominee Reception, held at the Pacific Design Center

9 p.m.: Transparent guest-actor winner Bradley Whitford, who took home gold last weekend at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, wanted to make sure people knew why he was sporting a slightly incognito look under a large-brimmed fedora. "I'm playing vice president Hubert Humphrey in All the Way for HBO," said Whitford of the Bryan Cranston-starring movie adaptation of the hit Broadway play. "They've thinned and darkened my hair for the role, so wearing a hat is just best for everybody right now."

8:15 p.m.: Veep supporting actor nominee Tony Hale — attending the annual fete for acting contenders with his wife, makeup artist Martel Thompson — said he and his costars miss departed showrunner/creator Armando Iannucci, but newly installed showrunner David Mandel has proven a perfect fit. "He's doing an amazing job so far, we're all sort of amazed," said Hale of the Curb Your Enthusiasm alum. The comedy recently left its Baltimore headquarters to shoot full-time in L.A., a transition that Hale said has been seamless. "In a lot of ways it's better, and not just the commute.”

Showtime, held at the Sunset Tower Hotel

8 p.m.: Helen Hunt and her longtime partner Matthew Carnahan, creator of Showtime's House of Lies, slip in right before Jakob Dylan and Jade Castrinos take the stage. Execs David Nevins and Matthew Blank make their way around a packed room that includes Claire Danes (Homeland), Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan), Matt LeBlanc (Episodes), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Don Cheadle (House of Lies) and William H. Macy (Shameless).

7:30 p.m.: Homeland directing nominee Lesli Linka Glatter arrives and dismisses predictions that she could take home a statuette Sunday. Her pick: The Knick's Steven Soderbergh. She catches up with Homeland writer Meredith Stiehm, who says she won't be riding her bike to the Emmys with her Mad Men writer husband this year. Fortunately, he'll have many others joining him on the sweaty 17-mile ride. 

7 p.m.: Homeland star Mandy Patinkin is one of the first to arrive, settling in at a back table where well-wishers come by to greet him. Inside, ABC News' Dan Abrams is overheard joking about a Trump presidency. 

NBC, held at Boa

6:30 p.m: Orange Is the New Black star Uzo Aduba, who will be part of NBC's holiday musical The Wiz, milks her face time with NBC chief Bob Greenblatt. So much so that Jenna Fischer, "Pam" from The Office, gets tired of waiting to kiss the ring and moves on. Entertainment president Jennifer Salke pops in at one point to snap a quick picture with the duo. Nearby, the pint-size actress who'll play a young Dolly Parton is all smiles, and Amy Poehler and her Parks and Rec creator Mike Schur make the rounds together. 

6 p.m.: Eva Longoria arrives in a white suit and black heels,  with her long dark hair slicked back off her face, only to be greeted by fellow NBC star America Ferrera, who is wearing a white suit and black heels and, yes, has her long dark hair slicked back off her face. "I can't believe this," Ferrera says, howling with laughter, and then the actresses begin snapping pics of their matching looks. 

BAFTA Tea, held at the SLS Hotel

4:35 p.m.: Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes heads out of the event after chatting with castmember Laura Carmichael. "We're excited. It's always a good time," he says of the big day to come, adding that the only thing he's not particularly thrilled about is the weather forecast: "Unfortunately, this year it's supposed to be terribly hot!"

4:20 p.m.: Adrien Brody arrives to the party in sunglasses, and keeps them on throughout the afternoon — even when he huddles with his two guests in a dark corner inside. Minutes later, Olive Kitteridge nominee Zoe Kazan arrives at the tea with partner Paul Dano just as the party is winding down. "Are we late?" Dano wonders aloud. "What time did this thing start?" Meanwhile, Orphan Black nominee Maslany and her boyfriend don't make it through the doors until after 4:30.

3:45 p.m.: Better Call Saul's Jonathan Banks and wife Elena Adams Banks can't seem to find their way out of the SLS hotel. "Excuse me, do you know where the exit is?" the Breaking Bad alum begins asking random guests. The couple ends up on the opposite end of the room before they're finally pointed in the right direction.

ICM Partners, held at Chris Silbermann's Santa Monica Home

1:15 p.m.: AMC/Sundance chief Charlie Collier arrives, revealing that his Emmy night cuffl inks will once again be show-themed. On one arm: Mad Men; the other: Better Call Saul. Meanwhile, Paula Abdul says her hellos, while others within spitting distance whisper about how the one-time Idol judge seems not to have aged. Nearby, Inside Comedy's David Steinberg and Modern Family co-creator Chris Lloyd make the rounds.

12:30 p.m.: Nominee Maslany and Orange Is the New Black's Pablo Schreiber are thrust into a picture together by a photog by the buffet line. Once the shot is snapped, Maslany sheepishly introduces herself. Nearby, Better Call Saul's Gilligan proves the party's biggest draw, a position for which the southern showrunner still seems somewhat comfortable. AMC's Joel StillermanSyfy's Bill McGoldrick and star Alfre Woodard each find (much-needed) shade.

Principato-Young, held at the Huntley Hotel

11:45 a.m.: ABC's Black-ish family arrives together at Principato-Young's first Emmys weekend brunch, celebrating the management-production firm's 29 nominees. In the ocean-view penthouse at the Santa Monica hotel, star Tracee Ellis Ross poses for photos with co-star (and outstanding lead actor in a comedy series nominee) Anthony Anderson and their TV kids Marcus Scribner, Yara Shahidi, Miles Brown and Marsai Martin. Ross reveals to THR that she and Anderson will present the outstanding writing for a comedy series Emmy on the telecast. "We've got some fun stuff planned," she says.

Friday, Sept. 18

WME, held at the Hammer Museum

12:15 a.m.: Manager Michael Dean Valeo of Emery Entertainment — who recently signed hot newcomer Lee Jones of FX's The Bastard Executioner — says he's been fielding a lot of requests, but for another very different client. Actress A.J. Langer, who co-starred with Claire Danes in ABC's 1990s cult drama My So-Called Life, recently became the Countess of Devon after marrying Brit Charles Courtenay, and lives with her family in the English countryside. "We're getting a lot of offers for reality shows right now, but she wants to have a normal life for a while," said Valeo. "But yes we'd definitely consider doing a show in the future."

11:45 p.m.: Screenwriter and Ray Donovan creator Ann Biderman makes the rounds with friend and fellow scribe Ron Nyswaner (fresh from a TIFF bow for his award-season film Freeheld) and reflects on her first season away from the Showtime drama after being let go last year. "I haven't watched this season," she admits. "I do really miss the characters though." Meanwhile, Showtime's David Nevins, chatting with WME TV chief Rick Rosen and former ITV Studios America chief Orly Adelson, declines to offer a prediction of whether his shows will walk away with Emmys on Sunday. However, he's quick to note that Ray Donovan is "the highest-rated summer show on premium cable."

11:15 p.m.: WME's recent spending spree has altered the makeup of its Emmy party. Manager James "Babydoll" Dixon, whose New York-based Dixon Talent was acquired by WME earlier this year, holds court with client Bill Simmons, the former ESPN writer-analyst who left for HBO this summer (via a rich deal negotiated by Babydoll). Two of Dixon's other high-profile clients, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel, could not attend because they were busy hosting their shows.

10:30 p.m.: Rectify actress Abigail Spencer suggests she was surprised by the polarized reception of her other show this summer, HBO's True Detective. She also reveals she was close to landing a different role other than that of Colin Farrell's estranged wife. "I was actually also up for Rachel's [McAdams] part," she says. "But honestly I didn't care who I played. Working with Colin was amazing." And how did she manage shooting two series at once, with each on opposite coasts? "I flew back and forth for months. It was a little nuts."

10 p.m.: Silicon Valley co-creator Mike Judge says his expectations for a series win are pragmatically moderate, but raised slightly by its three Creative Arts Emmys. Disappointed that his show’s stars were snubbed this year, he also comments on how well they've adjusted to their growing fame. “Some of them get a little overwhelmed, but Kumail [Nanjiani] loves it — he eats it up.” But one of the most popular guests seems to be Rami Malek, star of USA's summer critical hit Mr. Robot. Malek, attending the party with manager Ben Curtis, says he's leaving early because he'll be on a morning flight to film a movie out of town. So no Emmys for Mr. Robot. 

UTA, held at Jay Sures' Brentwood Home

8:45 p.m.: Transparent writer Micah Fitzerman-Blue asks a small group to handicap his show’s chances for the comedy series Emmy, while Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan affably dismisses a good-luck wish: “We won’t win,” he says. “But we’ll smile!” Parks and Recreation creator Schur heads in, as Cheadle awaits his car.

8:30 p.m.: King Bach (aka Andrew Bachelor), fresh from his Viner of the Year win at the Streamy Awards, names YouTuber Freddie W as the digital creator he admires and follows most. “When I started doing videos, I watched all his stuff,” he says. “And now he’s got a TV show!” So that’s the goal even for the dominant digerati? “Yeah, definitely,” says Bach, who adds he's in talks about a half-hour program produced by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele.

8:20 p.m.: NBCU cable maven Bonnie Hammer and USA chief Chris McCumber chat with AMC's Charlie Collier, while Fox's Peter Rice, FX's Nick Grad and Eric Schrier and Discovery's Rich Ross mingle nearby. Elsewhere, newly named CBS entertainment chief Glenn Geller is being congratulated left and right, while a pregnant Shiri Appleby fields her own set of compliments for both her summer breakout, Lifetime's UnReal, and the passed apps, catered by her restaurateur husband and Animal co-owner, Jon Shook.

7:30 p.m.: There are plastic heel covers on offer to help prevent female guests’ stilettos from sinking into the dewy ground, plus young male escorts positioned at both staircases (an agency newbie just out of Stanford among them) to offer steadying arms for ascent and descent. 

CAA, held at Bouchon

9:15 p.m.: At the CAA party, Mad Men's Weiner (surrounded by AMC well-wishers) says hello to his longtime friend Jenji Kohan (Orange Is the New Black), whose famously wild hair seems to have morphed from purple to a lighter shade of blue. Across the seemingly endless cheese bar, Laura Dern chats with a journalist whom two CAA publicists say was definitely not invited to the party.

9 p.m.: The bash lures top execs including NBC's Greenblatt, AMC's Collier, Fox's Peter Rice, Dana Walden and Gary Newman and HBO's Len Amato. Even non-CAA client Gilligan is making the rounds with Better Call Saul showrunner Peter Gould.

8:45 p.m.: CAA has taken over its client Thomas Keller's Bouchon restaurant in Beverly Hills for a food-centric bash. Nominated guests, including Mark Burnett and wife Roma Downey (The Voice), Jerry Bruckheimer (The Amazing Race), Weiner, Lorne Michaels (Saturday Night Live) and Kohan, are invited on a kitchen tour that includes stations with lamb pigs-in-a-blanket, chicken croquets, fries in CAA-branded containers and a custom pizza bar. 

Entertainment Weekly, held at Fig & Olive

9:00 p.m.: Empire actor Rafael de la Fuente explains that Taraji P. Henson deserves to win for her work on the Fox hit because she’s “an amazing artist — and she’s an amazing human being.” As for the show’s recent THR cover? “I just posted it on Instagram,” he laughed. Minutes earlier, a Sandro-clad Zoe Lister-Jones, an actress on Life in Pieces, is overheard reminding a journalist that the premiere of her show is Monday and she plans to watch from her couch “with my husband having a glass of champagne, like I end most nights.”

8:45 p.m.: Witney Carson of Dancing With the Stars fame, a nominee at last weekend's Creative Arts Emmy Awards, jokes with a journalist who asks her if she ends up marrying her boyfriend, Carson McAllister, if he could take her last name, making him Carson Carson. A pregnant Cat Deeley announces that she's wearing Marchesa (a black satin slip dress with gold embellishments) and she picked it because it makes her feel "like a Spanish bullfighter's widow."
8:30 p.m.: Modern Family's Eric Stonestreet is the first guest to arrive and it’s not because he wants to make sure to get a lot of interviews done before the party starts. The actor-star whizzes by every media outlet and straight into the party as one journalist hisses, "Is this what the whole weekend is going to be like?"

Emmy Producers Reception, held at the Montage Hotel

7:15 p.m.: Mad Men creator Weiner was in the spotlight upon arrival at the Montage as he fields one obvious question. "Are we going to win this Sunday? I really truly don't know," he says of what would be Mad Men's potential fifth and final drama series victory. "I'm hearing a lot about Game of Thrones right now, especially after the Creative Arts Awards last weekend. Who knows?" he says. "Honestly, my first priority is for Jon [Hamm] to win. That will make my night. There's no other actor more deserving."