Emmy Reactions: What the Nominated Stars and Execs Say

Kristin Chenoweth, Matthew Morrison - TV Still: Glee "Rumours" - 2011
Beth Dubber/FOX

See what Jim Parsons, Amy Poehler and Steve Buscemi have to say about the honor, which was announced Thursday morning.

The 63rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were announced Thursday morning. What the nominees are saying about the honor:

PHOTOS: The 2011 Emmy Nominations

Matthew Weiner, creator, Mad Men: “It feels amazing. I hate to say it -- more amazing in a weird way in the fourth season of the show. You expect to the thrill be diminishing. It isn’t! This is a big surprise. It’s been very good for morale around here. I hate to say it, I actually woke up and watched the nominations. The biggest surprise for me was that we broke through the guest actress category. That’s reserved for very well-known people, so to see Cara and Randy Heller get recognized, is wonderful. I will confirm people’s suspicions about this place: Nothing will stop us from celebrating. We aren’t shooting yet, so the writers take time out to start drinking. We always have champagne chilling in the fridge. It’s that kind of place, no matter what happens.”

Kyle Chandler, Nominated Lead Actor, Friday Night Lights: “I was out front throwin’ the ball with the dogs and my wife came out, gave me a big hug and said congratulations. I said, what about Connie [Britton]? What about Connie? And she goes, 'Yup.' I was like, 'Yes!' And she shoved me in the swimming pool. That’s how the day started," Chandler told THR. "This show has changed not just my professional life but how I look at how things work. I’m just so damned fortunate to be part of that — not just writers, producers, directors, from the very bottom to the very top." Chandler, who was also previously nominated for Grey's Anatomy shared his celebration plans: "I’m going into town to get myself what I call a ‘success sandwich.’ On my first show Tour of Duty I’d go up to Valencia on a motorcycle because I had no car, it was November, windy and cold, and I’d make myself a bagel with onions, cream cheese, lox, whatever I could put on that damn sandwich. For me that sandwich is still to this day the taste of Hollywood, the taste of success. My wife said, 'How are you gonna celebrate?' I said that. She said, ‘You’re so weird.' ”

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Amy Poehler, Nominated Lead Actress, Parks and Recreation: “The Leslie Knope in me felt like it was definitely gonna happen. The Amy Poehler in me was just trying to be happy either way. It’s such a competitive field, an indication of what a crazy great couple years for good comedy it’s been. Also the Emmy is absolutely useful as a sign of faith to the people who write our checks and a testament to our hard work and the fans’ support. I’m gonna celebrate by getting all my friends in the car and driving all the way across L.A. on the 405 this weekend — have you heard of Carmageddon? No, I’m going to spend the weekend trading witty and weepy emails with people. And just get my guns and shoot ‘em up in the air like I always do when I win an award.”

Jimmy Fallon, host, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: “I must have hugged 100 people on my way into the office. We have such a mushy group. We are so proud and I’m so thankful that the Academy has recognized how hard we’ve worked. We had an amazing second season. I mean, we had Bruce Springsteen singing while wearing a beard and wig. You will never see that again on television. Ever. That said, I really didn’t think we’d get a nom. When you see the list, we’re the only on a network, which is amazing. Hopefully I can fit into my tux from last year. I’m most worried though that the writers are just too happy today. That’s not good. It means the show is going down the tubes from here.”

Walton Goggins, Nominated Supporting Actor, Justified: "I'm over the moon. I'm going to celebrate by taking my little boy to three different L.A. parks and playing with every single toy in his box. It'll be Goggins Blanket Time for the next ten hours. And tonight I'm going to get together with some of these people I get to see every day we shoot and hug as many of them as I possibly can. The biggest surprises [in the Emmys]? I think my name is the biggest surprise. Johnny Galecki is one of my best friends and I just jumped up and down when I saw his name. I came to L.A. when I was 19, with $300 in my pocket. L.A. has a reputation that is trite and boring. But for me this city is so special. It's given me the love of my life, my son, too many great friends to count on ten hands, and an opportunity to participate in a career that has fundamentally changed me as a person. And I'm grateful to this city. I really am."

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John Slattery, Nominated Supporting Actor, Mad Men: “I’m on Fire Island right now. It feels fantastic! It’s exciting and a surprise. I’m already halfway drunk. No ... but seriously, I’m  on the beach sitting on the beach with my family. Life is good."

Steve Buscemi, Nominated Lead Actor, Boardwalk Empire: “I have to say I don’t follow this [Emmy] stuff that closely but I’m certainly thrilled to be a part of it. It’s really wonderful to have the opportunity to continue playing a character I love," Buscemi said. "I don’t see him as a gangster. He obviously has no qualms about dealing with gangsters but he sort of keeps himself above the fray a little bit and from doing the real dirty work." Buscemi elaborated further, reflecting on his career. "In some of the roles I play you only see a certain side of the character, so I love that Nucky can be sensitive one minute and understanding and the very next minute he can be ruthless. I think that’s very real." As for how he'll be celebrating? "I’ll probably celebrate in a more quiet way than Nucky," said Buscemi, who was suffering from a cold.

Betty White, Nominated Supporting Actress, Hot in Cleveland: “I’m going to be 90 in January. Don’t you think it’s a little bit amazing to be lucky?” she said. “I’m the representative of three other wonderful gals on Hot in Cleveland. We’re like The Golden Girls; I think the only reason they chose me is because they could spell my name.”  

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Josh Charles, Nominated Supporting Actor, The Good Wife: It may be a shock for some to learn that Charles, who previously starred in Sports Night and In Treatment, received his first Emmy nomination ever for The Good Wife. "It feels really flattering. I'm touched by it," Charles told THR. "I can't decide if the actual process of being nominated means as much to me as today or the outpouring of emails and texts from my fellow actor friends who have reached out and sent their regards. I'm feeling good." Whether the heartstopping season finale, in which Charles' Will and Julianna Margulies' Alicia finally do the deed (one would assume), pushed Emmy voters to check the box next to his name, Charles has "no idea." "We work like dogs for a little over nine months," he said, laughing. "I try to practice my swing and do good work every week. I try to stay consistent and be honest and present in the moment I'm in." 

Laurence Fishburne, Nominated Miniseries/Movie Lead Actor, Thurgood: "It is rare to be able to both entertain and educate the masses, of all ages,  on the distinguished career of one of the most historic figures of our judicial system via a platform like HBO. The fact  that the project was screened at the White House last February is a testament to the power and enormity of Justice Marshall, and I plan to share the story of his illustrious life and accomplishments with theater audiences for years to come."

Terrence Winter, creator, Boardwalk Empire: “I was up very late writing last night and woke up to watch live feed of Emmy noms online. And then my computer froze! I can’t say, ‘I wasn’t surprised.’ You never know with these things. There won’t be much time to celebrate today since we are in production and we have to shoot a 5-page. But I’m sure we will take a couple minutes to raise a glass. I was emailing with Matt Weiner earlier and told him he’s lucly he isn’t shooting now, he can start drinking right away.”

Chris Lloyd, co-creator, Modern Family: “I found out through a flurry of emails this morning, and a text from my sister on the East Coast. To see everybody in the cast nominated is an incredible achievement. Generally, it’s unrealistic to even hope for that. Last year we had five out of six, but that was tainted by the headline of who was left out. This year, the cynic in me said it can’t possibly happen for everyone, but it did. I am going to wrangle all the writers and cast who are in town to go out, after we finish our meager attempt at working today. The day of the noms is the best that it gets for us.”

Kristin Chenoweth, Nominated Guest Actress, Glee: "It feels great to wake up to good news. I'm mainly glad people liked my character on Glee. She's a hot mess, but lovable."

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Jim Parsons, Nominated Lead Actor, The Big Bang Theory: "The only thing that crossed my mind is that I have to find a tux. I immediately went to the one anxiety point that I could as a person who doesn't like clothes shopping."

Johnny Galecki, Nominated Lead Actor, The Big Bang Theory: "I'm not proud of this, but I was with my girlfriend with an uncharged cellphone, and it took them a couple hours to find me and tell me. They were a little frantic. I gotta call my mother and have a mimosa and a nap, not necessarily in that order."

Julianna Margulies, Nominated Lead Actress, The Good Wife: "I am so excited that our show, The Good Wife, has been recognized in such a big way this year. It is very gratifying to work with such an amazing cast, crew, producers, and writers. I feel very lucky.

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Eric Stonestreet, Nominated Supporting Actor, Modern Family: "I am so proud for the show, I am so proud for the cast, and I am truly humbled and honored to be nominated once again. This is a special moment to be part of something as universally appreciated as the show is, and it's a testament to our writers, cast and crew."

Sofia Vergara, Nominated Supporting Actress, Modern Family: "I can't believe how many people love Gloria now."

Ty Burrell, Nominated Supporting Actor, Modern Family: "I never imagined that we could all be nominated. It was just really thrilling. It's a really special day for me."

Julian Fellowes, creator, Downton Abbey: “Eleven Emmys? I don’t know that I expected any. As my nanny would say, ‘Gentlemen don’t expect.’ I was having lunch with my wife and they rang. People are supposed to say it’s the program that matters, but it’s nice to be recognized. It’s definitely the icing when the industry says, ‘Well done!’ I’m about to ring Maggie Smith. It’s our second one, because she was nominated for an Oscar in Gosford Park. By complete coincidence, tonight we’re all going to get into our glad rags and go charging to the Savoy for a charity ball that [Downton star] Hugh Bonneville sold as a kind of Downton experience, in support of cancer research. So that seems a rather fitting way for Downton to celebrate. We won’t be in white tie like them, we’ll be in what you call tuxedos. But it’s better than jeans.”

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Seth Green, Nominated Animated Program, Robot Chicken: "I was thinking I'd sleep until at least 7 today. It's always dreamlike when you get this call pre the sun coming up. But I'm not complaining. I'm really surprised people don't want to sue us or get mad at us." 

Martha Plimpton, Nominated Lead Actress, Raising Hope: “Woke up this morning to the incredible news that I was nominated for an Emmy, and a shower full of dog poop. Apparently my dog is so excited, she has explosive diarrhea. I truly could not be more thankful to the Emmy voters for including me in this brilliant company of extraordinary women. Every single one of them is an actual hero of mine and I'm really blown away. And I could not be more grateful to Greg Garcia for creating this fantastic character and this wonderful show. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go clean up an enormous amount of dog poop out of my shower. Yay!”

Laura Linney, Nominated Lead Actress, The Big C: "I am so proud to be a part of such a special show, and thrilled to be included in such a kick ass group of nominees. Cancer and Comedy – how 'bout that??"

PHOTOS: Stars at the 2011 Daytime Emmy Awards

Idris Elba, Nominated Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie, Luther and Nominated Guest Actor, The Big C: "I forgot it was Emmy nominations today. My manager called my hotel in New York and said we got nominated, and woke my daughter up. She said, 'Dad, you're gonna be as famous as the guys in Twilight!' I laughed so hard. I'm having mimosas with my breakfast, and I'm going to make a toast."

Kate Winslet, Nominated Lead Actress, Mildred Pierce: I am completely beside myself with joy that Mildred Pierce has received such tremendous acknowledgment!!!! I am incredibly proud to be a part of this great production. And especially thrilled for Todd Haynes today. All these nominations are thanks to his remarkable direction and generosity.

Julia Stiles, Nominated Guest Actress, Dexter: "It was fun to work on that show. It was really fun and this is just an added bonus a year later ... I thought I was going to end up dead in a bathtub. I'm really surprised that Lumen survived." 

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Edgar Ramirez, Nominated Lead Actor, Carlos: "I'm still coming out of the shock, then comes the celebration. Ironically enough, this amazing news caught me at the premiere of Carlos in Venezuela. I'm at home, the boys have a terrible flu. Carlos opened an interesting debate: where does cinema end and TV begin? To get a Golden Globe nomination, movie critic circles, to win the Cesar, the French Oscar, and now to be privileged to be nominated for the Emmy -- it's fantastic. I'm so happy to be nominated with William Hurt [Too Big to Fail]. We became very good friends on Vantage Point. I reached out to him for some guidance on Carlos, because he's an icon, one of the best actors in the world, and he's very generous. We had an amazing exchange of emails. He helped me to embrace the contradictions -- is Carlos a hero, a monster, a playboy, a mercenary? Embrace the darkness, and to find also the light. To be open. Both of us to be in the same category -- it's so overwhelming!"

Alec Baldwin, Nominated Lead Actor, 30 Rock: "I'm very grateful to the Academy and I'm looking forward to Season 6 of 30 Rock."

Sara Colleton, executive producer, Dexter: "Everyone in post and on the set will be very happy today. This show is such a team effort that any nomination really reflects the group effort. I'm sure we'll be doing something appropriate together before the day is over."

Matt LeBlanc, Nominated Lead Actor, Episodes: "I’m honored to be considered and very proud of our show. Everyone worked so hard, and I’m even more excited about the writing nomination for Jeffrey and David. They definitely deserve it. I’m looking forward to going back to work soon on season two. It’s going to be a blast."

Hugh Laurie, Nominated Lead Actor, House: "I'm very excited. This time I'm going to put a whole rabbit on my keychain."

Robert King, co-creator, The Good Wife: "We were really thrilled with the sophomore season. And to see that people weren't just patting us on the head and saying 'How nice for a network show, now go play in a corner' was really thrilling."

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Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer, American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance judge: "I'm delighted that American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance have received 18 nominations between them. I wish everyone who's nominated luck. I'm particularly thrilled for Cat [Deeley] who richly deserves this recognition."

Mark Ballas, Nominated Choreography, Dancing With the Stars: "After a late night music session, I got a very early call with this awesome news. So much work goes into choreographing these routines and I'm just so honored to be nominated."

Edie Falco, Nominated Lead Actress, Nurse Jackie: "I am thrilled to be honored in the company of such talented women."

Jane Krakowski, Nominated Supporting Actress, 30 Rock: "I am so excited to be nominated again! Every year, Tina [Fey] and the writers keep raising the comedy bar for Jenna and her antics and this nomination is a testament to their brilliant work."

Jason Katims, executive producer, Friday Night Lights: "What a complete shock and surprise. I am beyond thrilled and excited for the Emmy nominations that Friday Nights has received.  It's like an episode of the show -- a hail mary pass in the last seconds of the game. What a great moment to share with the crew, cast, writers, directors, producers, NBC, DirecTV -- all who have contributed in a seminal way to this show that I'm so proud of.  Additionally, I am so proud of Connie [Britton] and Kyle [Chandler] for their much deserved recognition.  Individually, they have given extraordinary nuanced performances and together have created one of the sweetest and poignant depictions of marriage on television."

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Heidi Klum, executive producer and host, Project Runway: "The important thing is that my baby, Project Runway, is doing great. With the [show] nominated for the sixth time, that’s what I do it for."

Margo Martindale, Nominated Supporting Actress, Justified: "I got up to watch the nominations but couldn’t find anything on supporting races so I went back to sleep. Then somebody called from California and said, ‘You won [a nomination]!’ Go to Emmys.com, you fool! I guess I’ll have to put on some makeup to go out today. My 60th birthday is Monday, so it’s quite a great birthday present. Entering in the supporting actress category [instead of guest actor, as she’s billed] --  I had nothing to do with it. That was FX. John Solberg [FX svp media relations] said it’s because if you’re nominated for best guest actor, you don’t even get to go to the ceremony unless you win. But if you’re nominated in the other category you get to go even if you don’t win. It didn’t feel like being a guest. It was just a way to get me for cheap, I think. I would’ve done that show for no money.

Laurieann Gibson, Nominated Director for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special, The Monster Ball Tour: I am so completely floored, excited and humbled to be acknowledged by the academy. Directing the The Monster Ball Tour Special on HBO was a reward in and of itself and now to be honored among such an esteemed group of fellow nominees is quite simply, a dream come true.

Brenda Strong, Nominated Voiceover Actress, Desperate Housewives: "I got a call, 'Wake up, you got an Emmy nomination.' I said, 'Excuse me -- what?' My family was already planning to go out to dinner, now we just have to get some kinda schmancy champagne and dessert, which I wonder if I should eat since I have to fit into an Emmy dress. I'm done playing dead people. I'm ready to be alive on Dallas. But I'll do both -- Mary Alice [Desperate's deceased narrator] will be back more on the last season [of Desperate Housewives ], in the second episode for sure."

Laurence Fishburne, Nominated Lead Actor, Thurgood:

“It is rare to be able to both entertain and educate the masses, of all ages,  on the distinguished career of one of the most historic figures of our judicial system via a platform like HBO.  The fact  that the project was screened at The White House last February is a testament to the power and enormity of Justice Marshall, and I plan to share the story of his illustrious life and accomplishments with theater audiences for years to come.”

Reporting by Lesley Goldberg, Lacey Rose, Sarah Ewald, Timothy Appelo, Philiana Ng and Stacey Wilson.

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