After winning the Emmy for director of a variety special, Oscars director Glenn Weiss surprised the audience by proposing to his girlfriend from the stage.
During his acceptance speech, Weiss took a moment to thank his girlfriend Jan Svendsen for being the “sunshine” of his life. Weiss also credited Svendsen for being someone his late mother “adored.”
“You wonder why I don’t like to call you my girlfriend? Because I want to call you my wife,” Weiss said.
Upon realizing his words, the stunned audience immediately erupted into applause. In shock, Svendsen grew visibly emotional and mouthed the word “yes.” “I didn’t even ask yet,” Weiss quipped, as the audience continued to cheer.
After Svendsen joined Weiss onstage, the Emmy winner offered her a ring that his dad gave to his mom over 67 years ago.
“And to my sisters and brothers, I didn’t swipe it! Dad knows I have it, OK?” he joked about the ring before getting down on one knee.
“Jan, I want to put this ring that my mom wore on your finger in front of all these people and in front of my mom and your parents watching from above. Will you marry me?” he asked. Svendsen said yes.
“Thank you to the Academy,” Weiss joked afterward.
Backstage, Weiss explained that the proposal was never a confirmed plan until he faced an “interesting last couple of weeks” with his mother passing away. “It became a thought. … The thought picked up steam as we got here,” Weiss explained. “This was coming. The timing just lined up very nicely, and it was a really magical moment.”
Weiss also mentioned his nerves before the ceremony. “Walking around on the carpet like nothing’s happening with this thing sitting in my pocket was very nerve-wracking,” Weiss said. When asked what would happen if he hadn’t won, Weiss joked that he would’ve considered proposing somewhere that wasn’t at such a grand scale.
“I suppose the [Governors] Ball or In-N-Out Burger, which is our staple after awards shows,” Weiss quipped.
The moment also proved to be on the minds of the night’s remaining Emmy winners. After winning best variety talk series, late-night host John Oliver briefly mentioned Weiss’s proposal during his acceptance speech. “On behalf of everyone in this room, we’d like to thank Glenn Weiss’ fiancée. This could have been a very different evening.”
Meanwhile, when Matthew Rhys received the Emmy for best actor in a drama series, he thanked his Americans co-star and longtime partner Keri Russell, before joking about Weiss’s proposal. “She said, ‘If you propose to me, I’ll punch you clean in the mouth.'”
The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Saturday Night Live‘s Michael Che and Colin Jost, aired live on NBC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.