Odds and Ends From the Emmy Press Room

I'm still feeling the afterglow today from my time in the Emmy press room, where so many happy stars came to talk about their big awards. There are a bunch of tidbits I didn't get to share with you live, so to see what Bryan Cranston, Paul Giamatti, and Laura Linney had to say, read on!


  • Bryan Cranston was maybe the happiest guy on Earth when he came back to the press room, clutching his Emmy in one hand and the envelope with his name on it in the other. "I thought I was the dark horse, I really did," he said. "I thought I should have been in the back of the pack. Breaking Bad only had seven episodes to air. I didn't know if that would be enough sampling for the academy to take a look. I'm shocked and wonderfully surprised."
  • Cranston also talked a little about his bald head, a look he's currently sporting for the role as his character is going through chemotherapy (he's also lost 17 pounds, he said). Immersing himself in a character that way, he said, is "something actors dream about." That said, he compared baldness to having a skull made of velcro. "There are all kinds of things that are sticking to my head — fuzz, a jujube . . . "
  • Someone asked Jon Hamm about his reaction to his success and whether he was getting either a) shy or b) a big head. After laughing that both of those things were true, Hamm got serious: "I still feel like I'm in 10th grade and no one will talk to me at lunch," he said.
  • Laura Linney said she's still got a huge stack of history books by her bed, long after her work on John Adams was done. "I had a real understanding of how people get addicted to American history," she said, because each person leads to another. "I'm still reading, actually."

To hear from Jerry Bruckheimer, Jeff Probst, and January Jones, just read more.

  • Jeff Probst shrugged off criticism about the Emmys opening when he came backstage to talk about winning the Outstanding Reality Host award. "Did that work? I don't know," he said. "I give a lot of credit to [producer] Ken Ehrlich and those guys in terms of putting up with us."
  • Speaking of that opener, Jeremy Piven poked some fun at it during his acceptance speech and then went on at length about it backstage. "I thought we were being punked as an audience," he said. "There was that awkward — you know, like in the movie The Producers, [play-within-a-play] Springtime for Hitler? It was that confusing moment like, you know, what's happening right now?"

  • During the Mad Men session, January Jones declined to hint at where Betty's storyline is going, but she did say it's been fun to play the darker side of Betty. "The first season was all Betty sort of imploding," she said, "and the second season she's sort of exploding."
  • Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner made an interesting point when reporters asked how it felt to be the first basic cable show to win an outstanding series award. "I'm surprised that there's such a segregated and caste system at the Emmys — I was unaware of it," he said. "I have this amazing cast. None of them were asked to present tonight."
  • Before he started rambling about inappropriate things, Barry Sonnenfeld praised the upcoming season of Pushing Daisies: "The scripts are better than last year," he said. "I think they're funnier. I think all of the actors have really gotten into their characters."
  • Wishing The Amazing Race would stop submitting its name after six straight Emmy wins? Don't count on it. "I doubt it, I really do," producer Jerry Bruckheimer said when asked if the show would step aside. "We love these statues."
  • Though Paul Giamatti was widely expected to win for playing John Adams, he claimed he had no expectations himself. "Not an optimist," he said. He compared his work on the miniseries to an endurance test (while wearing a hot wig): "I had to do everything," he said. But, on the other hand, "I got to do everything, which was amazing — run the emotional gamut and ride a horse . . . "

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