I may have groaned a bit during Modern Family’s wins (I know, I know—they’re good, but I am running out of things to ask them), but I’ve got to hand it to Seth Meyers: despite some cringeworthy moments, he had us laughing backstage. I walked into the awards with Melissa McCarthy in a fab and fluffy custom Marchesa gown. This has become somewhat of a tradition. I’ve walked in with her for the last three years. The elevator was out so up, up, up the steps we both went (me a bit behind—that dress had an impressive train), and she turned down an interview in lieu of touching up her face (understandable—it was hot). I, on the other hand, went back to the pressroom and waited for the action. And huzzah, Television Academy! Wolfgang Puck catered the backroom. Nice. Here’s are some more backstage highlights that didn’t have to do with chopped salad or peanut butter bars…
Best Compliment: Jessica Lange popped backstage after winning for her role in American Horror Story: Coven. The best compliment she ever received? “I passed this group of young men sitting on the stoop and I heard this young man say, ‘Holy shitballs—the supreme!’ And I thought that was the greatest ever.”
Worst Person to Follow: Sarah Silverman hit the pressroom the moment the tribute to Robin Williams finished onstage. You could hear a pin drop—the first time the room had been quiet all night. “Lord have Mercy!” she cried as she hit the mic. The mood lightened as she answered a question about her nude scene in a recent episode of Masters of Sex. “Yea, I feel like suddenly I’ve been doing nudity since I’ve turned 40,” she said. “They’re just boobs. Sure, they are as low as they’ve ever been, but they’re also as high as they’ll ever be from this point on.” She was still thinking about Williams as she left. “I feel like I bombed.” She didn’t.
Sweet Reveal: Kathy Bates came backstage following her own win for American Horror Story: Coven (that show wins every year). She talked about her work in TV. “When Harry’s Law was cancelled, I was really gutted by that,” she said shaking her head, adding that when she was offered the role in American Horror Story, “I was like a little kid.” She was too nervous onstage, or she would have dedicated her award to Robin Williams. “I almost wanted to say, well, I won this time and this is for you but I was just so nervous…I always admire Jessica [Lange] cause she’s so elegant and calm.”
Fighting Words: Sofia Vergara was asked for her response to the Twitter-verse knocking her “demeaning” segment with the Academy Prez Bruce Rosenblum, during which she spun around on a pedestal while he delivered a speech. Her response? “So I absolutely thinks it’s ridiculous, and it’s somebody who I know who started this. She has no sense of humor and she should lighten up a little bit.”
Dirk Diggler Moment: Louis C.K. came backstage, and what a change from his appearance in 2012 where he burst in saying “What’s up? I won two Emmys!” It reminded me of that great speech Mark Wahlberg/Dirk Diggler gives in Boogie Nights when he wins his first porn award—“These films we make, they can be better. I’m gonna keep rockin’ and rollin’ if you keep rockin’ and rollin’!” Karate chop and bow at the end. No bells and whistles on C.K.’s third time around, though; just a demure, “I’m proud of it, I’m happy.”
Then I was out of the tent, through the secret opening in a metal door, through more stalls (that look like they are for farm animals) where you show your Gov Ball tickets twice (they even use a special light on said ticket), and then BAM! I was through the Convention Center doors (Wow!) and welcomed by a laser light show using all the colors of the rainbow as well as entertainment that had already started on the enormous, raised stage. The huge space was divided up by color—I drew the blue section. I spotted Woody Harrelson in red, Jon Voight dancing and posing with the ladies around orange, and Ellen Burstyn cutting across the dance floor near the yellow section.
Debbie Allen Academy dancers showcased great moves against a multi-colored backdrop behind the engraving station. There was a lot of whooping as Aaron Paul got his name etched on his prize. Former The Voice contestant Judith Hill lit the place up when she got onstage. The chocolate corners were extremely popular and a little nudging was necessary at times, but the whole thing was over the top and beyond vibrant. “They always put on a good party,” Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan said as he descended the Convention Center escalator around 11ish. He was stopped a few times by well-wishers before putting his award in an Emmy cozy (they provide them at the door) and heading towards the rows and rows and rows of waiting limos. Beaulieu also handed out gold-wrapped dessert wine on your way out for those still celebrating. Check out pics above from this year’s Gov Ball!
Photographs by Invision