The Best Behind-the-Scenes Moments at the Critics’ Choice Awards 2021

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The Critics’ Choice Awards 2021, broadcast on The CW, may have been virtual, as has become the norm with so many ceremonies that hand out accolades, but that didn’t stop the nominees and the winners from dressing to the nines in black tie and evening gowns for the occasion. (Okay, Ted Lasso winner Jason Sudeikis did wear another sweatshirt!)

TV Insider was on hand for the virtual press room “backstage” and chatted with many of the winners. Below are the highlights from the victors!

Emma Corrin: Best Actress in a Drama Series, The Crown (Netflix)

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Would she play Princess Diana ever again?:

“No. I don’t think so, as much as I adored Diana and [adored] playing her, such a complex character. It was a wonderful experience, but I suppose in my career I want to do a lot of different projects and play a lot of different characters.”

Gillian Anderson: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, The Crown (Netflix)

On if there was any trepidation stepping into the role of Margaret Thatcher:

“I actually hadn’t seen any scripts when I said yes. [Saying yes] was based on the reputation of The Crown and knowing the kind of work that went into the series that helped me make my decision. Also, I guess it’s better to say yes if you think you might have a chance of doing it than not. I still don’t quite know why but I felt I might know how to play her.”

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Best Talk Show (NBC)

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Were Meyers’ kids still awake when he won?:

“If we wake them up, we’re going to tell them I won an Oscar. They’re too young to know all the [awards] shows.”

On winning alongside fellow Saturday Night Live pals Andy Samberg (Palm Springs) and Sudeikis:

“[SNL] was such a special time in my life, being on during that era. We’re all still close friends. I think if I hadn’t won, they would have lorded it over me.”

On the rumor that Peacock wants to give Meyers’ parents their own show:

“They’re trying – as usual, my parents are driving an incredibly hard bargain on the contract.”

“We don’t work cheap!” – Meyers’ Dad

Michael K. Williams: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Lovecraft Country (HBO)

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What does the show say about the future?:

“What I mostly hope is that youth, particularly in my community, will watch this and get a sense of legacy — all the greatness and all the obstacles we’ve overcome. This gives us a blueprint for how things got so divided. Hopefully, we can go back and fix some things.”

On how Williams chooses his roles:

“The truth of the matter is these characters choose me. When I’m asked to do a role, I’ll look for the truth and I will tell that truth with as much compassion and empathy as I can.”

Jason Sudeikis: Best Actor Comedy Series for Ted Lasso: (Apple TV+)

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On the mustache he’s sporting:

“Thanks. It’s a rental.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from doing improv?:

“There’s a few that come up. The tenets of saying ‘yes,’ and then agreeing with something [in a scene] and adding to it. It’s more important to ‘love the art in yourself than yourself in the art.’”

Another hoodie?:

“This is from Rocket High School, which is the name of the fictional high school in the seminal comedy Book Smart.”

Brendan Hunt (writer/producer; Coach Beard), on Ted Lasso winning Best Comedy Series:

On beating awards favorite Schitt’s Creek:

“It’s an honor to be in their company. I love Schitt’s Creek. Like a lot of people, I gradually found out about it.”

Hannah Waddingham: Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, Ted Lasso:

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“I’m a 5’11”, 46-year-old-woman and these roles don’t come around very often. When I went to my first meeting on this, I thought, ‘Don’t get too attached. Whoever gets to play this part will have gotten such a gift.’ Now, being here? I can’t fathom what’s happening, really.

Anya Taylor Joy: Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television, The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)

Is there more to tell about your character, Beth Harmon?:

“It’s incredibly flattering that people want to spend more time [with her], but we did intend for it to be a limited series. We were quite surprised when people asked for me. That being said, ‘Never say never.’”

What has chess taught you about the world?:

“That you can have a plan, but you have to be able to pivot and think on your feet. It’s also important to attack and defend and you have to learn when to do both. You need all the pieces on the board. It’s not just the Queen roaming around.”

Donald Sutherland: Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television, The Undoing (HBO)

How did you keep secret the “whodunit” aspect of the show?:

“I have to be truthful — we didn’t know. I always suspected that it was [my character]. Maybe it was? Does that answer the question? We didn’t get the sixth script until just before we shot it. When I knew the relief that it wasn’t me…it was great. I didn’t want to say anything — except that now, I’ve just said something!

“[My character] was so beautifully written and directed. I’ve played Nicole’s (Kidman)’s father a couple of times. I just love it. It was fantastic. I had the pleasure of saying [writer] David E. Kelley’s lines. It’s not often you get to call yourself a [expletive].”

Uzo Aduba: Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television, Mrs. America (Hulu)

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What about yours character did you love playing?

I love [playing] Shirley Chisolm because of her strength … she inspired so many woman who came after her not only in politics, but in life. Anything is possible despite no existing template. You can be and do anything you want in this life. What I take most out of her story was believing in what you think is possible and living by that — and not by the definition or limitations that others have.”

Michelle Buteau: Best Comedy Special: Welcome to Buteaupia (tying with Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill) (Netflix)

What’s given you your confidence?:

“At one point, I was just tired of waiting for someone to make me feel confident and special and worthy. I realized, ‘Oh, it’s just up to me.’ Are you going to wait for someone to clean your house? Once I found that part of me on stage everything else fell into place. I met my husband and started booking other things. We aspire to want to be someone [else]. ‘Who do you look up to?’ It should be you.”