Emmys 2019 Early Winners: Everything We Learned Behind the Scenes (PHOTOS)

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2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Arrivals

Rachel Bloom (Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)

On winning her first Emmy for “I Have To Get Out/Song Title: Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal”:

“I’m so happy! It’s really cool! Anyone who’s ‘chill’ about winning an award? I’m, like, okay? Good for you.’ This feels amazing! My writing partner Aline Brosh McKenna is standing back there and she’s been crying this whole time. We came up with this show six years and some change ago. It’s unbelievable. I know this is the only universe in which it happens this way. The odds of this show coming to fruition and ending with this [Emmy]…are so slim. I’m happy to be in that universe.”

Crazy Ex Girlfriend
Scott Everett White/The CW

Crazy Ex Girlfriend

The musical comedy about an uptight lawyer (Rachel Bloom) moving across the country for love earned a cult following over its four seasons. Stream it on Netflix for hilarious original songs that rival Jamie Dornan’s show-stopping performance as a love-struck Edgar serenading Vista Del Mar’s seagulls.

2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Photo Room
Amy Sussman/Getty Images

On what’s next:

“Well…more stuff. I have a tour right now called ‘What Am I Going To Do With My Life’ because the question I get now is what are you going to do with my life. And…I’m also pregnant! I was going to post it on Instagram, but you might as well do it at an Emmy press conference, right? I’m three months pregnant and I’ll get to tell my child someday that she was with me when this happened so, that’s really fun!”

2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Arrivals
Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Luke Kirby (Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)

On the best part of being on Marvelous Mrs. Maisel:

“I get to work close to home so, I can ride my bicycle to work. Being in New York City is great. It’s great to shoot around town, which is filled with such charm.”

Amazon Prime Video

On the preparation he did to portray Lenny Bruce:

“There’s a little bit of footage of Lenny. There’s some of him doing a standup routine a little later [in life]. There’s one of him doing something with Hugh Hefner. Stuff like that was really good with [helping me with] the physical aspect. His book was illuminating to get a sense of the person inside.”

2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Photo Room
Amy Sussman/Getty Images

On how Bruce’s material has held up over the years:

“A lot of his references are specific to [the times]. There are historical aspects and as I learn more and more, it’s gotten funnier and funnier. I liked him before I got the role. He makes me giggle listening to him, which is often.”

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HBO; Amazon; NBC

On his fellow nominees — Peter MacNicol (Veep), Rufus Sewell (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), and John Mulaney, Robert De Niro, and Matt Damon (Saturday Night Live):

“I love all of them. I truly am not meant to be in that category. I absolutely adore Peter…he represents the best of what actors can be. De Niro? Forget it. Rufus? All of them…I’ve seen John’s standup. He’s an exciting comic. I love Matt Damon.”

Jasper Savage/Hulu

Bradley Whitford (Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, The Handmaid’s Tale)

On working with series star Elizabeth Moss:

“Most of my stuff this year was with Lizzie. I met her when she was 17 and now, I get to work with her again. She’s not just the lead actress on that show, she’s also the creative center. She knows shots and call times and everything. Working with her has been really one of the joys of my life.”

Jasper Savage/Hulu

On how he came to join the cast of Handmaid’s Tale:

“My manager heard there was a character coming up on the show and she reached out to [Handmaid’s executive producer] Warren Littlefield. He was the head of NBC when I did a show on that network called Smoldering Lust. [Joining Handmaid’s] became a tantalizing possibility that lingered in the air for a while.”

2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Photo Room
Amy Sussman/Getty Images

On becoming the first actor to have won Guest Actor Emmys in both Comedy and Drama:

“Wow. I heard there was an article about that [possibly happening]. I’m incredibly honored. I can’t believe my good fortune. I know a lot of wonderful entertainers and it’s an honor to be nominated in both categories. [My wife Amy Landecker, who plays Mrs. McKenzie on the show] and I are both obsessed with this show. To me, being on it feels like I got a guest spot on Godfather II. It’s such a brilliant and iconic, generational show.”

2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Photo Room

On getting to present now at the Primetime Emmys broadcast on Sunday:

“Yes. I’m presenting next week. It’s a perk. [Joking] That was my first thought when I won!”

2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Arrivals
Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Jane Lynch (Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)

On her favorite part of working on Marvelous Mrs. Maisel:

“First and foremost, the wardrobe! We have the most amazing artist/craftsman/wardrobe designer Donna [Zakowska]. Each creation is different and each one is delightful. Donna is amazing. Other than that, the dichotomy between the two faces of Sophie Lennon is what I love. I love being snotty and erudite.”


On how she plays Sophie, as humor was different in Mrs. Maisel’s time:

“I went right to the source — Phyllis Diller, Totie Fields, Moms Mabley — back to when for a woman to be funny she had to have a gimmick. Women made cracks about their looks, how they couldn’t hold onto a man, about being man-crazy…these women did it with such style and panache, such self-possession and hilarity. I grew up watching them. They inspired me. Joan Rivers, too, but even a little earlier. They wore costumes. Sophie Lennon has an ironing board and a father duster. She’s almost Borscht Belt — she goes that far back.

Nicole Rivelli/Amazon

On how she got the role:

“Amy [Sherman-Palladino] and Dan [Palladino] offered me the part. I played a nurse on Gilmore Girls for one day. I don’t know if that had anything to do with it. I don’t even remember meeting them back then. This was a no-brainer. What they do [on this show] is so beautiful; they’re committed to excellence.”

2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Photo Room

On what’s next:

Hollywood Game Night [which I host] is running. I also pitched a show to Netflix and they bought it! I’m doing a show with Cyndi Lauper. I don’t know if I can [talk about it], but the show’s about [women like us]. I’m almost 60 and she’s 65. We’re looking for our next act without having had husbands or children. There are two other folks who haven’t been cast yet. It’s kind of like a Golden Girls for today.”


Neville Page (Outstanding Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie or Special, Star Trek: Discovery)

On winning over fellow nominee Game of Thrones:

“I’m going to admit [I was] absolutely stunned. I was ready to clap and look to my left!”


Glenn Hetrick (Outstanding Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie or Special, Star Trek: Discovery)

On working on the show:

“Every episode has the writers involved in the concept [of what we do]. Everything is so nascent and raw when [we] get it. One of the great things is that Alex [Kurtzman, executive producer] allows us to share in the early stages. My favorite part of the process is what they writers tell us what they think it is [they want to see] and how we find ways to go back to canon because we’re all huge fans and we find a way to bring that to life using modern technology.”

Michael Gibson/CBS

Hetrick on creating the look of the Talosians for Discovery:

“We freaked out over these guys. For all the fans out there, who like us, grew up on the show, the Talosians were technically the first alien species to every grace the scene of Star Trek. We could not have been more cautious in making sure we honored them.”

God Bless the Child
Elly Dassas/Hulu

Cherry Jones (Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, The Handmaid’s Tale)

On the best part of working on Handmaid’s Tale:

“Getting to work with Elizabeth Moss (June) — whom I seemed to have called Elizabeth ‘Olsen’ on stage, but she’ll forgive me! Elizabeth championed me for the role.”

2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Photo Room
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

On how this win compares to her win for her role on 24:

“Winning for 24 was a complete surprise and this one was, too. But I was more nervous tonight. I didn’t realize my category was the very last one of the evening. It makes you tense. You want to get it over with so you can relax! I loved the show tonight. I knew so little about the tech part. I didn’t know NASA was in the movie business! I had a wonderful time!”

Mitch Hasseth/ABC; Ron Batzdorff/NBC

On what she thought of her competition:

“That’s why I was completely stunned [I won]! Just to see that clip of [nominee] Cicely Tyson [Ophelia Harkness, How To Get Away With Murder]. Honestly, I wanted to stand up and say, ‘Oh, no. You’ve made a couple of errors.’ Phylicia Rashad [Carole Clark, This Is Us], as well. She’s never won an Emmy after all these years in the business, which is completely absurd. I got to tell Cicely Tyson tonight that watching her in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman was one of the things that made me want to become an actress.”

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We’re just days away from the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards, but a week early, TV Insider was able to chat with some of the early winners this year.

We were backstage at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy ceremonies last weekend, where stars like Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Jane Lynch and Luke Kirby (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), and Bradley Whitford and Cherry Jones (The Handmaid’s Tale) shared their reactions to snagging the big awards.

Here are some pressroom highlights from some of the big winners!

71st Annual Emmy Awards, Sunday, September 22, 8/7c, Fox

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