On stage, Bryan Cranston - who won best actor in a drama for "Breaking Bad" - compared his bald head to the denuded crown of the Emmy trophy. Backstage in the press room he explained why he shaved his head.
He said it’s for his role in the AMC series, the part that just won him the first Emmy of his career. Cranston said his character, a high school chemistry teacher turned drug dealer, is undergoing chemotherapy. Apart from cutting his hair, Cranston said he also dropped 17 pounds to appear more convincing as a cancer patient.
He said the downside of having close-shaved hair is that stuff keeps getting caught in his stubble, including fuzz and Jujubes.
– Matt Carey, CNN Entertainment Producer
Finally some action in the Emmy press room! It’s been slow here … only a few winners had come backstage, perhaps because it’s such a long walk between the Nokia Theatre and the tent where the media is assembled.
But Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert just injected some life back here, mercifully.
Stewart, who won for Variety, Music or Comedy Series for the New York-based “Daily Show," joked “It’s always great to win. It’s a long flight out here.”
I must say, Colbert, who won as part of the writing team on “The Colbert Report," was funnier than Stewart. He was asked whether it was tough competing with Stewart, who in effect was his boss when Colbert was a “Daily Show” correspondent. His response: “I’ve been gunning for [Stewart] for years. Even when I worked for him I did not wish him well.”
He was also asked who he would cast to play John McCain and Sarah Palin (the questions in the press room are not necessarily very smart) and he recommended Don Rickles as McCain. As for Palin, Colbert said he could play her “because I too have absolutely no business being vice president.” Ouch! And that’s coming from a (faux) conservative commentator.
The Emmy statuette is the most dangerous trophy in entertainment. Have you seen this thing? The feminine figure sports metallic wings - two sharp prongs that could easily put an eye out. Or two.
At the Academy Awards last February Daniel Day-Lewis likened his Oscar statuette to a "handsome bludgeon." But as blunt instruments go, the Emmy looks more hazardous.
By the way, the name Emmy comes from "Immy," a kind of tube used in early television cameras. It was changed to Emmy to sound more feminine.
"Entourage" star Jeremy Piven was the first star to come backstage to the press room, winner for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. This is his third straight win in the category. Emmy voters have a tendency to fasten on a performer and award them year after year (e.g., Candice Bergen won five in a row for "Murphy Brown").
Piven said he thinks "Entourage" is getting better as the show evolves and his third win is "more shocking than the first two."
He was asked by a member of the media what he thought of "President Palin" but he declined to answer, other than approving what Matt Damon said about her (Damon called her candidacy "absurd").
He did speak frankly about the weak opening of the Emmy telecast which saw the five co-hosts ramble on for about 10 minutes. Piven said he thought for a minute that the audience was being punked.
- Matt Carey, CNN Entertainment Producer
Emmy fashion report: The show is barely underway and Heidi Klum is already on her second outfit. (Editor's note: Now she's on her third.) She walked the red carpet in a sparkling silvery item. Then she took the stage in a tux - and she looked better in it than any of the men around her. (The tux was later "removed" by William Shatner and Tom Bergeron.)
Mauve was a hit on the red carpet. Nicollette Sheridan, Holly Hunter, Kyra Sedgwick and Laura Dern were among the beauties in shades of purple. (Speaking of Dern, her dress has pockets. What for, car keys?)
Eva Longoria Parker of “Desperate Housewives” is showing lots of leg. When you got it, flaunt it!
Most outlandish costume: Alan Cumming of the miniseries “Tin Man," who wore a checked jacket and tan pants. Apparently he didn’t get the “black tie” memo.
My vote for most stunning woman on the red carpet goes to Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men." She’s a knockout in a shade of green.
For those of you eager to know how tonight’s Emmy ceremony will unfold, I have obtained a copy of the master plan for the show that producer Ken Ehrlich put together. It’s divided into 13 “acts” and is expected to run three hours, five minutes and 19 seconds long (how can they predict how long those Emmy acceptance speeches will last?). Set your stopwatches!
Oprah will kick things off. One of the highlights could be British comedian Ricky Gervais (star of “Extras” and the new movie “Ghost Town”), who will introduce a segment on “greatest Emmy speeches." He’s fantastic.
Josh Groban will be singing a medley. Not sure why. There will also be a cast reunion of “Laugh-In” (Goldie Hawn? Lily Tomlin? Arte Johnson? Ruth Buzzi? Who knows?).
The final award, as usual, will be Best Drama Series. And then the parties begin!
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