September 20th, 2009
11:54 PM ET

Emmy night: What's a cougar?

If you call Jessica Lange a "cougar," she won't understand. A reporter in the backstage press area asked Lange what she thought about them.

"Why have I never heard this before?" Lange asked. "Where have I been?"

The reporter explained to her it was term for older women who target younger men.

"I'm the wrong person to ask," she said. Lange has been with playwright Sam Shepard, 65, since the early '80s.

Lange, who had just accepted an Emmy for lead actress in a miniseries or movie ("Grey Gardens"), was asked how she keeps looking so great at 60.

"I never exercise," she said.

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Filed under: Emmys
September 20th, 2009
11:24 PM ET

Emmy night: What President Cherry Jones would do

Cherry Jones, who plays the U.S. president in "24," revealed some details about an upcoming episode. Jones was speaking backstage after getting an Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series.

The show is now shooting episode 10 of its season in Los Angeles - pretending it's New York.

In this episode, she is "dealing a world leader who is being played by Anil Kapoor from 'Slumdog Millionaire,' " she said.

Jones was asked what she would do about health care if she were the real president.

"I'd go for broke, that's what I'd do," Jones said. "I'd go for universal health care."

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Filed under: Emmys
September 20th, 2009
10:50 PM ET

Emmy night: Hurry up and wait

Hurry up and wait.

It's an old adage in news that always rings true, but today I am reminded of it more than ever. Right now I am blogging this to you via blackberry while waiting for the stars to arrive at the HBO Emmy after party. This is the second year I have covered this party and it's one of my favorite assignments–it seems like all of Hollywood comes to this party! Last year I interviewed everyone from Alec Baldwin and Tom Hanks to the almost unheard of cast of a brand new little show called "True Blood".

This afternoon I rushed around getting ready, made sure that all of my accessories matched my dress and obsessed over which lip gloss to wear. Hey, if the normally fabulous looking celebrities are going to be looking even more fabulous than normal, a mere mortal like me is going to have to do everything in her power to look red carpet appropriate– even if I am on the other side of it!

After meeting my photographer John Aceves, we drove over to the venue where the event is being held expecting there to be a ton of traffic and oddly, the streets of LA are empty right now. I guess that is good news for Neil Patrick Harris, it must mean that people are home getting ready to watch the Emmys (it airs on a time delay here). From all of the emails I am getting, it sounds like he is doing an amazing job!

We got to the venue with plenty of time to spare and wait number one started: the wait to get to the carpet. At major events like this, security often holds off 'opening' the carpet until they can gather some of the press and escort them out together. Finally we were escorted out by a very nice HBO rep and security guard and were given our spot on the line.

Now wait number two starts: the wait for the celebrities. This one will be much longer. Luckily we have a few great things going for us. It's a gorgeous night in Los Angeles. It finally cooled down from the insanely hot temperatures earlier in the day. In addition, when you cover enough of these, you become friends with the producers and crews who are covering the same events, so it's kind of like time to catch up with old friends. And the best part? HBO is keeping us well hydrated, they have huge ice coolers filled with cold water bottles– they know how to keep their press happy!

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Filed under: Emmys • television
September 20th, 2009
10:32 PM ET

Emmy night: The writers are quiet

After all of the controversy over the producer's attempt to time-shift the presentation of four writing awards, those acceptance speeches have taken the shortest amount of airtime.

One winner gave no speech. "Little Dorrit" writer Andrew Davies was not present to accept his Emmy for outstanding writing in a miniseries, movie or a dramatic special.

"30 Rock" writer Matt Hubbard, when accepting the Emmy for writing in a comedy series, kept his speech short, explaining "I am nervous."

The Writers Guild protested loudly last month when producer Don Mischer said he wanted to pre-tape eight awards to gain time to add more entertainment to the telecast.

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Filed under: Emmys
September 20th, 2009
10:21 PM ET

Emmy night: Alec Baldwin demurs

Alec Baldwin picked up his eighth Emmy, his second consecutive outstanding lead actor in a comedy award, for his work on "30 Rock."

Baldwin, proving his acting ability, said he was surprised.

"You never, ever dream you're going to win," he told reporters backstage.

Instead of acting, most questions backstage centered around his political ambitions.

"I have a great interest in public service, but seeking public office is another whole ball of wax," Baldwin said.

When asked what guest star he would most like to have on "30 Rock," he said Paul McCartney.

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Filed under: Emmys
September 20th, 2009
10:07 PM ET

Emmy night: Aghdashloo on Iran

Shohreh Aghdashloo - winner of outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie - is an Iranian, but she portrayed an Iraqi, Saddam Hussein's wife, in "House of Saddam."

Aghdashloo, who fled Iran three decades ago, spoke about international diplomacy backstage. She said she hopes U.S. President Barack Obama would talk seriously with the Iranian government, perhaps even with the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. She left no doubt about her loyalties.

"I'm wearing this green bracelet in solidarity with the young people in Iran who shook the world with their civil disobedience and uprising," she said.

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Filed under: Emmys
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