Crazy day. There’s Emmy stuff to wrap up, I’ve got all kinds of family visiting and a busy day ahead! Among the things on my agenda is an appearance on OUTspoken radio with Donny Meacham. The show begins at 7 p.m. and I’ll be on at around 7:30 p.m.
This will be my first-ever appearance on the show and I’m looking forward to it. I know we will be chatting about the Emmys a bunch and whatever else Donny has in mind. I’ll just be winging it which is what I usually do pretty much every day of my life!
After the radio show, I’ll be heading over to Here Lounge in West Hollywood for the Finding Mr. Wright pre-production party benefiting AIDS Walk LA.
The movie stars and is being produced by out actor Matthew Montgomery and also stars David Moretti (The Lair) and Rebekah Kochan (the Eating Out movies). It starts filming on Sept. 22 and is the sixth movie Matthew is producing under his Proteus Pictures banner.
Proceeds will be split between Matthew and David’s personal fundraising efforts for the AIDS walk. There will be a raffle (including a painting by The Young and the Restless star Thom Bierdz, who will paint live at the event), underwear models, jello shots, a red carpet where people can get their pictures taken with Matthew, David, and Rebekah who will emcee.
With all of this going on, this rabid tennis fan will not be able to watch a minute of the US Open. Tennis’s last grand slam tournament of the year begins today in New York City.
Among those competing today are America’s top-ranked male Andy Roddick who will be looking to celebrate his 28th birthday today with a first-round win. (It takes seven rounds to win the tournament). Andy has not won the US Open since 2003 so he is long overdue. But his play this summer does not bode well for a long-awaited trip back to the winner’s circle.
Andy, who is seeded ninth, could make it to the quarterfinals or even the semis but I’d wager that Roger Federer or Andy Murray will be holding that big trophy up in two weeks time.
Federer is pictured (left) with Kim Clisters and Rafael Nadal. One thing the three have in common is that they have all been ranked number one in the world. They also have seven US Open singles titles between them. But, shockingly, current number one Nadal, winner of five French Opens, two Wimbledons and an Australian Open, has never won the US Open. Federer has five times and Clisters twice, including last year.
Clisters and Federer are my picks to win again this year!
Eric Stonestreet, outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for his role on Modern Family insisted there was no hard feelings between co-stars (and co-nominees Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ty Burrell.
“We had all joked around before the show that if any one of us won it would be funny to punch the other in the stomach or be visibly upset and walk out of the auditorium,” he said backstage. “This win is a win for our show as it would have been if Ty Burrell or Jesse Tyler Ferguson or Julie Bowen or Sofia Vergara won. It won’t be awkward at all.”
Of course, Eric was asked about the kiss that did not happen last season between Cam and Mitchell and will happen in an early episode this season: “These characters are based on people [writers Christopher Lloyd and Steve Levitan] know, so it’s not as though anything is being avoided,” he said. “Now it looks like we’ve caved to this public pressure. … We’re going to deliver on what people are asking for in a really sweet, great way that’s consistent with what our show is.”
I’ve seen just about every episode of CBS’s The Good Wife and it seemed pretty clear that Archie Panjabi’s character of Kalinda Sharma is a lesbian.
Backstage, the actress, winner of the Emmy for outstanding actress in a drama series, indicated that things may not be so black and white.
“Normally I get to know my characters extremely well,” she said. “Kalinda doesn’t seem to open up to me, either. So I’m as taken back by her mystery as the audience is, and her sexuality is one thing I still haven’t figured out. When she does confess to me, I will certainly reveal it.”
She’s also glad the character’s ethnicity has never even been mentioned: “I started in England, and most of the roles I got were relevant to my ethnicity. We haven’t mentioned her ethnicity yet. … I think it’s the way it should be for young people — to watch television where the characters are from different backgrounds and ethnicity and it’s not all about their backgrounds.”
Modern Family creator Steve Levitan, whose show won best comedy series, said backstage that he felt no tremendous joy in snapping ‘30 Rock’s winning streak, nor by beating Glee: “I saw ['Glee' creator] Ryan [Murphy] afterwards and we hugged. I really admire the fact that ‘Glee’ has broken the mold… found a new way to do things. It’s a shame we both had to come out the same year.”
Hard to focus on just one Morning Man when there were so many good looking dudes in their Sunday best at the Emmy Awards yesterday!
Let’s start with the adorable Chris Colfer who was a supporting actor in a comedy series nominee. At 20, Chris has plenty more chances to win and my bet is that he will sooner than later. Such a talent!
Looking absolutely sexy and smashing was Chris’s Glee co-star Matthew Morrison, a nominee in the lead actor in a comedy category. This guy can sing, dance, make us laugh, make us cry and make us wish we could take him home!
Other post-Emmy Morning Men: Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Glee star Corey Monteith, Mad Men hunk Jon Hamm, the still-hot Kevin Bacon with his Emmy winning wife Kyra Sedgwick,Nurse Jackie and Twilight co-star Peter Facineli, and the adorable Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
Well, Neil Patrick Harris did not win the Emmy for supporting actor in a comedy but with two already at home, he seemed to be in terrific spirits during the telecast.
Neil also managed one of the funnier lines of the evening when he said: “I’d like to thank the Academy for allowing a gay man to host show two years in a row. Congratulatons Jimmy [Fallon] you’re doing a great job!”
It was a pretty wonderfully gay Emmys starting with that glorious opening musical number where cast members from Glee including Chris Colfer, Cory Monteith, Lea Michele and Amber Riley were joined by Jon Hamm, Tina Fey, Joel McHale, Jorge Garcia, Kate Gosselin (nooooo!) and a hilarious Betty White.
Openly gay Glee creator Ryan Murphy won the Emmy for outstanding diorecting in a comedy series for the show’s memorable pilot episode nd said: “I’d like to dedicate this to all my teachers who taught me to sing and fingerpaint.”
Murphy looked sensational in a tux designed by his friend Tom Ford. It is hard to believe that this is the first Emmy for the man who also created Nip/Tuck and the cult fave Popular.
Since Glee, which went into the Emmys with 19 nominations but only won four, lost in the best comedy series category to Modern Family, Murphy missed out on going home with Emmys in eacgh hand.
Still, it must have been a great prize to have supporting actress winner Jane Lynch say: “I want to thank my lord and creator, Ryan Murphy, for creating his role.”
I’m thrilled that Kyra Sedgwick finally, finally, won the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for The Closer.
She had lost the Emmy four straight years but finally managed to win despite stellar combination that included Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Glenn Close (Damages), Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU) and first-time nominee Connie Brittan (Friday Night Lights).
I love that Kyra asked presenter Tina Fey to hold her Emmy as she gave her speech in which she thanked her “kids who let me fly away when I needed tyo and who now are flyng away themelves.” She also thanked “my one and only love Kev [husband Kevin Bacon]. and to quote him, ‘Let’s all be good to each other.”
In the outstanding drama series actor, there seemed to be utter shock when Michael C. Hall was, once again, inexplicably passed over so the Academy could give Bryan Cranston his third consecutive Emmy for Breaking Bad. In another threepeat, Mad Men won for outstanding drama series. I’d be happier for the show if its only gay character, played by Bryan Batt, not been written out.
But Modern Family, winner of outstanding comedy series, has two very prominent gay characters in Cam and Mitchell who are an equally vital part of the show as any straight characters. I sincerely hope the TV networks will see how rewarding it can be to be more LGBT inclusive.
Outstanding Miniseries: The Pacific, HBO
Oustanding TV Movie: Temple Grandin, HBO
Actor, Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS.
Archie Panjabi, so good as law firm investigator Kalinda Sharma on CBS’s The Good Wife, won the Emmy tonight for outstanding actress in a drama series.
The actress beat out a stellar field comprised of Rose Byrne of Damages, Sharon Gless of Burn Notice,Christine Baranski of The Good Wife and Christina Hendricks and Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men.
She seemed genuinely shocked to win in the category which had been expected to go to one of the Mad Men actresses.
“Working on The Good Wife is like a dream come true,” she said. “I have so many people to thank for giving me this incredible opportunity. … This is amazing for my career.”
The character of Kalinda is a lesbian and the win for the role was the second for a gay character Sunday night after Eric Stonestreet won for Modern Family. Out actress Jane Lynch won for playing the straight character of Sue Sylvester in Glee while openly gay Glee creator Ryan Murphy won a writing Emmy!
Well, if one of the three openly gay men nominated for the Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy, then it’s pretty damned cool to have a straight actor playing a gay character: Eric Stonestreet for Modern Family.
Eric, who plays Cameron Tucker on the ABC comedy, beat out his on-screen husband Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Glee’s Chris Colfer, last year’s winner John Cryer, Modern Family co-star Ty Burrell and Neil Patrick Harris of How I Met Your Mother.
The actor was thrilled to be getting the award from 88-year-old Betty White and said of his win: “This is really incredible.”
Eric told the crowd that “all I wanted to be was a clown in the circus” and was proud “to be in this industry working with such incredible people. … I get to work with Ed O’Neil everyday, Ty Burell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson. It’s incredible.”
I’m at a private Emmy viewing party with friends, we’ve got the E! red carpet pre-show on and the first Gregitini (pomegranate juice and champagne) has been poured! We are ready to watch some red carpet action!
3: 02 p.m. Jane Lynch says to Ryan Seacrest: ‘I’m gleeful!” Off-the-shoulder gown, she looks great! She said doing Madonna in the “Vogue” video was “a dream I did not even dare to ask.”
Jane and Ryan talked about her wax figure recently unveiled at Madame Tussauds in Hollywood: “It was kind of like seeing yourself in the coffin,” Jane said. “Almost like you were at your own funeral.”
3:05 p.m. Host Jimmy Fallon is chatting up Ryan Seacrest. He says he’s a little bit nervous: “You can;t help but be nervous … I talked in my sleep, did the opening in my sleep.” Fallon says the opening are going to involved a lot of people (I’ve heard Betty White!) and adds: “I want to play with everybody, I want to get everybody involved.”
3:13: Not feeling bitter about not getting red carpet credentials surprisingly. I love the Emmys! Really rooting for Krya Sedgwick to FINALLY win for The Closer. She is so overdue! Would love to see Matthew Morrison win for Glee (best actor in a comedy) and anyone but Tina Fey for best actress in a comedy!
3:16: Ryan Seacrest is interviewing the cast of Jersey Shore via satellite and it is painfully bad! Please cut this fiasco short!
3:17: Ty Burrell of Modern Family gabbing with Seacrest. He’s talking about Ed O’Neil being snubbed by Emmy (I know the feeling!). Now Kelly Osbourne is on and she had a fiasco with driver dropping her off three blocks away from Nokia so she had to walk. Then they wouldn’t let her in! But she did get in obviously. Ryan wants to know how she got so skinny and she says it is a half hour on the treadmill each day. Any more and it would be boring. Bitch!
3:25 p.m. LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was just interviewed by Seacrest. Almost as bad as the Jersey Shore chat. Poor Ryan. Joel McHale of Community and The Soup followed the mayor and they talked about all his nude scenes. He shoulda lifted his shirt a la “The Situation.”
3:28: Kathy Griffin just signed the E! camera lense with this message: “Suck it. Whatever.”
3:30: E! is on commercial so I can bore you with who I want to see win: Chris Colfer for supporting actor in a comedy (it is the first award to be presented!); Jane Lynch (please, please, please) for supporting actress in a comedy. Glee for outstanding comedy! And perhaps most of all: Michael C. Hall for Dexter! It is time!
3:31: Kathy Griffin and her mom Maggie talking to her nemesis Ryan Seacrest. Ryan has his Emmy on hand, Kathy held it and said: “This is like a nightmare.” Maggie looks wonderful in a JC Penny outfit and says: ‘I really like you Ryan, don’t listen to what she says.”
3:35: Kim Kardashian talking to Seacrest. producer of her reality show. I can’t pretend to care. Kim claims she is looking for “a normal Armenian boy.” Of course this is part of an episode of the show which I have not seen five seconds of. Now a REAL talent arrives: Lea Michele of Glee! It’s Lea’s birthday. She is 24 and wearing Oscar de la Renta. Kim is doing the interview for some reason and only wants to talk dresses and bling. Lea does look smashing. She says Cory Monteith is “eating like a girl right now” because he might have to wear a “mankini” in the Rocky Horror episode.
3:39: Nominee (and certain winner) Claire Daines who is up for the Emmy for Temple Grandin. Now Nigel Lythgoe is on with Ryan who asks him if “there is any new news” regarding American Idol. He says they will need to have new judges signed and ready to go within the next three weeks. He said there are rumors that American Idol might win tonight. He complained to me yesterday about Idol never winning. We’ll have to see! 3:46: Ryan gabbing with nominee Sofia Vergara of Modern Family. She lost her earring just now but has bigger problems: her boyfriend was in a car accident! He’s on the mend. Ryan told her the dress “fits like a glove.” Now Ryan’s co-hort Giuliana Rancic is chatting with nominee Jon Hamm and his fabulous girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt. Will he finally win the Emmy for Mad Men? Not if Michael C. Hall gets his due. Jennifer said her first Hollywood crush was Shaun Cassidy and Jon says his was Tatum O’Neal.
3:53: Two-time Emmy winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) says winning again would be like “more dessert.” He says he would love for Betty White to guest on his show “as a mean, nasty drug dealer.”
3:57: Glee creator Ryan Murphy looks HOT in a Tom Ford-designed suit (in a cool shade of blue) with matching glasses. Bow tie. A male cast member will have to wear a pair of gold lame briefs for the Rocky Horror episode of Glee and they are panicked! Please let it be Cory Monteith!
4:00 January Jones just told Ryan she cannot have any muscle tone during the season of taping Mad Men. She said they are currently shooting the last episode of season four. Tina Fey followed her and said there is a rule on 30 Rock “that I am not allowed to have any muscle tone either.” Christina Hendricks is now on the platform and the cameraman keeps doing close-ups of her cleavage. Well, it is pretty impressive cleavage.
4:03: Finally Ross Mathews is given a chance to chat up someone for E! He kicks off things with Julie Benz. He’s going some kind of fashion cam thing. Seems silly to me. Kelly Osbourne is a fashion expert for E! How do you qualify for that job?
4:17: Neil Patrick Harris chatting with Seacrest about his and David Burtka’s twins which are due in October. “It’s the crazy calm before the ridiculous storm,” NPH says. He then asks Ryan if he is interested in having kids? And who with? He tells Ryan he can’t wait for a break in his career to have kids!
4:20: Giuliana is talking to my fave Kyra Sedwick who has been nominated five straight years and has yet to win. Kyra says – and seems to mean it: “It’s such a vote of confidence each year to keep getting nominated. I’d love to win, I’m not going to lie.” She says she and hubby Kevin Bacon been together 22 years and remember to be kind to each other.
4:26: Will Arnett and Amy Poehler are gabbing with Seacrest and share that today is their seventh wedding anniversary. Amy just had another baby three weeks ago and looks totally trim except for huge boobs. … Julia Louis-Dreyfus, nominated for last season of New Adventures of Old Christine, says her son is going off to college. Of her fifth nomination for Christine she said: “It’s a great comfort to be nominated this year particularly.” She said show, which was criminally canceled by CBS, launches in syndication in September.
4:31: Steve Carell talking to Seacrest talking about leaving The Office and who would replace him. I could care less. Sorry. They just showed Glenn Close on red carpet and she looks fab! She’s gotta be in her 60s. The definition of ageless.
4:34: Julianna Margulis chatting with Guiliana (can’t they spell it the same way). she is not only the front-runner for best lead actress is drama series (The Good Wife) but will also be presenting her old ER co-star George Clooney with a humanitarian award tonight.
4:37: We’ve switched from E! to NBC’s countdown show. Billy Bush just said to Glee star Matthew Morrison: “What’s going on handsome?” Big flirt. Who has better hair? Billy or Matthew? I say toss-up! Matthew talking about high school days and juggling being a jock and thespian. He brought his high school teacher/mentor with him as his plus-one. What a guy! Students at the Orange County High School of the Performing Arts, where Matthew attended, are together and just cheered for him. I got goose bumps. Matthew looks like he’s going to cry. I’m so glad we switched channels!
4:40: Wanda Sykes is talking to Maria Menudos from inside the Nokia Theatre. Wanda says if she loses, she will take Betty White home, put her in her trunk and put her on her mantle. Wanda looks hot! She is feeling the arm of Ty Burell’s suit and he says, “Doesn’t that make you want to snuggle?”
4:42: Billy Bush just asked Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt, together 12 years, when they are going to get married. Egads. I still love Billy’s hair.
4:49: Maria Menudos talking to Modern Family’s Julie Bowen inside Nokia. She just had twins (Bowen) and looks absolutely gorgeous. Famous women do not gain weight during pregnancy. Now cut to Billy Bush talking to Glee star Lea Michelle and Billy just handed her a peanut butter and chocolate birthday cupcake (in a jar).
4:56: NBC is wrapping up their show by doing a fashion recap (yawn). Why are the Emmys reduced to a fashion show? Let’s talk to more nominees instead! January Jones‘ Versace dress just got dissed. She looks like she tried something different. Anna Paquin’s Alexander McQueen dress being panned. They are making jokes, like she looks like a bullfighter.
The Emmys are now beginning! Won’t be live-blogging as intensely but will be posting about winners of the major categories.
If Neil Patrick Harris wins the Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series tonight for How I Met Your Mother, he will be a three-time Emmy winner this year.
The ludicrously talented actor took home trophies at last week’s Creative Arts Emmys for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series for Glee and for hosting the 2009 Tony Awards.
But even if Neil does not win again tonight, there’s a darn good chance – at least a 50 percent chance – that the winner will be an openly gay male.
Including NPH, three of the actors nominated are out: Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) and Chris Colfer (Glee). Another actor, Eric Stonestreet, is straight but nominated for playing a gay character on Modern Family. The fifth nominee is Ty Burrell who is straight and plays straight on Modern Family.
“It’s amazing that we’re so well represented this year,” Ferguson tells Greg In Hollywood. “Eric is playing a gay character as well and [out actress and Glee star] Jane Lynch. It’s awesome, I’m really excited about it.”
“I don’t think it has anything really to do with our sexuality,” he added. “It’s just that there’s a lot of really great actors on TV and great roles and some of them happen to be gay. I think it’s just a product of good acting and I’m really happy to be amongst those people – I’m fans of all of them and I’m very proud of all of them.”
Out director Paris Barclay was thrilled so see 20-year-old Colfer (pictured above) in the field: “When I heard Chris had gotten a nomination, that was the one nomination that blew me out of my chair. I was so happy for him. I’m so envious of him. To be that comfortable with what he does and with who he is at this stage is highly unusual. He’s also really amusing in real life and a really good person. I’m just hoping he stays that way and he doesn’t become a spoiled brat!”
Barclay, nominated in the directing category, is competing against Glee’s openly gay creator Ryan Murphy who is also nominated for writing and is an executive producer.
Dante Di Loreto, one of Glee’s executive producers, told me he was thrilled with the LGBT showing in this year’s Emmy nominations: “I think the gays are extremely well represented but not just doing gay roles. It’s great that Neil Patrick Harris in a straight role gets a nomination then Chris in a gay role does, Jane is playing a straight woman. Didn’t [Sue Sylvester] want to have sex with Neil Patrick Harris? I think what’s great about it is we’re kind of going to get through this barrier of can gay actors play straight roles. The Academy acknowledging these different actors in these roles is fantastic.”
Jane Lynch, who earned two Emmy nods this year (the other for a guest spot on Two and a Half Men), has a strong chance to take home supporting actress in a comedy with her Sue Sylvester being one of the biggest breakout characters of the year. There is also a feeling that she is due after such a long career of quality work.
Also nominated: Out actor Sir Ian McKellen in the category of outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or a movie for his performance in The Prisoner; out performer Wanda Sykes for writing her HBO special I’ma Be Me; and actress Archie Panjabi is nominated in the supporting actress category for playing a lesbian character in The Good Wife.
Other out nominees this year included Lily Tomlin for Damages and Alan Cumming for The Good Wife. Their guest acting categories have already been announced and neither won.
Also of LGBT interest: Beau Bridges was nominated for playing a transgender character in an episode of The Closer and Mike O’Malley for his moving performance as the father of gay teen Kurt on Glee.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson could walk away with the Emmy tonight for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for his role as Mitchell Pritchett on ABC’s Modern Family.
But he told me at Saturday’s BAFTA/LA Tea Party that he doesn’t expect to hear his name called as the winner in a category that also includes his on-screen husband Eric Stonestreet, another Family co-star Ty Burell as well as Neil Patrick Harris and Chris Colfer.
“I would love to win but I don’t think I’m going to but that’s fine,” he said. “I would be thrilled to see either one of my castmates wins, I would be thrilled to see Neil win, I would be thrilled to see Chris win. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s not me. I would be thrilled if Eric or Ty won.”
“If I hear the words kiss or Facebook one more time I’m going to explode!” he joked.
He then added more seriously: “I think we really need to be grateful that there are these great characters on TV right now and try and stop nit-picking. There’s a storyline in the works about my PDA, we have it coming. We hope to be on the air for seven years we need storylines, we gotta store some of this stuff up. Maybe it didn’t come early enough for some people but I do want people to trust us. But I’m also thrilled that the fans were adamant enough to create a Facebook page, so many people joined it. That just goes to show what our fan base is like and I don’t want them to feel bad for doing that and I’m honored that they did.”
Jesse is an openly gay actor playing a gay role on Modern Family. But in his previous sitcom, CBS’s The Class, he was raging heterosexual Richie Velch who was married (to Sara Gilbert!) but madly in love with the character of Lina (Heather Goldenhersch).
So what did Jesse think of the controversial Newsweek article from earlier this summer where the writer, singling out Sean Hayes, stated that openly gay actors can’t convincingly play straight characters?
“I thought it was a little irresponsible, I certainly did not agree with the article,” Jesse said. “I actually on my last trip back to New York saw Sean Hayes in Promises, Promises and was blown away by him. I thought he gave one of the most astonishing Broadway debuts I’ve ever seen. He was fantastic, gay or straight. He made that role more than it ever could have been on the page. I think it was a little bit of internalized homophobia on the part of the Newsweek writer and it was disappointing but we all seem to have moved past it. He seems to have been reprimanded by the community and I’m glad people stood up for one another. I really applaud Kristin Chenoweth for her [supportive] words.”
Paris Barclay, one of the most respected – and prolific – directors working in television today already has two Emmys at home for episodes of NYPD Blue.
This year, he’s nominated for directing the “Wheels” episode of Glee which focuses on the wheelchair-bound character of Artie and the gay character of Kurt and how his father stands up for him.
So how badly does Mr. Barclay want to win tonight?
“Not much,” he confessed to me at Saturday’s BAFTA/LA Tea Party. “I’m counting on Ryan [Murphy] winning. When you actually do the pilot and you actually do the original casting and you’re the principal writer of it. The way that he’s worked on that and put the show together, my episode would not exist if not for Ryan Murphy’s pilot and his work after that. I’m hoping he’s acknowledged. I think he has some tough competition with Jason Winer of Modern Family.”
Paris is currently working on a new season of HBO’s acclaimed series In Treatment and his other credits include such series as Cold Case (he was a co-executive producer), The Shield, House, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The West Wing, Sons of Anarchy, Law & Order, ER and on and on.
But being involved with Glee (he also directed the “Home” episode with Kristin Chenoweth) has been something very special: “Glee is the most extraordinary experience I’ve had really since The West Wing. When I was on The West Wing there was the feeling that it was in the zeitgeist, people were watching it, it was kind of at that level of interest. Every place I go and if someone finds out I work on Glee, they want to talk about it. It’s exhausting! I haven’t been on a show quite like that, not even House. Even In Treatment has its fans but it’s nothing like the phenomenon like Glee. This is the first show that my family religiously watches which helps.”
Since Paris is openly gay and quite respected in entertainment and LGBT circles, I wanted his thoughts on Glee’s Kurt Hummel played by Emmy nominee Chris Colfer. He has a crush on straight friend Finn whose mother is dating Kurt’s father. Kurt’s dad (played by Emmy nominee Mike O’Malley) has been staunchly supportive of his son.
“I think the whole storyline between Kurt and his father is brilliant and I know it comes from Ryan’s personal experience and that infuses it to me with really just heart-tugging emotion,” Paris said. “I know everyone doesn’t behave exactly the way people want them to behave but this is reality and a lot of these things, Ryan has told me,. has really happened. The Defying Gravity kind of thing is what Ryan’s story is so I applaud it and I found it really moving.”
Paris has directed many actors, gay and straight, in a variety of roles. So what did he think of the controversial Newsweek article where the writer asserted that an openly gay actor can not convincingly play a straight role.
“That was ridiculous.” he said. “I think it was so wrongheaded and misguided. We already have Glenn Beck, we already have Dr. Laura. Do we really need an increase in negativity in our discourse? We;re already tearing down everything that is possibly respected. The president, the country, religious freedom. Why can’t we just give each other a break and think about some tolerance. I was just surprised that a young, gay writer from Newsweek would go there. I’m hoping that he’s learned a lesson. Even though not many people are reading Newsweek, enough people are reading it to cause a firestorm.”
Speaking of gay characters, Paris tells me that when In Treatment returns to the air on Oct. 25, one of psychologist Gabriel Byrne’s clients will be a 16-year-old gay kid!
There have been scores of pre-Emmy bashes around town this weekend and one of the nicest was that BAFTA/LA Tea Party on the lawn of the Century Plaza Hotel where guests enjoyed scones and finger sandwiches and refreshing drinks.
“We’re sort of richly embodied in the Los Angeles culture and community and this is a celebration of the Emmy nominees,” Nigel Lythgoe, Chairman of BAFTA/LA told me at the start of the event. “Tomorrow they’re going to be sitting down and keeping their fingers crossed whether they’re going to get the Emmy or not so this is just , ‘Hey, let’s spend some time congratulating you. We’re not going to give you a gold statuette but we are going to give you a lovely cup of welcoming tea.”
Among those joining Lythgoe at the afternoon event were Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rose Byrne, Michael Sheen, Bryan Batt, Paris Barclay, Steve Levitan, Wendie Malick, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Kate Flannery, Ashley Jensen, Evan Handler, David Zayas, Madeline Zima and Oscar Nunez, among others.
Byrne [pictured at top of page], nominated for the second time for Damages, told me she doesn’t expect to win the Emmy today but was enjoying her weekend anyway: “I am the underdog but you never know. It’s a long weekend [of parties] but it’s fun, it’s such a decadent thing to do especially in this time. Really it’s nothing to complain about. You put on a frock, get your make-up done. I’m nominated along with Glenn [Close] and Martin Short and Lily Tomlin. We’re thrilled.”
It was great, as always, to see the radiant Kate Flannery from The Office at the party. I remarked that she always seems to be having such a good time at these events and she jokingly replied: “I’m just doing research for my part on The Office. I don’t really like parties, I just try to figure out how to play Meredith better. I just need to do more research. This is just a sacrifice, a personal sacrifice for my art.”
I had a good gab with the brilliant Wendie Malick who co-stars with Betty White on the new hit show Hot In Cleveland. I wondered how Betty, who won her seventh Emmy last weekend, is handling all of the attention she has been getting all year at the age of 88: “She is filled with gratitude,” Wendie said. “That’s like the mantra on our set, we are all filled with gratitude.”
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, a outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series nominee for Modern Family, seemed relaxed on the red carpet and inside the party. You can read my interview with him HERE.
I also had a good gab with Stephen Tobolowsky who was a creepy riot as teacher Sandy Ryerson in seven episodes of Glee last season and also had recurring roles on Heroes, Deadwood and CSI: Miami, among his 200 credits.
He had some thoughtful things to say about why Glee received a whopping 19 Emmy nominations this year: He said he expected a lot of Emmy nominations for various reasons “and some of them were cynical and some were not.
The cynical one is Glee is at a point where it’s such a phenomenon that a lot of people want a jump on the Glee bandwagon including the television industry saying look how vital we are, look at what we’re doing in a period of time where sitcoms are dropping off the face of the Earth, reality TV is rising, game shows are rising.
And here is one of the most vitally creative shows in a long time and so they’re saying, ‘This is what we want to represent.’ So I can see it for that reason. And another reasons is less cynical and that is that Glee is one of the shows that epitomizes achievement in almost every category. In technical categories, in the musical categories, the camera work, the sound recording. It is a major production and it’s done beautifully – especially for television.”
I remarked how creepy his character on Glee is. He laughed and said: “I love the creepy characters. Otherwise I would never work.”
Will Sandy Ryerson be back next season?
“I certainly hope so. They intimated that I’m going to be in some shows but it’s television so you have to wait and see. You ride that horse with a loose rein.”
And finally this: Why have I not been watching ABC’s The Gates this summer? They have got to have the most gorgeous cast on television! I met and chatted up three of them at the party (pictured below): Colton Haynes who plays werewolf Brett Crezski, Skyler Samuels who plays Andie Bates and Justin Miles who plays cop Marcus Jordan.
“It’s a blast, we just wrapped the first season,” Colton said.
Added Skylar: “The show’s gotten a really good response. We’ve gotten a lot of creatures and elements to our show that Twilight and some of the other vampire and werewolf flicks haven’t hit so that makes us pretty unique.”
The show’s two hour finale airs on ABC on Sept. 19!
Word has it that Alec Baldwin will not be attending today’s Emmy ceremony in Los Angeles where he is, once again, nominated for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series for NBC’s 30 Rock.
He must feel like his chances are slim after winning in the category the last two years but I wouldn’t be against him!
Alec’s role of Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock has enabled this one-time heartthrob of such films as The Hunt for Red October, Beetlejuice, Glengarry Glen Cross, Miami Blues, Married to the Mob and, of course, Knots Landing, to complete his transition to character roles like last year’s romantic comedy It’s Complicated opposite Meryl Streep.
Alec, 52, has had to endure a very public divorce and custody battle with ex-wife Kim Basinger but he has never stopped working on stage, television and film. He’s been nominated for an Oscar (The Cooler) as well as a Tony Award (A Streetcar Named Desire) and is willing to accept juicy roles both large and small in all genres.
His career longevity is further helped by the fact that Alec is equally good in comedy as he is in drama which he proved co-hosting this year’s Academy Award ceremony with Steve Martin and by hosting Saturday Night Live more than any other performer in history.
Okay, he didn’t call it a curse but I have your attention, right? And Nigel Lythgoe, the past and now once-again executive producer of American Idol did have some choice things to say today about the Emmy race when we chatted this afternoon at the eighth annual TV Tea Party in celebration of the 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards.
Idol has been nominated for Outstanding Reality Competition Program eight straight years (including this year) and so far has never won.
It could win for the first time Sunday night but CBS’s Amazing Race has been unbeatable winning seven straight years and is nominated again.
I wondered what Mr. Lythgoe thought of that track record and he did not hold back!
“In truth, I think that has to do with the voters not really taking into consideration the amount of work that goes into these reality shows,” he said. “They don’t necessarily understand reality. They don’t get that to get those seven shows to begin with on American Idol that we have been through over 120,000 kids. To get what we do in four days in putting that finale on which is fantastic – these major events at the Nokia [Theatre] or the Kodak [Theatre].”
“They’ll celebrate the Oscars that’s taken months and months to produce and not take into account that the finale of American Idol and [episodes of] that whole series is done in four days. I don’t think that they are reality producers or don’t understand what goes into the work. Without question, the producers of American Idol certainly do deserve it.”
So what of Amazing Race’s stranglehold on the category? Is it just that much better than everything else?
“It’s an edited show, you pick out the best bits,” Lythgoe said. “Whereas American Idol, we’re live and how we handle that I think is worthy of merit in the first place.”
Of the Emmy race this year he said: “Well, we’ll keep our fingers crossed. If not this year, hopefully next year.”
As long as we were chatting, had to ask Lythgoe how things are progressing so far on the new season of American Idol and how it was for him to be back at the helm.
“It feels like going back home to be honest with you,” he said. “I’ve only been away from it for two years, I made it for seven years and one year before that in the UK so it just feel natural to be there. It’s an interesting time for American Idol, it’s exciting and I want to see the talent, obviously, come through this year and put the focus of the media attention and the public as well back on that rich talent.”
But we’re obsessed with the judges though! WHO are they going to be?
“While we’re in negotiations obviously I’m not at liberty to talk about anybody,” he said, stopping my worldwide exclusive dead in its tracks.
It only ran for one season but oh, how I lived the CBS sitcom The Class.
It was dismissed from the airwaves far too soon and at this point, I can only hope whoever owns this wonderful show will release the complete season on DVD.
Does winning the People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Comedy mean nothing?
Two of the stars of the show, which ran during the 2006-07 season, were Jason Ritter and Jesse Tyler Ferguson!
The two actors, who obviously have found other shows – NBC’s The Event and ABC’s Modern Family, respectively – bumped into each other at last night’s Entertainment Weekly and Women In Film Pre-Emmy Party.
Jesse is up for an Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series and I chatted with him this afternoon at another pre-Emmy party: the BAFTA/LA TV Tea Party. I’ll post out interview later today or early tomorrow!
Out superstar Neil Patrick Harris already has two Emmys but will be win a third tomorrow? What are Jane Lynch’s chances or Chris Colfer’s? What about other out nominees including Wanda Sykes, Sir. Ian McKellen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson [director] Paris Barclay and [producer-writer-director] Ryan Murphy.
I’ll spotlight those races in a special Emmy preview post tomorrow!
I may have been snubbed by the Emmys who declined to give Greg In Hollywood a spot on the red carpet or press room, but I will be watching the ceremony at a private party and live-blogging here and via Twitter [follow me at greghernandez].
My friend Lorna has invented a special drink for me called a “Gregitini” for the party and I have no idea how potent they will be so if there’s a few typos, you’ll know why!
Anyway, I will be getting my fill of nominees and other celebs this afternoon at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts/Los Angeles Tea Party at the Century Plaza Hotel where I was given red carpet access and invited to be a guest inside.
I’ll have photos and interviews from the BAFTA event tomorrow!
So I’ve been watching and reading the coverage on President Bush’s campaign manager in 2004 and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee Ken Mehlman coming out and now wanting to work for marriage equality. He spent 43 years “getting comfortable with this part of his life.”
During those years, he was part of the GOP leadership when the party was stepping up its anti-gay activities and when anti-gay initiatives and referenda would appear on November ballots in 2004 and 2006 to help Republicans.
It was a heartbreaking time for gay Americans to have to endure election night 2004 when all those states approved anti-gay legislation – it was a kick in the gut.
So I don’t have very good feelings about Mehlman because he knew he was gay then and went along with it all and worked for this hateful platform.
I’m not ready to just cheer and embrace him just because he now has seen the light. It’s not like he was a confused teenager when he contributed to the GOP cause that further divided our still-divided country.
He made our lives even harder.
That’s why I’m glad that MSNBC anchor and Advocate On-Air host Thomas Roberts, an openly gay journalist, got personal when talking with GOProud chairman Christopher Barron about Mehlman’s recent announcement.
In a recent segment, Barron praised Mehlman for having the courage to come out. In response, Roberts lumps himself in with the millions of gay and lesbian Americans shocked that Mehlman would work for an administration fighting to add discrimination to the U.S. Constitution.
Here is the segment which an illustration of why newsrooms should absolutely be more diverse:
TO BE BLUNT: Conservative minister Crispin Blunt split rom his wife of 20 years then told the world that he is gay.
Good grief, who’s next?
The 50-year-old politician is the uncle of actress Emily Blunt who has starred in such films as The Devil Wears Prada.
‘He decided to come to terms with his homosexuality and explained the position to his family. There is no third party involvement, but this is difficult for his family and he hopes for understanding and support for them.’ Mr Blunt apparently told his wife and children, Claudia, 18, and Frederick, 16, around two weeks ago. The news was a profound shock to them.”
One Tory MP who knew of Mr Blunt’s decision to go public said: ‘Crispin is a guy who has had to wrestle with this for 30 or 40 years and had quite a conventional life. He hit 50 and suddenly realised that was not who he was. He’s a straight-acting person. He’s not out on the town, going to gay bars. It’s a personal journey.”
All I gotta say is, “straight acting” means nothing!
My thoughts: I also think, and hope, that the younger generation will continue to come out at a younger age and not create a false life that can hurt so many people.
It is ironic that so many homophobes like to characterize openly gay people as less than when really they are quite courageous – every single day – to insist on being accepted for who they are.
So far, Mehlman and Blunt have done a courageous thing by coming out. We will have to see how they conduct their lives from here on end and what they do to atone for their past lies and the collateral damage caused by them.
In honor of Sunday’s Emmy Awards, here is a flashback to the 2005 ceremony.
After five consecutive losses (how could that BE?), Sarah Jessica Parker finally won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2005 for the final season of Sex and the City. (Cynthia Nixon had won for the first time earlier in the evening in the supporting actress category).
She was clearly moved and said in her speech: “This is great punctuation for the end of a long sentence – a really good sentence. It really was worth the wait and a glorious finish to what was the journey of a lifetime.”
She was going really well, very thoughtfully, until the damned countdown began then she started panicking and thanking lawyers and publicists. But she did not forget to thank the post 9/11 New York City.
Kathy Griffin better watch out! Wanda Sykes had Larry King in absolute stitches during her appearance on his CNN show this week. It was a thoroughly enjoyable hour and I’ve transcribed some of the highlights for you.
On the Emmys (Wanda is up for two. She lost in one category at last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys but has another chance to win on Sunday): “You get all dressed up and you go and people say, ‘Oh, I’m just so honored to be nominated’ but really, you want to win. It feels good to win. You want to walk around with your big, gold trophy and you want to shove it in people’s faces and you want to get up and thank people, you want to do all that. So when they didn’t call my name [at the Creative Arts Emmys] it would have been better for me if they would have said, ‘And the winner is Wanda Sykes.. Not you!” I would have felt better. If you’re going to kick me in the teeth, kick me in the teeth.” On for GOP political operative Ken Mehlman coming out: “He’s family, I didn’t know. Here’s this guy, he says it’s taken him like 43 years to be comfortable with himself which I understand. It took me awhile to publicly come out but when he was in the Bush administration, they knew he was gay and he had to sit there and listen to all this anti-gay stuff. I also believe the people in the room, they weren’t anti-gay, they were pro-votes. … [Mehlman] probably took so many of those showers that, you know, rape victims take, they’re scrubbing themselves. He probably had a lot of those kind of showers.”
On why it took her so long to come out: “I have parents who are still alive that’s why and you suppress all that, you bury it to try and fit in. I’m 46 so back then, religion everything else. You weren’t exposed to gay people. My father was in the service.” She told her parents during “a long distance phone call. We’re talking like coast to coast. You always want to give your family like a six hour plane ride before they can get to you [laughs]. … I know without a doubt my family, they love me, we’re working on it.”
On former VP candidate Sarah Palin: “She’s smart in the way that she’s an opportunist but she’s not smart enough to pull it off. All you have to do is just give her enough rope and she’s going to say something stupid. She’s making up words. … If someone put an earpiece in her ear and would just say, ‘Stop!’ she would go far. She doesn’t know how to stop. She says the things that people in that little area want to hear. There’s a group who feel very connected to her and you have to give her credit for that. But when you listen to it, a lot of it doesn’t make any sense.”
On Dr. Laura Schelessinger controversy: “Here’s the shocking thing: I did not know that black people actually listened to Dr. Laura. Black people don’t listen to Dr. Laura! That’s a white people thing. Dr. Laura’s not even a psychologist, she’s not a psychiatrist, she’s a physiologist. So you make better time getting therapy from your masseuse.. I think Dr. Laura was shocked and she was really ticked off that this black woman called into her show. That’s why she went off. … It didn’t make any sense at all … She’s probably been saying the N word for years but this is the first time that a black person was actually listening to her show. I’ve been black for 46 years and in my entire 46 years I have never heard one of my black friends start a conversation with: “You know, I was listening to Dr. Laura today.”
With all of the hoopla over Betty White and this year’s Emmys (She won last week for SNL and will present Sunday night), I got to thinking about the last time Miss White appeared on the Primetime Emmys telecast.
It was two years ago and she was to present the Outstanding Comedy Series award with Mary Tyler Moore. The plan was for Miss Moore to come out first and pay tribute to Betty’s 50th year in television then Betty would walk out to an ovation.
What the audience did not know – but I did know – was that Mary had suffered a nasty fall on the red carpet a few hours earlier. I was standing about 10 feet away and let me tell you, it was terrifying.
Mary had been doing scores of interviews in the scorching hot sun – I even saw Nancy O’Dell of Access Hollywood doing a joint interview with her and Cloris Leachman. I had a red carpet roaming pass which enabled me to just walk around at will snapping pictures and talking to folks (in contrast to this year’s EMMY SNUB!).
Miss Moore approached the booth for The Insider and with the help of her husband Dr. Robert Levine, negotiated the steps leading up to Lara Spencer – all but the last step. She tripped and fell down HARD on the platform.
It was like a nightmare for anyone who saw it. This beloved television icon, now 70-plus years old, tumbling to the ground and hitting it with a thud. I, along with others standing nearby, were horrified. Mary laid still for a minute and you wondered if someone was going to call for medical help.
Then I saw her hand reach to her head and she began to fix her hair.
She was slowly helped up, got herself together, and was helped off the platform.
I’ll never forget what happened next: Mary flashed that legendary smile and waved vigorously to the crowd and to a bank of photographers as she made her way into the Nokia Theater. I don’t know what kind of physical pain she was in but she put on one helluva performance.
Still, when I was in the pressroom later, I asked some Emmy officials the state of Miss Moore’s health and no one would comment. I knew she was among the last to present and it seemed in doubt until she strode onstage, looking as confident as ever, and introduced Miss White.