The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards were held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles on Monday night. Here's what some of the winners had to say backstage:
-- The “Breaking Bad” crew appeared together following their win in the outstanding drama series category – a victory that creator Vince Gilligan called a "wonderful icing on the cake" for a show that ended its run last September.
Gilligan conceded that he didn't believe “Breaking Bad” would take the top drama prize when he arrived at the ceremony. However, once Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn all won acting Emmys, he sensed that momentum was on their side. He remarked, "It's a wonderful surprise and a real honor."
When asked why “Breaking Bad” had made such an impression on fans and on the TV landscape, Gilligan credited his "damn great cast." Cranston, whose role as meth dealer Walter White earned him the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a drama series, chimed in, "Hey, it's just, tell a good story."
Speaking of a good story, much was made of Cranston's extended kiss with Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the latter approached the stage to accept her acting Emmy. It was the continuation of a bit that began when they presented together earlier in the night. Why did Cranston smooch Louis-Dreyfus, with whom he worked on “Seinfeld?” Cranston quipped, "It's not a question of why, but more a question of why not?"
-- Louis-Dreyfus was more forthcoming about their "romantic" moment. The “Veep” star, who was awarded the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy, revealed that both she and Cranston sought permission from their respective spouses before going ahead with the kiss. However, she noted, "We wanted to really make sure that the presenting stuff worked ... because obviously I might not have won. That was very stiff competition."
-- ABC's “Modern Family” made Emmy history when it was named outstanding comedy series. It is the fifth time the show has triumphed in the category, tying a record held by Frasier. Modern Family creator Steven Levitan didn't want to immediately entertain the idea of breaking the mark in the future, saying, "We're just fully enjoying this moment. That is it. We never thought we'd get here. We are incredibly, incredibly honored to have gotten this much."
-- “The Good Wife” star Julianna Margulies marveled at the number of talented actresses who are doing great work on TV at the moment, dropping names like Robin Wright, Kerry Washington and Claire Danes. She belongs in that category too, obviously, having just won the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama. Margulies commented, "This is the golden age of television, but it's also the time for women in television."
-- A couple of the winners shared their memories of the late Robin Williams, who was saluted by Billy Crystal during the telecast. Kathy Bates, who was honored for her performance in “American Horror Story: Coven,” recalled a night years ago, before cellphone use was widespread, when she won a Golden Globe and didn't have a quarter to call her mother on a payphone to deliver the good news. Williams stepped up and offered her a coin; Bates said Monday night, "I never forgot that kindness."
Bates also remembered that in 1999, when she lost in an Oscars category that Williams presented, he said to her, "I really wish I could've had your name in the envelope. Are you OK? I know how hard it is to lose."
Bates told reporters, "He was so kind. This is a special night for that reason. I almost wanted to say, 'Look, I won this time, and this is for you.'"
-- Allison Janney pointed out that some of the attendees were wearing green ribbons in support of the battle against depression -- a condition from which Williams suffered. Janney, who won two Emmys this year, for her supporting role on the CBS sitcom “Mom” and for her guest-starring role on Showtime's “Masters of Sex,” remarked, "I dealt with it firsthand. I lost someone very dear to me. And everyone is feeling that."
-- While reveling in his Emmy win for outstanding variety series for “The Colbert Report,” Stephen Colbert refused to look ahead to next year, when he'll replace David Letterman on CBS' “Late Show.” He told reporters he's still working on his Comedy Central program through the end of the year, which, he stated, "takes 100 percent of my brain to get done, because I don't have the ability to think about this show and another show in the future, and I'm still really enjoying watching Dave right now."
-- Sarah Silverman drew attention to herself on the red carpet, when she claimed in an interview that she had brought liquid pot with her. She clarified the situation backstage: "I wasn't stoned. I had pot for later in my purse … It's legal and I don't drink. I like to have a puff as a treat at appropriate times." One can only wonder whether she lit up after the event to celebrate her Emmy victory for outstanding writing for a variety special, for “Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles.”
-- Jessica Lange maintained that she was "stunned" to be honored for her role in “American Horror Story: Coven.” She also said the next season of her FX show, which is subtitled “Freak Show,” will be the most "extraordinary" one yet. The new season will premiere October 8.
-- The FX program “Fargo” collected the Emmy for outstanding miniseries or movie. Executive producer Warren Littlefield called it the best moment of his life – not bad for a former NBC exec who was around for that network's "Must See TV" days.