Questioners get questioned backstage

Thesps are thankful for wins

“Thank you, thank you. Now I would like to ask you all a question; Who are you wearing?” quipped repeat Screen Actors Guild winner Tony Shalhoub.

Thesp, who took the male actor in a comedy series trophy for the second year in a row, said he channels his nutty alter ego, Adrian Monk, by “uncorking the bottle”: “Adrian Monk is a part of me in the sense that I have some of the same odd quirks as he does. We all have fixations; some of us are just better at squelching them than others. On shoot days, I don’t even try. I wake up, uncork that bottle and everything comes to the surface.”

When asked what actors are at the top of his wish list for guesting on the show — which starts lensing its fourth season in March — Shalhoub said, “I am constantly groveling, asking people to come and join us. So far, so good. One person in particular that comes to mind tonight is an old friend from the New York theater scene, John Spencer. He came up to me earlier this evening and reminded me of an episode he had recently seen where Monk had stage fright. Looks like he watches the show.”

* * *

Ensemble comedy series winner “Desperate Housewives” boasts a cast list of 13. But when the gang held court backstage sans their bread-and-butter — housewives Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman, Nicollette Sheridan and double winner Teri Hatcher, who were held up in the photo room — what you had were four husbands, a dead wife (Brenda Strong) and a gardener (Jesse Metcalfe).

“This is the spinoff you have all been waiting for,” said actor Mark Moses. And journos wasted no time asking the cast which women were the most like their character; as well as the $64,000 question: Does everyone really get along? Strong dodged the latter question but said, “I can tell you that I am the most unlike my character, as I am very much alive.”

Meanwhile, Metcalfe, who graduated to the role of John the gardener on the nighttime sudser by way of NBC’s “Passions,” marveled at his win, saying, “I have never been awarded anything before, except for best new hottie on a soap opera.”

* * *

“No matter the film, whether it was ‘Booty Call’ or ‘Ray,’ I have always made it a point to do the best job possible between action and cut,” said male lead in a film winner Jamie Foxx. “Hopefully, with the way things are going” — he was nommed three times Saturday — “I won’t be making ‘Booty Called’ any time soon; but if I do, I can promise you that I will be the best freaking pair of buns you have ever seen in your life!”

* * *

Jerry Orbach’s wife, Elaine Orbach, spoke on behalf of her late husband, who won the actor award for his longtime portrayal of Lennie Briscoe on “Law & Order.”

“Jerry would have been overjoyed about this, and I have no doubt that he would have been the most eloquent one in the room,” she said. “He was a man of words; crossword puzzles were his thing. Tonight when I was up there in his place, I kept saying to him in my mind, ‘Jerry, please talk through me.'” Orbach recalled how the pair met during a “Chicago” run in the mid-’70s. “I was brought in as a standby for Chita Rivera, and while I was standing by for her, I wound up standing by for him.”

* * *

“Alias” main attraction Jennifer Garner, who took the female actor in a drama series trophy, was taken aback when a New York Times reporter used the opportunity to ask what her favorite thing was about being single.

“Let me get this straight,” she said. “New York Times, at the SAG Awards, and that’s what you ask me? Next question, please.”

Garner later commented that the best part of being honored by her fellow actors was the knowledge that she’s regarded as more than just an “action chick.”

* * *

Speaking of Garners, there were two — though not related — at the Shrine on Saturday. Lifetime Achievement Award recipient James Garner opted to have a seat while taking questions from the podium.

“Is there anyone here that I don’t know?” he asked. “After all of these years, I am sure that I know most of you. What more could you possibly want to hear from me?”

For one thing, is his age an issue for him?

“Well, I don’t buy green bananas, if you know what I mean,” he said.

“It’s not my age that affects my work, per se,” Garner said. “It’s my legs, my back and the way I have beaten my body up over the years. If not for the pain, I would not be bothered at all.

“Acting is the best job in the world, and I just want to keep on working. I still love it. I get up every morning before the alarm clock goes off and am eager to start the day; especially now over at ‘8 Simple Rules.’ That group really knows how to take care of the old guy.”

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