Billy Bob Thornton and Joe Morton
Jordan Strauss/Invision

“It’s one of my favorite events of the year,” exclaimed TV Academy governor Bob Bergen of Monday’s Performers Peer Group party at Montage Beverly Hills. “We get to celebrate the Performers Peer Group and the nominees as well — it’s so wonderful.”

And celebrate they did. Nominees and members of the Peer Group turned out to mingle and celebrate ahead of the 66th Emmy Awards with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Billy Bob Thornton and Joe Morton among the attendees.

“There’s nothing like a party with some old friends and some new friends, and we’re all here to breathe, I think,” said Morton, nominated for his role on “Scandal.” This will be the actor’s first Emmy Awards, and he says he is “really looking forward to it.”

“It’s a lot of fun getting dressed up,” said Minnie Driver with a grin. Driver is nominated for Lifetime’s “Return to Zero. “It’s a big celebration,” she added, noting that she’s pulling for Allison Tolman in the supporting actress race. “I don’t know how you follow Frances McDormand but that girl manages to do it with such grace.”

Dan Bucatinsky had a tough time narrowing down his picks to win as “they’re all shows that I watch — that I’m a fan of.” Rather than singling one show, Bucatinsky remarked that there’s merit in some new blood going home with honors. “I love to see shows that haven’t won come out from underneath and win,” he said.

“If I ever get used to it someone needs to pop me upside the head,” laughed reigning Emmy winner Tony Hale of his second nomination for “Veep.” If he wins again this year he fully expects to simply pass out. “It’s too much. My mind just can’t handle it.”

“[Gary] would send me a diamond-encrusted carrying bag.” Hale added with a smile of his character’s possible reaction to the nomination. “He would definitely adorn some kind of bag that I could carry that night, just as a memento.”

“Fargo’s” Billy Bob Thornton took the opportunity to reminisce over the series which garnered him his first Primetime Emmy nom, and noted that he’s “a little sad” about missing out on the show’s second season.

“I don’t know if this opportunity will ever come around again, to have something that’s so – it’s been a long time since I’ve had a part that varied.”

“It’s nice when you really love a character that it’s not over for a while,” he said of the change to working in television. “It was written so well,” he added.

Like his fellow attendees, Thornton is looking forward to Emmy night for the chance to have a good time and catch up with friends and meeting new people. Though he hasn’t thought about what he’ll be wearing for the photo op.

“I’ll probably just wear something of my own,” he said. “I have two suits and between them they cost less than four hundred dollars.”

(Pictured: Billy Bob Thornton and Joe Morton at the Performers Peer Group Celebration)

 

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