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Emmys: Casting Directors Toasted and Roasted at Cocktail Reception

Casting directors and their peers gathered Sept. 9 to toast the Emmy nominees, while also poking plenty of fun and sharing some inside stories.

Nominees Carmen Cuba (“Behind the Candelabra”), Eric Dawson and Robert Ulrich (“American Horror Story: Asylum”), Jeff Greenberg (“Modern Family”), Laray Mayfield and Julie Schubert (“House of Cards”), David Rubin and Diane Heery (“Political Animals”) and Mark Saks (“The Good Wife”) were honored at the Crossroads Kitchen in West Hollywood at a cocktail reception hosted by the Casting Directors Peer Group Executive Committee.

Tom Papa, who played Liberace’s manager Ray Arnett in “Behind the Candelabra,” spoke to praise the casting efforts of Cuba.

“Particularly inspired was the great Debbie Reynolds as Liberace’s mother,” he said. “Yeah, that was a great call. Nothing like getting an 80-year-old woman in a fur coat for two days of filming in Palm Springs.”

Debbie Reynolds herself insisted on wearing the fur coat,” Cuba countered, drawing laughs. “We tried to talk her out of it!”

Saks, meanwhile, shared a story about “The Good Wife” co-executive producer Ted Humphrey’s emailed attempt to get Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Obama, on the show.

“Ted called and he said, ‘I’m so embarrassed to have sent you that email. This is a crazy idea. Do you think it’s possible?’” Saks said. “And I said, ‘Ted, the minute Joe Biden did ‘Parks and Recreation,’ nothing is impossible.’”

Saks clarified that Jarrett’s voicemail was full, and he summed up her status thusly: “Not available. Syria.”

While the jokes were plenty, there was also genuine praise and sentimentality, especially when Sarah Hyland of “Modern Family” spoke about Greenberg.

“I would not only like to thank Jeff for casting ‘Modern Family,’ but for casting my perfect family,” she said.

Nominees and friends proceeded to mingle over cocktails and vegan snacks. The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards will take place on Sept. 22.

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