The Emmy Awards aren’t till Sunday, Sept. 20, but the celebrations start early. Variety will be on hand inside the best parties around Hollywood as the stars mingle, nosh and toast to TV’s finest. Here’s our party report for Friday, Sept. 18.
Variety and Women in Film’s Emmy Nominee Reception, Gracias Madre:
“Modern Family’s” Julie Bowen yelled, “Everybody’s at this Variety party!” on the red carpet, and she was right. Emmy power couple Felicity Huffman (newly brunette) and William H. Macy hobnobbed with “American Horror Story’s” Sarah Paulson, Huffman lovingly planting a kiss on Paulson’s cheek as a photographer snapped a shot. Amanda Peet also chatted with the two ladies bar-side.
Meanwhile, “Game of Thrones’” Gwendoline Christie hung out with co-star Alfie Allen (who later showed his dance moves). The party boasted so much talent, especially of the celebrated kicka– actress type, including “Orphan Black’s” Tatiana Maslany, “Once Upon a Time’s” Lana Parrilla, “Mad Men’s” Christina Hendricks, “The Honorable Woman’s” Maggie Gyllenhaal, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s” Jane Krakowski, “OITNB’s” Laverne Cox and Uzo Aduba, and “Scandal’s” Bellamy Young. Producers and directors Ryan Murphy, Lesli Linka Glatter, Julie Plec and Jill Soloway also were in attendance.
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Television Academy’s Producers Nominee Reception, Montage Beverly Hills:
Beverly Hills was party central on Friday as Heifer Intl., CAA and the TV Academy’s Producers Nominees Reception all took place side by side. “Transparent’s” Jill Soloway said it was the second time she was at the Montage just this week and was planning to take in a few more parties Friday night. “This is like homecoming week for the TV industry,” she said. Matthew Weiner was hanging out with his “Mad Men” writer-producers and said since the show ended it was great to see his old friends. “I’ve been coming to the Emmys for about 10 years, including a couple of years when we weren’t nominated,” he said. “It’s more fun when you are nominated.” TV Academy Governor Hayma “Screech” Washington was pleased with the turnout. “We are a couple of days from the big event so everyone is here from outside, from New York,” he said. But the call of other parties was strong and when it came time to distribute certificates honoring the producers, many had already left for the next party.
Television Industry Advocacy Awards Gala, Sunset Tower:
Many causes were highlighted at the inaugural Television Industry Advocacy Awards, presented by TV Guide, TV Insider, and the Creative Coalition. It was noted to be the only event during the Emmy weekend where stars shined a light away from themselves. The first class of honorees included Laverne Cox, Eva Longoria, Anthony Anderson, Tim Robbins, Constance Zimmer, Alan Cumming, Beth Behrs, Jeffrey Tambor, Alfre Woodard and Neal Baer. Amy Landecker, who presented an award to her “Transparent” co-star Tambor, and Matt McGorry, who presented an award to his “Orange Is The New Black” co-star Cox, touched on television as a cultural zeitgeist for LGBT rights while presenting their awards.
Cox stated that she chose McGorry to present her with the award because he was a privileged white male who wanted to do more as an ally. On the red carpet, McGorry described Cox to Variety as a “friend and co-worker that had been open to me asking her questions.” He continued, “I think privilege is this thing like you’re not always aware of it like it’s like oxygen, where you’re not always aware that you’re benefitting from it.” When Cox took the stage to accept her award she made the heavily-applauded announcement, “I think that it is so important to have representation on television that reflects the world around us. Like, how simple is that?”
Heifer Intl.’s Beyond Hunger Gala, Montage Beverly Hills
At the outset of the ceremony, president and CEO of Heifer International Pierre Ferrari gave opening remarks, declaring that the evening was about empowering women — a mission that Heifer International has carried out for over 70 years. The evening honored Yamaha Entertainment Group America founder and VP, Chris Gero, author Patrick Rothfuss and entrepreneur Tai Lopez, as well as distinguished guests, AIDS ambassador Deborah L. Birx, First Lady of Rwanda Madame Jeannette Kagame. The host committee included Allison Janney, Bonnie Raitt and Octavia Spencer.
Call it the 10-percent circuit. Hundreds of industryites enjoyed a moveable feast on Friday night as the town’s three largest agencies hosted pre-Emmy parties.
CAA took over Bouchon in Beverly Hills, down to famed chef Thomas Keller’s kitchen. WME had a fine time amid the fine art at the Hammer Museum. UTA lit up the Brentwood backyard of managing director Jay Sures with a gathering that made the most of the balmy evening.
As always, the party swirl is great for people-watching and stumbling upon unexpected pairings. Fox’s Peter Rice and Lorne Michaels engaged in a lengthy conversation. Roma Downey informed a sleepy Mark Burnett around 10 p.m. that they had not one but two more affairs to hit. Paul Haggis collected compliments from fans for his work on HBO’s “Show Me a Hero.” Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould heard superlatives about “Better Call Saul” all night. Pete Nowalk (“How to Get Away with Murder”) escaped from production in time to make the rounds, as did “Black-ish” showrunner Kenya Barris. Rashida Jones rocked a white pantsuit. Maggie Gyllenhaal was impossible to miss, no matter how big the crowd. Jenji Kohan’s locks were a lovely shade of teal, but she warned that may change by Sunday night. Jill Soloway cut a sharp figure in a two-tone pantsuit.
Executives making the scene included: NBC’s Bob Greenblatt and Jennifer Salke, Showtime’s David Nevins, Matt Blank and Gary Levine, Fox’s Gary Newman and Dana Walden, ABC’s Paul Lee, HBO’s Len Amato, Amazon’s Roy Price, AMC’s Charlie Collier, Universal TV’s Bela Bajaria, Comedy Central’s Kent Alterman, FX’s Nick Grad and Endemol Shine’s Carolyn Bernstein, ABC’s Samie Falvey and Amblin TV’s Justin Falvey, and NFL Network’s Jordan Levin.
The Emmy parties had some time slot competition from Friday’s opening gala for downtown L.A.’s The Broad art museum. That pulled away a little bit of uber-CEO attendance. But at the peak of UTA’s gathering, with everyone from Jerry Bruckheimer to Bonnie Hammer to Ben Sherwood to Jeffrey Katzenberg milling around the multi-level backyard, the scene looked like the United Nations of television.