Allison Janney Jokes That Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Emmys Reign Will End This Year

Emmy newcomers and vets mingled while toasting each other’s accomplishments at the Television Academy’s Performers Peer Group Celebration at the Montage Beverly Hills on Monday evening — presided over by academy governors Lily Tomlin and Patrika Darbo.

“This Is Us,” which as a freshman series is up for 10 awards with nominations in numerous major categories, was represented by Chris Sullivan, Chrissy Metz, and Gerald McRaney, who are all up for awards. Susan Kelechi Watson also attended the event to support the show and her co-stars.

Metz revealed that she’s actually the calm one in her circle when it comes to Emmys preparations. “I never have identified with what I look like or what I wear because people judge me so quickly,” she said. “It’s not about what I’m wearing, it’s who I am.”

Metz said she can’t walk on the street anymore without being recognized, which helped her realize just how much “This Is Us” means to people. “Literally I’ve cried with strangers in bathrooms; a woman told me that our show is helping raise her son in the middle of the chip aisle at Target. I have these incredible encounters that I could never have predicted,” she explained. 

McRaney is up for outstanding guest actor in a drama series in his first Emmy nom; Alison Wright of “The Americans” is in the same situation. Both stressed how gratifying it is to be in such good company. “It’s lovely to be welcomed into this community,” Wright said. “It feels like a real initiation.”

Kathryn Hahn is also being recognized for the first time at the Emmys, with a outstanding supporting actress nod for “Transparent.” Hahn recalled realizing she was nominated alongside co-star Judith Light. “I think our emails hit each other in mid-air, we were emailing each other at the exact same time,” she said. “She is a goddess and so deserving, I’m so proud to be anywhere near her on a list.”

Allison Janney, a longtime veteran of the Emmys who is nominated for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series, spoke about how incredible it is to repeat her jump from supporting actress to lead actress with “Mom” — she made the same transition in her role on “The West Wing.” Janney said her team suggested she should compete for lead actress, since “Mom” had evolved  into a two-hander.

Anna (Faris) thought I should do it earlier in Season 3, and I was like, ‘If they come to me and tell me to switch, I’ll switch,'” she explained. “So it’s kind of fun to be in a different category, it’s a brand new nomination.” To reigning champ Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “her reign is over,” Janney said jokingly. 

Cast members from Emmy darling “Veep” also put in appearances, including Matt Walsh and Tony Hale. Walsh joked, “You have to get into Emmy shape, you have to lose at least 25 pounds. This carpet is hot, you gotta bring it. Sex appeal is all you’re really thinking about.”

“Black-ish” leads Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross were also present, who are both up for Emmys for the third and second time in a row, respectively. Anderson said since he has yet to win, he’s going to change up his pre-show ritual.

It’s going to be different. In what, I don’t know yet,” he said. 

The 69th Emmy Awards will air live Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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