The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony isn’t until Sunday, but the celebration has already begun. The weekend kicked off in style Friday night at Variety and Women in Film’s annual nominee party, presented by Halo Top Creamery.
Emmy nominees including Viola Davis, Samira Wiley, Claire Foy, Alexander Skarsgard and Cicely Tyson walked the gray carpet before entering the party held again at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood. Many attendees also stopped to pose with, or simply marvel at, the Mercedes Benz on display before moving on to enjoy mini bean burgers, fig appetizers and the Halo Top Creamery ice cream bar that awaited them inside. (Mercedes was one of the sponsors of the night’s event.)
On a cooler than usual Southern California September night, some, like Kathryn Hahn and Abbi Jacobson, still chose to spend the bulk of the time on the patio side of the restaurant, sipping Svedka cocktails with the Variety logo stenciled on top and chatting under festive blue lights with a soundtrack from DJ Daisy O’Dell in the background.
2017 Host Committee members Kelly Kahl, David Nevins, Mike Hopkins, John Landgraf and Lena Waithe were on-hand to mix and mingle with Women in Film board member Lake Bell, “The Handmaid’s Tale’s” Yvonne Strahovski, “Empire’s” Serayah McNeill and comedy stars like Keegan-Michael Key, Sarah Hyland and Zoe Lister-Jones.
Notably, Emmy nominee Sterling K. Brown couldn’t walk a few feet without being stopped by another partygoer who wanted to say hi or wish him good luck and congratulations. He was spotted chatting with everyone from his on-screen wife Susan Kelechi Watson to Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union. But nominee Dolly Parton drew the biggest crowd, literally forming a half circle around her to say hello and snap a photo.
O’Dell’s playlist included ’90s hits and modern day chart toppers, and as the night went on tunes like Mariah Carey’s “Honey” and Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” even got attendees singing and dancing in front of the ice cream bar.
(Pictured: Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Sterling K. Brown and Ryan Michelle Bathe)