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Emmys 2018: Inside All the Hottest Pre-Parties

Let the parties begin! The Emmys parties, that is.

The 70th annual Emmys may not be until Monday, but the festivities began Friday night with stars and execs hopping from one party to the next.

Here, Variety is breaking it all down — who was where and what they were doing.

Make sure to keep checking back right here throughout the weekend for all the latest news about the hottest parties.

Friday, 9.14

WME
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel’s Rooftop by JG, Beverly Hills

Now it can be told — Stephen Colbert’s freshly grown snowy beard is coming off soon.

So said “Late Show” producer Chris Licht as he waited for a drink at WME’s pre-Emmy gathering.

“It’ll be gone after the Emmys,” Licht predicted. Colbert came back from his Labor Day hiatus with a layer of peach fuzz that he decided to keep until after the Emmy Awards just for kicks, Licht explained. Colbert joked the other night on the show that Alex Trebek of “Jeopardy,” who also recently added some facial hair to his look (dubbed the #TreBeard by Twitter fans) had stolen his look. (“My wife really hates it,” Colbert also admitted on Friday’s edition of “Late Show”).

Balmy weather and a great view looking down Wilshire Boulevard made the rooftop a cozy spot for the kick off to an elongated Emmy weekend. The move of the ceremony to Monday this year — to make room on NBC’s gridiron for “Sunday Night Football” — means an extra full day of parties on Sunday before the main event. “It’s all about pacing,” said one attendee with a full schedule over the next 48 hours.

Ari Emanuel made his way through the crowd as Niecy Nash, who is currently shooting Ava DuVernay’s “Central Park Five” mini-series, hugged a fan who gushed that he was obsessed with her TNT drama series “Claws.”

Tiffany Haddish, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, Amazon’s Jen Salke, NBCUniversal’s Bonnie Hammer, “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris, “GLOW” co-creators Carly Mensch and Liz Flahive, AMC Networks’ Josh Sapan, HBO’s Casey Bloys, Lionsgate’s Sandra Stern, FX’s Nick Grad, Nat Geo’s Carolyn Bernstein, YouTube’s Susanne Daniels and showrunner Greg Daniels, Max Greenfield, LL Cool J and “This Is Us” star Milo Ventimiglia were among the boldface names making the rounds.

Most of all partygoers buzzed about the stunning downfall of Leslie Moonves and the pending union of Disney and 21st Century Fox. A number of those who will be affected by the move said there still wasn’t a whole lot of clarity about how the new hierarchy will shake out with the joining of ABC Studios, 20th Century Fox Television, Fox 21 Television Studios and more production assets. Some opined that Emmy weekend was a welcome distraction from the office drama.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 14:  (L-R) Jessica Biel, Tiffany Haddish and Justin Timberlake attend the Endeavor EMMY Party at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills on September 14, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Endeavor)

It wouldn’t be a Hollywood party these days without an installation to provide a kind of digital party favor. Tracey Ullman shot four custom GIFs at the Bosch light station that was set up for custom shots. ABC Studios’ Patrick Moran stopped for a quick snap. So did “Broad City’s” Arturo Castro.

The menu included mini lobster sliders and French fries. A dessert station offered churros with strawberry and blueberry dipping sauces. Stickers on small bags of chocolate chip cookies assured guests that the bite size treats were — of course — “gluten, dairy, nut, & soy free.”

Others spotted in the crowd that swelled after 9 p.m.: Hulu’s Craig Erwich, 20th TV’s Jonnie Davis, Sony Pictures TV’s Chris Parnell, NBCU’s Bill McGoldrick, Paramount Network’s Keith Cox, MC’s David Madden and Susie Fitzgerald, ABC Studios’ Howard Davine, Amblin TV’s Darryl Frank, CBS’ Peter Golden, producers Warren Littlefield and Graham Littlefield and E!’s Adam Stotsky.—Cynthia Littleton

Audi Pre-Emmy Party
La Peer Hotel, West Hollywood

Audi’s annual pre-Emmy bash welcomed med a slew of nominees and TV’s finest. “Insecure” star Issa Rae arrived at the fete fresh off a plane from NYC, where she hosted Rihanna’s Diamond Ball the night prior, to celebrate her first-ever lead actress nomination. Fellow lead nominee Milo Ventimiglia was sporting a clean-shaven look, which he explained is for the upcoming season of “This Is Us.”

“We’re going to see a younger Jack, hence no mustache or beard or goatee,” Ventimiglia told Variety before stepping into the party. “We’re going to see this creation of a man that people have fallen in love with.”

Inside the La Peer hotel, “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris schmoozed with industry-ites, “Agents of SHIELD” actress Chloe Bennett was hanging with her beau, digital star Logan Paul, and “Modern Family’s” Sarah Hyland made it date night with her “Bachelor” boyfriend, Wells Adams. Celebs, agents and TV writers munched on passed trays of lamb meatballs, which a waitress warned “are not gluten free,” avocado tacos and orange meringues, and lots of prosecco and rose, which was free-flowing at the indoor/outdoor poolside 80-degree evening event, proving that although fall TV season is upon us, summer is definitely not over yet in L.A. Other guests included “The Handmaid’s Tale” stars Samira Wiley and Madeline Brewer, “Westworld’s” Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton, who made a quick pit-stop for a photo on the red carpet, Boyd Holbrook, who skipped the red carpet in the midst of the “Predator” drama, “Iron Fist’s” Finn Jones, Rumer Willis, Frank Grillo and more.—Elizabeth Wagmeister

Saturday, 9.15

BAFTA Los Angeles + BBC America TV Tea Party
Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills

An outdoor afternoon tea in Beverly Hills is the perfect escape from the late-night craziness of Emmys weekend.

Just ask the Brits and non-Brits who gathered in a garden at the Beverly Hilton for three hours of scones, cucumber sandwiches and, of course, tea. For those looking for something a bit stronger, tucked into a corner of the party was a Ketel One vodka bar.

RuPaul arrived with ‘Westworld’ star and nominee Thandie Newton. They’ve been friends for quite some time, they told Variety and have been working on getting Newton to make an appearance on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

“I’ve been trying for two seasons but I’m either shooting ‘Westworld’ or back in London,” Newton said. “We nearly managed it this year but it didn’t quite come together.”

While on their way out of the party, RuPaul introduced Newton to Bravo reality star Lisa Vanderpump.

Justin Hartley laughs as he arrives at the 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards - BAFTA Los Angeles TV Tea at the Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills, Calif 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards - BAFTA Los Angeles TV Tea, Beverly Hills, USA - 15 Sep 2018
CREDIT: Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Sandra Oh was the last bold faced name to arrive, but no matter because the red carpet press stuck around just for her. The “Killing Eve” star was quickly introduced to BAFTA-LA president Chantal Rickards and spent some time inside chatting with BBC America president and general manager Sarah Barnett.

Oh made history this year when she became the first Asian woman to be nominated for an Emmy in the lead actress category. “It feels good,” she said. “It feels great…I’ve been doing this for a very long time and I’m extremely grateful to be able to hold this not just for myself but for my whole community.”

Also seen at the party were ‘This Is Us’ star Justin Hartley, Jay Duplass, Alice Eve, Sarah Drew, Adina Porter, Camilla Luddington, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Abbie Cornish, Angela Sarafyan, Charlie Heaton, Janet Mock, Marcus Scribner, Ross Butler, Hal Linden and Lynn Whitfield.

Tatiana Maslaney proved just how serene things were at the BAFTA party by ditching her heels to enjoy the party barefoot.—Marc Malkin

Variety and Women in Film
Cecconi’s West Hollywood

Two nights before the 70th annual ceremony, the biggest names in television were celebrating at Variety and Women in Film’s Emmy bash.

Guests were greeted by DJ Kiss’ booth immediately upon entering the outdoor area of the party, which was pumping hits from multiple decades, from Mariah Carey to Rihanna and Drake. It became the hot spot of the evening during a three-song set by Troye Sivan, who told the crowd he just wanted everyone to “grab a glass of champagne and a friend [and] dance.” The Emmy-winning cast of “Queer Eye” was front and center for the performance, which included Sivan’s hits “Bloom” and “My My My.” “Fresh off the Boat” star Constance Wu was also seen dancing.

“The Daily Show”’s Trevor Noah was another man of the hour, from playfully posing with Sarah Silverman on the red carpet to taking selfies with Adina Porter and chatting about being nominated with Sterling K. Brown. But Brown, too, was in high demand and at one point almost had a line of people forming to say hello. “Escape from Dannemora’s” Eric Lange in particular was excited to express to the “This Is Us” star what a fan he was.

Jackie CruzVariety and Women in Film Pre-Emmy Party, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 15 Sep 2018 Variety Women in Film
CREDIT: Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock

Fresh off a binge of “The Americans,” Brown told Variety he is looking forward to “standing up and celebrating Matthew [Rhys]” come Emmy night. Although Brown is nominated for his second consecutive time in the lead drama actor category, he said he hopes Rhys takes the trophy, especially because it’s his last opportunity to win for the role of Soviet spy Philip Jennings.

While guests such as Joey KingCaitlyn Jenner and Jenna Elfman posed with a Cadillac, Judith Light and Lifetime’s Tanya Lopez were spotted deep in conversation. Jackie Cruz from ‘Orange Is the New Black’ was there as was her former co-star, “The Handmaid’s Tale”‘s Samira Wiley.

Charlie Heaton and Natalia Dyer Variety Cecconi's pre-emmy
CREDIT: David Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Inside the restaurant, “GLOW’s” co-showrunner Liz Flahive, star Alison Brie and director Jesse Peretz were holding court by the bar with “Big Mouth”’s Nick Kroll, while “Westworld” stars Jeffrey Wright, Thandie NewtonTessa Thompson and Angela Sarafryan made the rounds, and “Atlanta’s” Lakeith Stanfield turned heads dressed all in a red tracksuit. The “Stranger Things” cast was well represented by Charlie Heaton, Natalia DyerCaleb McLaughlinGaten Matarazzo and Noah Schnapp.

Tiffany Haddish was one of the last to arrive, joking with Variety that she was going to wear her Emmy — she took home a prize at the Creative Arts Emmys for her work hosting “Saturday Night Live” — on a gold chain around her neck for a couple of weeks.—Danielle Turchiano

WanderLuxxe
Craig’s, West Hollywood

There were no shortage of Emmy parties celebrating the television industry this weekend in LA, but only one addressed what is arguably its biggest problem: The lack of diversity. Luxury concierge service WanderLuxxe hosted a luncheon to honor an inclusive assortment of nominees. “For us as black women entrepreneurs, it’s important to highlight black diverse talent,” said Lola Wood, who was joined by her WanderLuxxe co-founder Marti Hines. “There are not enough roles for diverse talent,” added Wood. “It’s not necessarily that they’re not getting the recognition they deserve — it’s that there’s no platform for them to display their skills, their art, their passion.”

But the afternoon provided the perfect platform for displaying a wide array of talent from Mike Jackson, the producer of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” to “Queer Eye”’s Karamo Brown and “I Love You, America”’s Sarah Silverman. “At my company, Get Lifted Film Co., we pride ourselves on being curators of diverse content whether it’s our show ‘Underground’ or with ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ being black Jesus,” Jackson told Variety. “As far as diversity and having a black man play Jesus, it’s ironic that most people don’t imagine Jesus as dark-skinned. But if you know his origin story, we assume that he looks more like a black man than a Scandinavian man.”

Lola Wood, Sarah Silverman. 2018 honoree Sarah Silverman takes a bite of her award, while Lola Wood looks on at the WanderLuxxe Celebrates Diversity in Television Honoring 2018 Emmy Nominees with Variety at Craig's on in West Hollywood, Calif WanderLuxxe Celebrates Diversity in Television Honoring 2018 Emmy Nominees with Variety at Craig's, West Hollywood, USA - 15 Sep 2018
CREDIT: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

“Has John Legend showed up?” asked Brown, referring to the Emmy-winning “Jesus Christ Superstar” star. “I was sitting next to him when he won his EGOT and I was literally crying harder than Chrissy Teigen.” Legend couldn’t make the party because he was downtown at Emmys rehearsals.

But Brown also sang the praises of the original cast of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” which won an Emmy back in 2004. “I’m honored Carson Kressley and the rest of the rest of the original Fab Five created this path. Where ‘Queer Eye’ was originally, it was diverse for that time — you never saw five gay men on television. And they did have Jai Rodriguez, who is Puerto Rican,” Brown told Variety. “This time we’ve upped it a little bit: Jonathan Van Ness is gender non-conforming in his style, Tan France is Pakistani, I’m African-American, Jamaican and Cuban, so you’re getting more breadth. But do I think that this is enough? No. I have young LGBT people coming up to me all the time and saying: ‘You’re the only one I see,’ and as much as this is an honor to me, it also breaks my heart. I want you to have more people to look up to.”

Silverman couldn’t agree more. “You look at stuff that Hollywood’s made five, 10 years ago and it is strikingly white,” she told Variety. “I can’t believe as a woman — I’m a Jew, you know, but I’m white. There are some white people who don’t consider me white but I am white. And I’m really stunned at how I didn’t see this 10 years ago, that I didn’t watch shows and go: ‘This is so white. What world is this?’ And I’m so happy to be a part of this day that celebrates diversity and it’s a great step. I hope the rest of the country and the rest of the industries follow suit. It benefits all of us. This isn’t fucking charity.”

“I feel like Hollywood is making great efforts to be inclusive — and you know who is benefitting besides everyone?” asked Silverman. “Hollywood. People of color and women sell movies and get good ratings.”—James Patrick Herman

UTA
Home of UTA Co-President Jay Sures, Brentwood

“Game of Thrones” has nothing on the blood sport of U.S. politics these days. So it was fitting that two of the buzziest stars at UTA’s annual pre-Emmy party Saturday night were Michael Avenatti and Anthony Scaramucci.

Avenatti, the crusading legal eagle for Stormy Daniels in her battle against President Donald Trump, and Scaramucci, the Trump pal and short-lived White House Communications chief, were spotted chatting with CNN’s Dana Bash early on at the gathering.

Guests began streaming in to the spacious backyard of UTA co-president Jay Sures’ home right as the clock struck 7:30 p.m. in order to spend quality time with the UTA gang and also make the rounds at other parties in the flatlands of Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.

Pizza from Jon & Vinny’s was the gastronomic delight of the night. Slices were consumed as fast as the pizza wheels could roll across freshly baked thin-crust pies.

Among the executive ranks, newly appointed Paramount Television president Nicole Clemens collected congratulations on her new gig. Fox’s Dana Walden, Amazon’s Jen Salke, AMC’s Charlie Collier, Hulu’s Craig Erwich, Lionsgate’s Kevin Beggs, FX’s Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, Comedy Central’s Kent Alterman, HBO’s David Levine, Netflix’s Lisa Nishimura and Funny or Die’s Mike Farah were also in attendance.

Reflecting UTA’s expanded role in the TV news arena, Bash had a number of CNN colleagues to keep her company, including Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin. Showrunners Kenya Barris, Jill Soloway, Michael Schur and Steve Levitan were on hand. Boldface names from the other side of the camera included Emmy nominees Kate McKinnon, Benedict Cumberbatch, Matt Smith, and Tracee Ellis Ross. Hot-shot comic Hannah Gadsby turned some heads, as did “Crazy Rich Asians” star Constance Wu.—CL

Sunday, 9.16

ICM
Home of ICM Managing Director Chris Silbermann and Julia Franz, Santa Monica

As the temperature hit nearly 80 degrees, the heat was a major topic of discussion at the afternoon soiree in Santa Monica.

“I’m so sweaty,” “Black Mirror” star Tatiana Maslany said, as she sipped a hot cappuccino, after being welcomed to the party by ICM boss Chris Silberman.

Jasmin Savoy Brown stood at the edge of the pool. Looking at the water, the “For the People” star suggested, “Maybe I should ‘accidentally’ just fall in.”

While no one took a dip in the pool, guests were able to cool down with lemonade and iced tea served at a coffee bar that also offered donut holes from Randy’s Donuts. White sails were stretched high above the backyard to shield the sun.

When not talking about the heat, many gushed over the menu, which included lobster rolls, bite-size crispy buttermilk fried chicken and waffles, Chinese chicken salad, bacon, buffalo mozzarella and an assortment of salads.

Regina King mingled with her agent Chuck James while Louie Anderson chatted with Tony Shalhoub. Jared Harris and his wife Allegra Riggio caught up with friends under a tree as “Transparent” star Trace Lysette and “Pose’s” Johnny Sibilly squeezed in at one of the many long tables. “I was at a wedding last night,” Sibilly said while wiping his brow. “There was a lot of alcohol and it was really good alcohol.”

Jasmin Savoy Brown and Tatiana MaslanyICM Emmy Brunch, Los Angeles, USA - 16 Sep 2018
CREDIT: Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

“Barry’s” Anthony Carrigan said he was excited about tomorrow’s big show because it will be his first attending the Emmys after the freshman HBO series nabbed 13 nominations. “I know, it’s going to be so hot,” he said. “And I’m wearing black velvet. I hope I survive.”

Also seen were ABC Entertainment Group president Channing Dungey, power attorney Nina Shaw, Jay Pharoah, Marcia Gay Harden, Michael Stuhlbarg and producers Chip Johannessen and Michelle Nader.

A table of artisans from MyIntent stationed on the front porch offered guests the opportunity to have a word of their choosing hand engraved into round metal charms hanging from necklaces and bracelets.

Told she had to pick the word, Maslany worried, “It’s like a getting a tattoo. It’s so permanent.”—MM

Comedy Central
The Highlight Room at the Dream Hotel, Hollywood

Some of the best (and funniest) in TV gathered for Comedy Central’s pre-Emmy soiree.

“Daily Show” host Trevor Noah made an appearance, snapping a few photos with Comedy Central head honcho Kent Alterman. Current “Daily Show” correspondent Roy Wood Jr. was also in attendance, as was “Daily Show” alum Michelle Wolf. Wolf was spotted talking with “Roast Battle” host Jeff Ross.

Other stars in attendance included “Freaks & Geeks” alum Samm LevineDavid Spade, former “Reno 911” and current “Speechless” star Cedric Yarbrough, “Mystery Science Theater 3000” host Jonah Ray, star of the upcoming CBS series “Fam” Tone Bell, “New Girl” alum Lamorne Morris, and “Superstore” star Colton Dunn.

Michelle Wolf and Jeff RossComedy Central Pre-Emmy Party, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 16 Sep 2018
CREDIT: Chelsea Lauren/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Guests in attendance were able to peruse sections from the Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library courtesy of “The Daily Show,” with the tweets divided into categories like “Birther of a Nation” and “Holiday Cheer.” Each of the three bars served up a delicious bourbon cocktail known as the Punch Drunk History, while also serving special “Drunk History” branded beer. For “Broad City,” guests were encouraged to color in animated scenes provided at the station celebrating the New York City comedy.

Network cornerstone “South Park” was also well represented. In addition to several character pop ups like Officer Barbrady and Mr. Garrison, guests were encouraged to take advantage of a photo op with the four main boys from the animated comedy.

As the night went on, an impromptu dance party sprung up behind the DJ booth. And what better way to recharge after some dancing than with the party’s build-your-own-taco bar.—Joe Otterson

Showtime
Chateau Marmont, Hollywood

After hosting a small, private dinner for nominees last year, Showtime returned to full-blown Emmy party form with a gathering at Chateau Marmont. Showtime CEO David Nevins, offered a toast in the courtyard to the network’s nominees on hand, including Mandy Patinkin of “Homeland,” Benedict Cumberbatch of “Patrick Melrose,” and William H. Macy of “Shameless.”

Nevins also gave a shoutout to the nominees David Lynch and Mark Frost of “Twin Peaks.”

“They’s not here,” Nevins joked. “They don’t do Emmy parties. But they’re here in spirit.”

Their “Twin Peaks” collaborator Kyle MacLachlan was there, however, hanging out in the courtyard along near Patinkin, Macy and decorated actor spouse Felicity Huffman, all on hand from shortly after the party’s 6:30 p.m. kick off. Cumberbatch entered later, following Don Cheadle through the crowd. Cheadle’s “Black Monday” co-star Andrew Rannells was also on hand.

“Late Show” nominee and exec producer of Showtime’s “Our Cartoon President” Stephen Colbert hovered near one of the two bars inside, talking with “Veep” star Reid Scott. Huffman greeted Kevin Pollak with a warm hug when he approached her and Macy’s table. Also spotted were producers Warren Littlefield and Graham Littlefield, “Riverdale” star Skeet Ulrich, and “The Big Bang Theory” star Johnny Galecki—Daniel Holloway

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