John Legend is going to have a hard time topping his latest achievement.
He made history on Sept. 9 by becoming the first African American man to be an EGOT winner when he won his first Creative Arts Emmy for outstanding variety special (live) for “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.”
“It’s hard to beat playing Jesus,” Legend said with a laugh on Friday night at the Television Academy’s Producers Nominees Reception at the Montage Beverly Hills. “I don’t know if it can get any better.”
At the Primetime Emmys on Monday, Legend will still be up for one more Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a limited series or movie for his work in the live musical event — his competition includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Antonio Banderas, Darren Criss, Jeff Daniels and Jesse Plemons.
“At the end of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ we were kind of glowing,” Legend told Variety. “We were really proud of what we did, and when you accomplish it as a big group like we were, with the producers, the cast, the crew, everybody, it feels extra special. And for that to be the final thing I needed for the EGOT is even better.”
One member of the crew not present was producer Craig Zadan, who died unexpectedly of complications related to shoulder surgery just days before the Creative Arts Emmys.
“It was bittersweet without Craig there. We wanted to win for him and I’m glad we were able to tribute him on stage,” Legend said.
So will there be another live musical television production in Legend’s future? “We’ll see if something else is presented to me that would be cool to do, then I would do it,” he said. “But like I said, it would be hard to follow that up.”