Emmys 2017: Everything You Didn’t See on TV – Variety
Sometimes, what makes Hollywood so confusing but also fascinating is how simultaneously surreal and mundane it can be, and how those two realities can coexist in such tight juxtaposition. Case in point: this year’s Emmy Awards, where one minute Sean Spicer turns up as a surprise guest on stage, eliciting a collective gasp in the audience, and the next, Keri Russell gallops into the bathroom, hiking up the hem of her dress so as not to get it dirty while waiting for an empty stall, and exclaims to nobody in particular, “Holy moly, this is nuts!”
What Russell was referring to is anybody’s guess — perhaps just the overwhelming stimuli present at any awards show — but there were a few not-televised, behind-the-scenes moments that might have been deemed “nuts” by any account.
When Spicer first popped onstage during host Stephen Colbert’s opening monologue, some Emmy guests rolled their eyes, a lot of people laughed — mostly out of sheer nerves and incredulity, the way one would at a funeral — but after the initial shock wore off, the general consensus seemed to be: Was it OK to laugh at that? Was that actually funny?
Dee Dee Myers, former White House press secretary under President Bill Clinton and current executive vice president of corporate communications and pubic affairs for Warner Bros. seemed to think it was a joke that worked.
“He was a very good sport about it,” said Myers, milling about the lobby of the Microsoft Theater. “He was very brave to do it and I thought the audience responded warmly. I would love to meet him. I hope he’ll be at the Governor’s Ball.”
It was an unexpected response given Myers’ association with the Clintons — and Spicer’s disastrous affiliation with Donald Trump — but, then again, Washington D.C. can be just as strange a place as Hollywood.
“People not in politics might not know this, but Sean Spicer had a good reputation before Trump,” she said. “He was really well-liked and was known about town as a really good guy.”
The onslaught of Trump jokes during Colbert’s opener drew tepid, if in some cases, blasé reactions. “I’m so sick of hearing about Trump,” one audience member sighed. “There’s nothing fresh about these jokes anymore,” yawned another. “And I hate Trump more than anything. Can’t we just ever get away from him?”
Throughout the night bored (or just hungry) celebrities and civilians alike took to the lobby—that is, if they were able to finagle their way out of their row, which was especially difficult if you were seated up front. “The problem is if I get up a seat filler takes my seat, and then it’s awkward trying to get them up again since we are in the middle of the row,” said Kira Lewis, whose husband is Brian Morewitz, senior vice president of drama development at ABC. “I need champagne and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.” (Seats in the back presented their own fair share of setbacks. “Even though I’m at the Emmys I still feel like I’m watching it at home on TV because I’m still watching it on the monitor,” said one invited guest.)
During once commercial break, Kathryn Hahn, nominated for her supporting role in “Transparent,” was hanging out by the concession stand while husband, actor-producer Ethan Sandler, placed an order for drinks, including three glasses of white wine. “I’m so dehydrated,” she said. “I can’t believe there’s no water in [the theater.]” Soon after, Russell joined the line, along with on-and off-screen husband Matthew Rhys. An enthusiastic fan of the critically touted series “The Americans” approached the couple and they happily posed for photos. Nearby, “Beverly Hills 90210” alumna and SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris posed for selfies with fans. Then at one point, “Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk somehow became trapped inside the concession stand’s security rope stanchions. “How do you exit this thing?” he asked. (Pro tip: when the line for drinks at the Emmys gets too long, just use the soda machine like some guests eventually did.)