Tag Archives: Julie Bowen

Emmys 2011 Backstage Chat From A Year of Satisfying, Tolerance-Celebrating Wins

Melissa McCarthy

The Emmys celebrated tolerance at their 63rd annual awards fest last night — a feeling that carried on through the Winners Walk press rooms backstage.  Yes, Melissa McCarthy and Margo Martindale, two women whose appearances would automatically put them out of the running for becoming Fox News babes, were awarded television’s highest accolade for their brilliant work on “Mike & Molly” and “Justified,” respectively.   Thirteen years years after Camryn Manheim’s notorious “This is for all the fat girls!” proclamation when she won an Emmy for “The Practice,” maybe this is a sign of progress.

Oh, yes, and there was a lot of talk about gay people, too.

 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy winner McCarthy told press that “Mike & Molly” was never about the main characters’ weight problems for her — or for producers Chuck Lorre or Don Foster.  She said Foster “looked at me and said, ‘I’m writing a romantic comedy.'”  If viewers were still talking about the couple’s girth 10 episodes in, she said, she knew they’d have a problem.

McCarthy’s category certainly marked the most fun presentation of the evening, with nominees Amy Poehler, Laura Linney, Edie Falco, Martha Plimpton, Tina Fey and McCarthy hurrying excitedly to the stage as their names were called — and McCarthy being crowned and handed a bouquet, beauty pageant-style when she won.  She told the press that she first heard about the idea  from fellow nominee Martha Plimpton, “She said, ‘Amy’s got an idea.’  I said, ‘I’m in.’  If Amy Poehler thinks something’s funny, I’ll do it.'”

Asked how she felt about being identified with her infamous vomiting scene in “Bridesmaids,” McCarthy said she was just glad people went to see the movie, that she thought Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumalo did a brilliant job writing it, and that to her, the scene “was less about being gross and more about the sheer horror of that happening publicly.”

McCarthy codesigned her long purple dress, drawing sketches and providing input.  It has already wound up on Worst Dress lists, but at least it had some things going for it.  As she said, “It’s wildly comfortable, and it has pockets, which I enjoy in a gown.” 

The Plainfield, Illinois-born McCarthy was asked what she would say to young people who have dreams of becoming actors.  “If anybody tells you that the odds arer slim, just keep walking …If you love something and work really really hard at it, I think the odds are pretty good.”

Margo Martindale, who won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting  Actress in a drama at age 60, told press she appreciates the honor more now than she ever could have at 30.  She was initially hired to play moonshiner Mags Bennett for just four episodes of FX’s “Justified,” she said, but one or two episodes in, she was informed they were writing her into 10.  Then she dmitted with a smile that, considering how happy producers were with the character, “I thought they’d let me live!”  She added that she thought Mags’ demise was poetic and appropriate.  Next, we’ll see the esteemed, long-time character actress playing assistant to Patrick Wilson’s top tier surgeon on CBS’s new “A Gifted Man.”

 Martindale was among the winners that brought fans special satisfaction — inside as well as outside the auditorium, as the applause level showed.  Certainly Lead Actor in a Drama winner Kyle Chandler was foremost among those, as he closed out his “Friday Night Lights” history with an Emmy — finally.

Such was not the case for Steve Carell, who lost out in the Lead Actor in a Comedy category to Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory” — even though it was his last year on “The Office.”

Parsons admitted backstage that his own mother told him he shouldn’t expect to win, that Carell would:  “That’s what my mother had said along with other prognosticators.  He’s just done such a wonderful job on that show for such a long time.” 

Parsons was asked whether he’d seen Charlie Sheen backstage, and what the wayward former “Two and a Half Men” star might have said to him.  “He just congratualted me.  He said, ‘That’s awesome.’  It was that sweet and that banal. I’m sorry.  I wish there was something lurid for me to say.”

And, asked an odd question, he gave a whimsical answer.  Jim, do you find people expecting you to do pratfalls in the real world?  “I pray to God they’re not because I could be a big disappointment.  I can be a little klutz-prone at times, but overall I have an odd grace, like a giraffe, and manage not to fall down.”

Kate Winslet and Guy Pearce traded accolades backstage after their respective “Mildred Pierce” wins — and after Pearce talked, during his acceptance speech, about the joy of doing lovemaking scenes with the Oscar-winning actress. 

Her response to that?  “I’m thrilled.  I had a crush on Guy Pearce since I was 11 years old.  So to even stand in the same room with him was thrilling to me.  And to hear him say that onstage tonight was even more of a thrill.”

Legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, who won for directing “Boardwalk Empire,” said that he approached that HBO drama as if it was a long movie.  He talked about the freedom of long-form TV storytelling, comparing it to Victorian novels by Dickens and others that were actually written in serial form.   He also compared “Boardwalk Empire” to old Hollywood gangster movies, saying that eople are fascinated with watching these kinds of criminals rise to power, “but you want to see them fall.”  

It was a big night of celebration, of course, for repeat winners “Mad Men” and “Modern Family,” and the show teams came backstage feeling festive. 

“Modern Family” producer Steve Levitan — who talked in his acceptance speech about a real-life gay couple thanking him for the show making people more tolerant — said he’d been thinking about what he’d like to say for a couple of days before the show.

Individual winners Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen were asked about conservative America’s reaction to the show’s gay couple, played by Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.   Burrell said, “I don’t know about it in opposition to conservative America, but it feels very good to be on a show that seems to be slowly changing a lot of minds.”  And Bowen said, “It’s absurd that it’s even an issue, but since it is, I’m glad the show is changing people’s minds.”

 

Nick Zano: Sexy Scenes With Courteney Cox Arquette All in a Day’s Work

Nick Zano Photo Element Films

Nick Zano Photo Element Films

Ssssssssss.  That’s the sound of steam coming from the set of “Cougar Town” while filming was underway on episodes with Courteney Cox Arquette getting it on with her first “cub,” Nick Zano

The actor of “What I Like About You” and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” fame describes his average day:  “You read what they put in there for you.  Usually, it involves being wet, a bathtub scene, or a bed scene.  So, I’d go into my trailer, open up my closet, see five pairs of boxers and a terrycloth robe.  So it would be, put on the boxers, put on my robe, walk over to the set, talk to the camera guys – ‘How was your weekend?’  The AD pulls back the sheet.  Courteney comes in.  Talk about her family.  ‘How’s David doing?  How’s Coco?’  She gets into the bed, I get on top of her and we start making out.”

And there you have it.  But wait.  Zano adds the mandatory advisory, “As much fun as it sounds, it’s also pressuring.  We can see maybe 14 people standing around, a group of big Teamsters text messaging while we’re fake making out.  And it’s very, very choreographed.  You have to remember how far up your shoulder goes, how high you can bring your head up.”   

 Zano’s storyline runs over six episodes, the funniest being next Wednesday’s (10/28), according to him, and in a couple more weeks, “There’s my last one.  It’s a big one.  It’s a doozey,” he says.

As for what he thinks of the whole “cougar” trend?  “As a former young man, I applaud it,” he says.  “I think guys could use a mature woman.  It’s truth. The woman teaching a younger man thing – that woman basically takes that young man to school.  He carries that with him when he dates younger women.”

FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT:  Funny lady Julie Bowen, who with Ty Burrell heads the traditional nuclear family of ABC’s “Modern Family,” admits, “I’m always thinking everybody else has the great job.”  Referring to the comedy’s older man-younger woman match of Ed O’Neill and Sofia Vergara, and the couple played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet., she notes, “Theirs seem like bigger characters than ours in a lot of ways.  There’s such a rich mine of jokes for the gay couple and for Ed and Sofia.  And then, you know, Sofia has that body and that accent, and she says to me, ‘Don’t be jealous.’  I am jealous,” Bowen claims.

“But on the other hand, anyone who has a life filled with kids knows they’re the weirdest people,” she adds.  For instance, her own three sons – Oliver, 2 1/2, and six-month-old twins John and Gus.  “Right now, the older one is into a thing of making me stop the car and back up every time he sees certain Halloween decorations.  ‘Back up!  Back up!  Back up!’  That’s huge.  There’s a bloody dismembered arm.  Where is the other arm?  He’s two.  I can only imagine how it’s going to be in the years to come.”

 Bowen agrees with a critic who wrote that for all of its snap, “Modern Family” has a soft, sweet center.  “I didn’t want to say that at first, because I didn’t want people to think of it as sickeningly sweet.  But that’s what resonates.  The writers gave the show and the characters in it heart.  When we read our Christmas episode, Ty Burrell was weeping,” she says.  “I was choking up.  At the end of 22 minutes, it’s not just funny, it’s satisfying.”

 BACK TO THE BOARDS:  Kathleen Turner has been enjoying her time on television with a recurring guest spot on “Californication,” but she tells us that the stage is her first love and she plans to get back to it very soon.  “To be on Broadway was always my first dream.  When we finished the three-year run of ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,’ that’s what I had been dreaming of for the 30 years I’ve been doing this work,” says Turner.  “Now I’ve been offered a new Broadway piece for next year, which I’m looking forward to.  I can’t talk about it, though, until we sign.” And so we wait!

LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD:  Hollywood’s leading actresses are expected to keep fit in order to look great on camera, but “Dexter” star Julie Benz says it’s one part of the job she doesn’t mind. “I do keep myself in the best shape as possible, but fitness has been a huge part of my life ever since I was a child.  I was a competitive figure skater growing up,” she tells us.  “It’s my stress reliever to go to the gym and work out.”  

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster