Fourteen hours after FX received 45 Emmy nominations on Thursday morning, the premiere for their vampire thriller “The Strain” at the DGA evolved in to a celebration.
A bar was open before the screening. A few beer bottles floated onto the black carpet.
But not everyone at FX was awake before dawn to hear the record-breaking news. FX CEO John Landgraf slept through the 5:30 a.m. announcements on purpose.
“The morning of the Emmy nominations has not always been the most joyous morning for me,” Landgraf told TheWrap. “So I slept until 8, then got up, and had 75 emails so that was pretty cool.”
What did he miss? FX finishing just off the podium in fourth place among all networks, trailing only HBO, CBS and NBC. They were only two more nominations away from passing NBC and tying CBS for the second-most nominated network overall.
In all scenarios, FX outshone its Fox corporate siblings, but the highest profile may come with a heftier internal price tag. Landgraf mulled over TheWrap’s suggestion that he would now be on the hook for a greater share of the tab at Fox’s Emmys party, which bands together Fox Broadcasting, 20th Century Fox TV, and FX under one downtown roof.
“We’re going to have to pay more. It always comes down to paying more at the end of the day, doesn’t it?” he said.
Native Canadian Natalie Brown, who plays Stoll’s estranged wife Kelly Goodweather, was likely the best acclimated for “The Strain’s” winter-in-Toronto shoot. (“We were freezing out butt off,” Sean Astin was still buzzing, two months after wrapping in May.)
Brown was cool from the start. She walked in to her audition to find both executive producers del Toro and Carlton Cuse waiting for her. “After one take, (del Toro) gave me the most specific direction I’ve ever gotten as an actor. You know exactly what it is that he wants. He’s equal parts levity and specificity.”
Del Toro brought both levity and specificity to his pre-screening welcome, delivered at the side of the now notorious (and partially banished) worm-through-an-eyeball key art plastered across the DGA screen.
“Honestly, I find every other form of advertising more morally disturbing: beer commercials, aftershave … this is just a fucking worm in the eye,” del Toro said, getting a huge laugh. “(These ads) telling me how to behave and what kind of man I have to fucking be.”
No false advertising here. The pilot has plenty of cover-your-eyes moments, as I saw many in the theater sharing my squeamishness.
“These (vampires) are not the charming young man with a six-pack and two little fangs who is going to take you for a romantic dinner and brood about bullshit,” del Toro said.”These are monstrous things that are going to drain you.”
After the screening at the new Hyde (the old XIV) across the street, guests were draining champagne with gummy worms swimming inside, a sweeter version of the annelida phylum. Faces in the crowd not too grossed out to celebrate: everybody on the payroll’s boss Peter Rice (CEO of Fox Networks Group) and Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus‘ manager Adam Leber, among the cast and crew.
FX unleashes “The Strain” on July 13 at 10 p.m.