Emmys 2012: What the Winners Said Backstage

Emmys winners open up on politics, gay marriage and Charlie Sheen

(Check out TheWrap's Complete Emmys 2012 Coverage)

Julie Bowen, supporting actress, "Modern Family": "Obviously we don't pretend to be important like national and international matters are, but I love that both Ann Romney and Michelle Obama said that 'Modern Family' was their favorite show. That says to me that there is a place on a couch where people can sit down and come together."

Jon Cryer, lead actor comedy, "Two and a Half Men": "The biggest challenge of this year was relaunching the show — can this thing continue? That it has is amazing to begin with, and that this happened is ridiculous. … With Charlie (Sheen), it was automatic, with Ashton (Kutcher), we're always working on it, rehearsing together, its a blast."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, lead actress comedy, "Veep": "It's an amazing time in politics but frankly I think all the time that it is kind of amazing on a certain level. But certainly it's front and center right now in our lives, a lot of good material in which to glean almost every day."

Also read: Emmys 2012: Complete List of Winners and Nominees

Steve Levitan, director, "Modern Family": Gay marriage "has never been the agenda of 'Modern Family.' We just try to tell human and relatable stories. But if our show can contribute in any way to making people a bit more open and understanding, then we would all be very very proud of that."

Eric Stonestreet, supporting actor, "Modern Family": "We don't dig ditches, we're not out there breaking our backs like so many people in our country do, but its a tough business because you don't know where your money is coming from sometimes, and I'm just proof that if you stick with it and try real hard and show up and be prepared that you can stand on a stage and win a trophy. It's just that simple."

Getty ImagesDamian Lewis, lead actor, "Homeland": "I have been coming to America since I was a 6-year-old boy … We've always been very connected to America, and my view of America hasn't really changed. I think there is a particular polarization, but hey –  there is in my country, too. What is particularly undeniable is that 9/11 changed the world, but, on the whole, we're doing the best we can after an atrocity that changed the world 10 years ago."

Damian Lewis, lead actor, "Homeland": [Re: his "Homeland" co-star and fellow Emmy winner Claire Danes] "We're going to go on a romantic getaway. When that baby's ginger, you guys are going to have a field day."

Claire Danes, lead actress, "Homeland": [On "Homeland" being a political show] "I think it's surprisingly not so preachy, which is, in some ways, why it carries its message so well. I think it's a psychological thriller and talks [about] some very big ideas and doesn't take a biased [approach]. But it does speak to some of our anxiety right now, where our enemy is not so clear."

Aaron Paul, supporting actor, "Breaking Bad": [On "Breaking Bad"'s final eight episodes] "I don't think the fans want [a happy ending]. I hope Jesse survives."

Aaron Paul, supporting actor, "Breaking Bad": [On his co-star and competitor in his Emmys category, Giancarlo Esposito] "[It] doesn't make sense to me that I was on that stage and [not Esposito]; what he's done is just impeccable. It's just so bizarre that I'm standing in front of you right now."

Louis C.K., writing, "Louie"; director, "Louis C.K. Live At The Beacon Theatre": [On the secret to his success] "I'm better than I was before, and hopefully I'll be better later; whenever you leave behind failure you're doing better. If you think you're doing great, then you're dumb … I'm older too now — older people are smarter and funnier."

Getty ImagesJulianne Moore, lead actress, "Game Change":  "['Game Change' is] not as much about Sarah Palin as it is about our political process; now with the election year this is an examination of how we pick our leaders.  That to me is what was so compelling about this film."

Sofia Vergara, on "Modern Family"'s success and multiple Emmy wins: "It's unbelievable. I can't believe I'm living the dream in this country and playing with these people and playing this character … even though [costar] Julie [Bowen] keeps winning all my awards, I'll still keep coming."

Kevin Costner, lead actor, "Hatfields & McCoys": [On what drew him to a television project] "I believed in the writing, and writing has propped my career, my whole career. I'm a writing-oriented actor, when I find good writing, I don't care what medium it sits."