From sensational soirees to sweet swag sessions, the party road to the 2019 Emmy Awards was a swirl of stars, especially as the week poured into Sunday’s big show. It was tough to be everywhere, but many of television’s top names certainly tried. We think some of them changed clothes in the limo!
Fetes Leading Up to the Big Night
Women in Hollywood took center stage at the first few celebrations, from the Los Angeles Confidential bash honoring Linda Cardellini, whose “Dead to Me” turn sent shivers up the world’s spine, to the Australians in Film State of Escape Creative Creatures luncheon at Gwen that celebrated Aussie female movers and shakers, including “Big Little Lies” producer Bruna Papandrea and costume designer Alix Friedberg as well as the afternoon’s main honoree, up-and-coming writer Samantha Strauss (“Dance Academy”).
Audi’s annual party brought lots of past Emmy winners and current nominees to the crush at the Sunset Tower, where a huge line formed to get a chance for a black-and-white portrait shot. Of course, the stars didn’t have to wait, as Laura Dern and Milo Ventimiglia went to the front of the queue. Sugarfish did the catering, to the delight of hungry nominees Jean-Marc Vallee, Asante Blackk, Marti Noxon and Glynn Turman, all spotted in the packed crowd. Elizabeth Banks, Lakeith Stanfield, JB Smoove, Aldis Hodge and lots of other familiar TV faces were part of the swirl, that featured music spun by Reggie Watts and Alexandra Richards.
Entertainment Weekly rolled into the same space at Sunset Tower the next night along with L’Oreal for their annual party, always a favorite among the A-list. Which is why Billy Porter led the nominees charge there, joining Jared Harris, Sterling K. Brown, Marin Hinkle, Mandy Moore, Niecy Nash and others in celebrating their nods.
That big bash followed the Performers Nominee Reception at the Wallis Annenberg Center, which many of those same nominees hit first on Friday night, along with Laverne Cox, Jharrel Jerome, Catherine O’Hara, Jonathan Banks and lots of others. They all posed for a Class of 2019 Nominees photo after toasting with Ferrari Trento bubbly.
Saturday was a swirl of celebrations, with Creative Coalition taking over Ocean Prime in Beverly Hills to honor 2019 Emmy nominees Patricia Arquette, Henry Winkler and Anthony Carrigan, along with Terry Crews and Bethenny Frankel, with their Television Humanitarian Awards. The honorees were cited for “creating positive change in the world” as the restaurant filled with familiar faces. David Arquette and Keegan-Michael Key turned up, as did AnnaSophia Robb, Asante Blackk, Richard Kind, Willie Garson and “GLOW” star Ellen Wong. Ryan Murphy presented Frankel with her award, while Sam Rubin helped honor Winkler for his work helping dyslexic kids.
“We are all together and we are all the same,” Winkler told the appreciative gathering, referring to his fellow honorees. “The ideas that we promote and give our energy to are a little bit different, but the reason is the same.”
An electric energy filled the Beverly Hilton later that afternoon, as BAFTA Los Angeles TV Tea Party and BBC America took tea by the swimming pool at what is always one of the weekend’s poshest bashes. And you didn’t have to be British to join in the fun, as Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Douglas, Ava DuVernay, Stellan Skarsgard, Patricia Clarkson and Natasha Lyonne made the scene. But of course, the Brits were out in force, led by “Killing Eve” nominees Jodie Comer and Fiona Shaw (and their Canadian co-star Sandra Oh), who were joined by Jared Harris, Liam Cunningham, Catherine Zeta-Jones and a gang of others, most of who chose a Pimm’s Cup over a cuppa.
Over at the Canadian Consul’s home, our friends from the north celebrated the over 70 Canadian nominees with a garden party of their own, hosted by the Consul General of Canada Zaib Shaikh. As guests sipped Ace Hill Canadian beer and nibbled on crab cakes and baked Brie, nominee Samantha Bee picked “The Handmaid’s Tail” creator Margaret Atwood’s brain in a tete-a-tete. Across the back garden, the “Schitt’s Creek” gang cut things up, with Andrew Barnsley and Fred Levy leading the laughs. “Mrs. Maisel” star (and early 2019 winner) Luke Kirby turned up, too, as did “Game of Thrones” 2019 Emmy winners Mohsen Mousavi and Paula Fairfield.
Saturday’s pre-show festivities culminated at the 13th Annual MPTF “Evening Before” in Century City, where everyone who’s anyone dropped by. Look one way, there were Billy Porter and Julia Louis-Dreyfus trading air kisses, look another and Henry Winkler and Amy Adams shared a moment. Famous faces were everywhere, with studio honchos like Jeffrey Katzenberg working the room, chatting with Amy Adams, Mandy Moore and many others. Among the starry crowd were Kit Harington, Regina King, Sacha Baron Cohen, Julia Garner, Kate Beckinsale and countless others; all happily indulged in dinner cooked up by Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo at this intentionally casual gathering.
Luxury Suites Bring on the Swag
In keeping with yearly tradition, there were plenty of luxury suites to lure Emmy nominees, presenters, former winners and swag-loving stars into a world of gifting.
Presenters and nominees found the official Emmy’s gifting suite at the Microsoft Theater, as the Backstage Creations Giving Suite was in full swing during both rehearsals on Saturday and on Sunday at the Emmy Awards show itself. There, while choosing swag to be sent to them (no carrying bags away at this one), top TV favorites like Tim Allen gushed over the Kapama Private Game Reserve South Africa trip the suite gifted, saying, “This is exciting!” Also now on the travel vacation agendas of Viola Davis, Niecy Nash, Sherri Shepherd and Bob Newhart is a trip to the Four Seasons Resort Nevis; and Regina King, Adam Devine, Catherine O’Hara, Anthony Anderson and Ken Jeong picked out Zenni sunglasses, Delsey luggage and Dolby Laboratories headphones to take along on those trips.
Earlier in the week, Doris Bergman’s 10th Annual Luxury Lounge started things off on Wednesday at Fig & Olive, where her always-convivial party drew everyone from nominee Glynn Turman and fellow actors Edward James Olmos, Marilu Henner, Eric Roberts, Dee Wallace to singers Bonnie and Anita Pointer and former NBA star Norm Nixon. They collected plenty of mind-bending goodies, ranging from Green Goddess Collective’s cannabis offerings, BuyWine.com’s vino and Precious Vodka’s top-shelf spirit. Art Lewin Bespoke and Sue Wong Gowns helped get them red-carpet ready, and there were even gifts for Fido.
On Friday, GBK’s annual Luxury Celebrity Gifting Lounge made the Beverly Wilshire Hotel home and drew 2019 Emmy nominees Rachel Brosnahan and Rufus Sewell with the lure of giving back to charity (Covenant House) as well as the super swag, which included trips to Sailrock in Turks and Caicos and to Raiwasa Resort in Fiji. Other nominees filling up GBK’s famous giant black “body bag” of swag included Asante Blackk, Terrence Terrell and Glynn Turman; and we also spotted “Veep” stars Matt Walsh and Reid Scott going for the bespoke men’s suits from TruTailor while Jeri Ryan and Dascha Polanco chose Al Capone wristwatches.
The swag train kept chugging along Friday at Debbie Durkin’s EcoLuxe Lounge’s “Endless Summer Festival” at the Beverly Hilton, where TV stars like Christina Milian, Gilles Marini and Sharna Burgess discovered Jamaica Tourist Board trips on offer to two resorts in Negril. CBD products are all the rage at swag suites these days, and this one even had a CBD/Hemp Lounge, where SoCalHempCo products for humans and dogs were part of the goodie bags.
Wild and Crazy After Parties
Once all the big Primetime Emmy Awards were handed out on Sunday, it was time to celebrate – especially at HBO and Amazon Prime, where they were (seriously) dancing on the tables. That happened at the HBO extravaganza, but first everyone who took home a statue stopped by the Governors Ball, to get their plaques affixed and begin the endless round of backslapping and selfie-taking.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge was the belle of every ball she attended, with three Emmys in hand for her outrageous comedy “Fleabag,” which seemed to be the beloved underdog going into the awards. Instead, she won big and soon discovered that trying to carry three golden statues was a bit much. So by the time she made it to the Amazon Prime bash at Chateau Marmont, she was down to clutching one – and grinning from ear-to-ear all night.
Her big boss, Jeff Bezos, also hit the Governors Ball, as did Ted Sarandos, the top dog at Netflix, who got beaten this year by HBO in total wins, thanks to “Game of Thrones” scribe George R. R. Martin, who happily tucked into the elegant Joachim Splichal dinner at the ball. Also stopping at the party was a still smiling Julia Louis-Dreyfus (despite her loss in her last season of “Veep”) and Justin Bateman, whose triumphant grin was possibly bigger than Waller-Bridge’s. Winners and losers alike made the ball their first stop, including Billy Porter, Patricia Arquette, Jodie Comer and Jarrel Jerome.
But the place to be post-Emmy was the HBO party at the Pacific Design Center, where a huge, multi-faced ball shot light rays across the faces of every single actor from “Game of Thrones,” from four-time winner Peter Dinklage to the gorgeous women of the show – Sophie Turner, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey and Maisie Williams, who all turned out. John Oliver and his gang were in one part of the vast, glittering party, while the “Veep” crowd gathered in another; everyone was mesmerized by the dancers wearing head-to-toe reflective glass jumpsuits, who danced on top of the tables as the party went into the wee hours.
At Netflix over in Milk Studios, Natasha Lyonne and Amy Poehler commiserated over only winning three out of 13 possible Emmys; they were comfortable, at least, having both done the quick change out of their finery and into comfy party clothes. Jharrel Jerome was on cloud nine over his “When They See Us” win, as Ava DuVernay, Niecy Nash, Asante Blackk and the rest of the cast joined in his celebration. Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones enjoyed the revelry, as did “Ozark” winners Julia Garner and Jason Bateman and a slew of other talented members of the Netflix stable.
Billy Porter had ditched his swooping chapeau by the time he got to the Walt Disney Television party, but he was practically dancing on the ceiling with happiness about his unprecedented win for “Pose.” “Verdon/Fosse” winner Michelle Williams didn’t bother to change out of her gorgeous Louis Vuitton dress for the afterparty, for she was too busy having fun with Busy Phillips, as they made the rounds of that jam-packed Otium Restaurant bash. And 97-year-old Norman Lear proved that you’re never too old to win an Emmy (he had taken home his fifth statue the week before) or to keep on partying when you do.
Lawrence Yee contributed to this report.