LOS ANGELES — Glenn Close’s performance as a ruthless trial attorney on Damages and Bryan Cranston’s turn as a meth-making teacher on Breaking Bad were honoured Sunday with the top drama series acting Emmys, the second consecutive trophies for both.
“Oh my goodness,” exclaimed Cranston. “I’m a poor kid from the valley. I don’t know what I’m doing up here. I feel like Cinderfella.”
Close called it a “huge privilege” to be part of entertainment community, then tweaked her show’s writers.
Her role is “maybe the character of my lifetime, depending on what they do this season,” Close said.
Michael Emerson, who plays the cruelly devious Ben on Lost, and Cherry Jones, the stalwart U.S. president on 24, were honoured as best supporting actors in drama series.
“Wowza,” Jones said. Emerson accepted his award for what he called “the role of my lifetime.”
Alec Baldwin of 30 Rock and Toni Collette of United States of Tara were honoured as best lead actors in comedy series at the Emmys, which kept to a lighthearted, viewer-friendly tone.
“I’ll be honest with you. I’d trade this to look like him,” Baldwin said as he accepted his best comedy actor trophy from Rob Lowe of Brothers & Sisters.
Collette, who plays a mother with multiple personalities on the Showtime series, was honoured as best actress in a comedy series.
“Wow, this is insanely confronting,” said a beaming Collette.
She thanked series creator Diablo Cody, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Juno.
Collette’s victory deprived Tina Fey of 30 Rock of winning a second consecutive award in the category. But Fey took the stage a few moments later to acknowledge a guest actor award she received for her Sarah Palin impersonation on Saturday Night Live.
Kristin Chenoweth of Pushing Daisies and Jon Cryer of Two and a Half Men won supporting acting Emmys for their comedies and proved that acceptance speeches can be entertaining.
“I’m not employed now so I’d like to be on Mad Men. I also like The Office and 24,” said Chenoweth, alternating between tears and smiles as she accepted for her cancelled ABC series. “Thank you so much to the academy for recognizing a show that’s no longer on the air.”
Backstage, the Tony Award-winning Chenoweth noted that she is appearing on an upcoming episode of Fox’s show Glee, has shot two movies and is doing a series of concerts.
Cryer, whose series is the most-watched comedy on TV, brought a wry tone to his speech.
“I used to think that awards were just shallow tokens of momentary popularity, but now I realize they are the only true measure of a person’s worth as a human being,” Cryer said.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart won the trophy for best variety, music or comedy series, its seventh in a row.