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'Game of Thrones' cast, producers don't bite on finale controversy
With 23 "Game of Thrones" cast members and producers present to talk about the HBO epic's win for best drama series, there was a long pause before anyone responded to a question about the mostly negative reaction for the series' finale.
Obviously, it wasn't a topic many enjoy diving into. A giggling Emilia Clarke went so far as to crouch down onstage in a vain attempt to hide onstage rather than answer.
Finally, Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow, strode up to the mic.
"I'll take this one. What was it? Controversy?" he said, to some laughter. "I still haven’t seen the show, so that’s how I dealt with that controversy. I haven’t seen the final season, but I know what it took to shoot it and it was hard and everyone put all their love and effort into it," he said. "I think for us, we knew what we were doing was right, storywise. And we knew it was right for the characters because we lived with them for 10 years. And I think controversy didn't really affect us."
"But thank you for the question," he added.
The trophies: Emmys 2019: Full winners list
Guess who predicted the 'Thrones' ending?
Mark Kelly, the astronaut and U.S. Senate candidate from Arizona, has a new talking point for campaign stops. He was closest in the pool that guessed how "Game of Thrones" would end, executive producer D.B. Weiss said after the HBO drama's big Emmy win.
"Commander Mark Kelly of the space shuttle had a fan theory that amused us because it was about 90% right," Weiss said. "He was the one person we had to actually put on a straight face and nod in such a way that made him believe he was wrong because ... he got most of the ending."
Emmy success will not bring this ‘Fleabag’ back
“Fleabag” star Phoebe Waller-Bridge was gobsmacked backstage discussing her big night, winning best actress for her Amazon comedy, which also was named best comedy series and won awards for writing and directing.
“I feel like I’ve come in the back door and nicked something, that’s the honest truth,” said Waller-Bridge, who gushed over “Veep,” which also was nominated in the comedy-series category.
But don’t expect the show to return for a third season, however tempting in the wake of the Emmy success.
“To be honest, this seems like the most beautiful way to say goodbye, the story feels complete,” said Waller-Bridge. “You go out on a high. You don’t get any higher than this.”
John Oliver knows the rule of comedy, don't speak during the tributes
John Oliver was on a roll speaking from the backstage podium about his "Last Week Tonight" Emmy win, until he found out the In Memoriam tribute was playing behind him on the television screens.
"I will say this," Oliver said with his head in his hands. "Doing your Q&A during the In Memoriam is not the best slot. Does anyone have any non In Memoriam-related questions?"
Michelle Williams will keep up the pay fight
Michelle Williams continued her discussion on pay inequity backstage. The "Fosse/Verdon" actress said finding out about the staggering "All the Money in the World" disparity with her male co-star Mark Wahlberg "woke her up" in 2018.
While her story has a "fairy-tale ending" with her Emmy win, Williams is still is concerned about pay disparity, especially among women of color.
"How difficult it is for women of color in all industries," said Williams. "There will not be any satisfaction for me until the larger message is heard.
Jason Bateman has many more boring vacation stories
Bateman kept his perspective backstage, holding his directing Emmy for “Ozark.”
“Did everyone try the Popsicles?” he asked reporters, savoring the backstage treat.
Bateman addressed being lampooned during the broadcast by presenters Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert, who said he's always droning on about boring vacation stories. He jokingly expressed surprise to reporters, explaining that Kimmel usually is part of his family vacations.
He did admit that Kimmel did give him a heads-up for the joke which allowed Bateman to give a deadpan look.
“If he’s going to hurt my feelings, he has to ask me first. That’s our rule,” said Bateman. He noted dryly that Colbert did not offer the same courtesy.
Jodie Comer on competing against Sandra Oh
Jodie Comer, who won as lead actress in a drama for BBC America's "Killing Eve," talked about being nominated in the same category as co-star Oh.
"It's so wonderful that we are in this position and we are in a show that has two female leads. People often put us against each other as a rivalry and I see it as a blessing," she said.
Jharrel Jerome on his bond with Korey Wise and the exonerated Central Park Five
Jerome, who won for Netflix's "When They See Us," talked about the bond he formed with Korey Wise and the other exonerated men known as the Central Park Five.
"Seeing Korey and the other men out in the audience (from the stage), I feel like I'm on the basketball team and they’re on the team with me and I made that final shot and they're going, 'That’s good!'" said Jerome, who said it was moving when Wise put his necklace around the actor's neck to solidify their bond.
"I feel like I was at a championship game and we went through our last hurrah. It's been such a journey for the past year now. So for me to be able to point all the way back at the men and for them to point back at me, it's a dream," Jerome said.
'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' tag team
Alex Borstein and Tony Shalhoub, both acting winners for "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," appeared together in the press room, as Borstein expanded on her acceptance speech about her grandmother's survival during the Holocaust.
"My grandmother was the strongest woman I knew. I get choked up" talking about it, she said. "We keep focusing on the strength of women now (but) they've always been there. These women have always run the roost."
Shalhoub joined in when asked how it felt to be part of a show that featured so many women.
"I feel like I'm very much at home. I grew up in a large family. I have six sisters, I'm married to a fabulous woman and I have two daughters," he said. "I live in that world all the time and it's fed me and it's nurtured me and it's made my life fantastic."
Ben Whishaw on playing a real person in 'A Very English Scandal'
Whishaw, who won for supporting actor in a limited series or movie, said he'd like to speak again with the man he played, Norman Scott, the ex-lover and eventual murder target of British politician Jeremy Thorpe (Hugh Grant), in the Amazon project..
"I'd like to see him. I’ve only met Norman very briefly for lunch about two weeks before we started shooting, and I'd like to see him again to kind of debrief," he said. "I'm proud that we've kind of told his story and told it with dignity and I hope he’s happy. Perhaps he feels a little bit of justice has been done."
Asked what he's heard of Scott's reaction, "My understanding is that obviously it’s a very raw thing for him to have reopened and to have someone depict you and portray very traumatic events in his life," he said. "I think his emotions change. I think sometimes he feels happy and sometimes he feels less. But I haven’t spoken to him so I don’t really know."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Emmys 2019 backstage: 'Game of Thrones' backlash, 'Fleabag' returning?