All eyes were on Phoebe Waller-Bridge on Sunday night in Los Angeles when she arrived at Amazon Studios’ post-Emmy celebration at Chateau Marmont — the evening’s hottest ticket in town.
“Looking back, it seems like a crazy rocket journey, but at the time it was just one foot in front of another the whole time, year after year,” said the English actress, reflecting on creating and starring in “Fleabag.” The show picked up six awards in total for its second season, including Outstanding Comedy Series, while Waller-Bridge took home honors in both writing and acting, winning Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. “…To reach the end of it is amazing.”
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While fans have been begging for the BBC show to continue, to their utter dismay, it’s officially over, reiterated the cast throughout the night. Waller-Bridge is ready for a break.
“I’m going to sleep,” she said of her foreseeable plans, wearing the Monique Lhuillier gown she had on when she took the Emmy stage. It was now close to 11 p.m. “Nothing like sleep, I tell ya.”
Earlier, co-stars Sian Clifford, a nominee, and Andrew Scott were dissecting the reasons the show resonates with viewers.
“[It has] a lot of humanity,” said Clifford. “I think we can all relate to the story.”
“We’ve all been heartbroken,” chimed in Scott, who added that the award show ceremony was a chance for the cast to reunite. “It’s an opportunity to see everyone.”
“Yes, to get the gang together,” replied Clifford, who wore London-based designer Emilia Wickstead.
Actor and comedian Brett Gelman, who plays Clifford’s husband on the show, said he “completely freaked out,” as “Fleabag” continued to snag awards. “I cannot believe that our little show got this much love. It’s insane. It’s really a very small operation that we were doing.”
The party — which went on late into early morning with actors like Sophie Turner of “Game of Thrones” and Justin Hartley of “This is Us” arriving past midnight — also brought out the cast of Amazon’s other hit series, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and its stars Alex Borstein and Tony Shalhoub, who both won on the night, as well as lead actress Rachel Brosnahan — donning a blue sequined Elie Saab gown — nominee Marin Hinkle, Kevin Pollak and Michael Zegen. It was elbow-to-elbow inside the hotel, as the party took over its lobby and courtyard patio. Among the crowd was winner Ben Whishaw and familiar faces that included Stephen Colbert, James Corden, Lena Waithe, Jane Lynch, Beau Bridges, Hugh Grant, Jon Hamm, Chace Crawford, Heidi Klum with beau Tom Kaulitz and Kathryn Newton of HBO’s “Big Little Lies.”
“It’s straight off the runway,” Newton had said of her attire for the night, a yellow Ralph Lauren number. “It still had tape in it and everything. I was at the fashion show recently in New York and immediately fell in love with it when I saw it.”
For her part, Patricia Arquette said she simply “just loved it” of her pick, a white dress by LBV. “It feels, to me, classic, a nod to the Forties, but it’s also futuristic and updated.”
While seemingly comfortable on stage accepting her Emmy, earlier on the red carpet, she was visibly anxious. “It feels nerve-racking,” she said of attending the ceremony. “But, it’s also wonderful.”
Standing close was “Russian Doll” actor Charlie Barnett, sporting a suit by Ports 1961. “I’m standing right next to Patricia Arquette right now, so that’s pretty amazing,” he said with a grin. “No big deal, low-key. Her dress is touching me.”
When she accepted the award, Arquette spoke out on transgender rights, touching upon the death of her sister Alexis Arquette, who passed away in 2016.
“As far as my speech tonight, I’m having a wonderful time in my career, and I never saw it coming,” she said in the press room. “I’m 51 years old, playing the greatest roles of my life…but also, because I’ve been working so much, I haven’t completely processed my sister Alexis’ death…I’m really starting to feel this heavy grief. I feel like I’m just starting to process this, so to be there tonight would be inauthentic to not talk about my whole self and where I am, where my heart is.”
Michelle Williams used her platform as an Emmy winner to advocate for equal pay. “As I said before, if it was as difficult for me, a white woman in a privileged industry, how difficult is it for women of color across all industries?” she told the press room, clad in a strapless Louis Vuitton gown. “And so, while tonight is kind of a fairy tale ending for me and my own personal story, there really won’t be any satisfaction for me until the larger message is heard, and that’s really what I wanted to point out tonight.”
The biggest cheer of the night went to Jharrel Jerome, a winner for his role in the Netflix miniseries “When They See Us.” “It’s an honor, a blessing, and I hope this is a step forward for Dominicans, for Latinos, for Afro-Latinos,” he said after his win. He made history as the first Afro-Latino to win an Emmy. “It’s about time we are here.”
Later, Jerome could be found letting loose on the dance floor at Netflix’s fete inside Milk Studios in Hollywood, where guests included Michael Douglas, wife and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones and “Russian Doll” creators and fellow nominees Amy Poehler and Natasha Lyonne.
Meanwhile, at the Pacific Design Center, the setting for WarnerMedia and HBO’s soirée, were the usual suspects — the casts of “Game of Thrones,” “Chernobyl,” “Veep,” “Succession” — as well as Bill Hader of “Barry,” and, much to everyone’s delight, rapper Drake, who’s an executive producer on “Euphoria.” The show’s star Zendaya held court in a custom Vera Wang dress with co-stars Sydney Sweeney and Maude Apatow, who mingled as they posed for photographs together.
Disney TV Studios, Hulu, FX Networks, ABC and National Geographic joined forces for their own late-night party at downtown’s Otium, marking the Disney and Fox merger, but the evening first began at Governors Ball, Emmys’ official after party. Located near the ceremony’s Microsoft Theater venue, winners like Jodie Comer and Billy Porter stopped by to get their awards engraved. Porter, who took home Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for FX’s “Pose,” made history as the first openly gay black man to win in the category.
“Visibility and representation are the only ways to create change,” he said inside the press room. “…I hope young, queer people of all colors can look at me and know —,” he paused, tearing up. “— that they can.”