Behind-the-scenes moments of the Emmys

Martin Rogers
Yahoo! TV Emmys Blog

LOS ANGELES — At the Emmys, Tom Hanks received onstage attention for his mustache and his work as a producer for "Game Change," which won an award for best miniseries or made-for-TV movie. But when the TV cameras were off, the actor had some fun with the massive statuette he received.

Hanks, proving he has a great sense of humor, got his hands on some packing tape after the show and fastened the Emmy to the front of his car. Then he kicked off a quick lap to test out the makeshift hood ornament on the town car. "And, GO!" he shouted to the driver, who seemed to be having fun and not just humoring Hanks. With five previous Emmy wins, Hanks can afford to have a good time with his new hardware.

Meanwhile, "Homeland" star Damian Lewis took the Emmy Award much more emotionally. He was unable to hold back as he celebrated his Emmy win for best actor with a touching telephone call to his two young children.

Collecting the award at the Nokia Theatre in downtown L.A., Lewis beat out "Mad Men"'s Jon Hamm and "Breaking Bad"'s Bryan Cranston and was all smiles on stage as he described himself as one of the "pesky Brits" in reference to the ongoing success of British actors on American television.

However, following his presentation and some media interviews Lewis was quick to find a quiet corner in order to call his kids and inform them of his triumph.

"It was a lovely moment," said one onlooker. "It was obvious he was talking to his young children and telling them all about it. His voice was starting to crack a bit and you could tell it meant more to him to be able to let them know Daddy had won than anything else."

Lewis's success was part of a huge night for "Homeland," with the show also claiming the Emmy for outstanding drama series and his co-star Claire Danes beating off a strong field to win best actress.

On stage, Lewis had revealed that his kids didn't know a whole lot about the Emmys, but were excited about it nevertheless.

"My two children at home thought Daddy had been nominated for an Emma," Lewis said. "Well, Manon and Gulliver, Daddy just won an Emma."

"Homeland"'s success created the potential for an awkward moment as the festivities moved from the Nokia Theater to the L.A. Convention Center for the lavish Governor's Ball at the end of the evening.

"Homeland"'s executive producer Howard Gordon, whose show won four awards just a year after its inception, found himself next to Matt Weiner, the creator of "Mad Men" -- which not only missed out on being named best series for a record fifth time but was shut out of the winner's circle despite 17 nominations.

However, Gordon and Weiner warmly embraced, with Weiner graciously saying he simply "has to make a better show" next year.

Emmy's host Jimmy Kimmel joked during the ceremony that the stars "hadn't eaten a carbohydrate in months" as they prepared to look their best on the big night, but patrons of the Governor's Ball seemed happy to break any self-imposed diets as the party got underway.

Guests finished off more than 800 pounds of Marich chocolate-coated peanuts, which were stationed in two corners of the ballroom and proved to be a huge hit.

Elsewhere at the ball, comedian Louis C.K. was the life and soul of the party, with his table attracting a large gathering of stars and hangers-on as he regaled his guests with hilarious stories and dirty jokes. Asked how he felt about playing such a frequent role in the show's first half, when he presented one award and then won two more, he replied: "Boring," before bursting into raucous laughter.

While Louis C.K. might have been the most popular man in the room, Brit comic Ricky Gervais told Ryan Seacrest about the distinction of being the "most hated man in America" following his controversial second stint serving as host of the Golden Globes last year. "Usually you have to kill people to get that kind of publicity," Gervais mused.

It was a big night for Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who picked up her third Emmy  for her role in "Veep" after 13 nominations throughout her career. The 51-year-old was keen to enjoy herself alongside her 15-year-son Charles, although the youngster didn't seem too impressed with the attention of the waiting photographers and struggled to produce a smile when asked to pose with his mother.

Meanwhile, newly-divorced supermodel Heidi Klum was floating from table to table, plying her bubbly personality and winning smile. Given the somewhat turbulent events of her private life recently, she could be forgiven for a case of mistaken identity as she smiled and waved warmly at a guest she had never met before…certainly this reporter was not complaining.