Winslet and Downton Abbey celebrate Emmy wins


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The Independent Culture

It was a night to remember for British television. And when this year’s Emmy awards were handed-out, before a packed Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles and a live audience of 12.5 million admiring Americans, two very distinct sorts of Englishness could be observed onstage.

In one camp sat the stars of Downton Abbey, the country house drama which won four major prizes on the night, including Best Miniseries or Movie and Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Dame Maggie Smith. The show’s creator, Julian Fellowes, displayed the very model of a stiff upper lip when he added a screenwriting award to that haul.

In the opposite camp, well, there was Kate Winslet. Projecting the now-familiar exuberance with which she salutes an addition to her trophy cabinet, the Oscar-winning actress punched the air, hugged a slew of colleagues, and struggled to hold back the tears when it was announced that she had picked-up the Best Actress award for her lead role in the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce.

"Oh look, I really did win it. Oh gosh, okay. Thank you so much!... I didn’t think we were going to win anything,” she declared, before dedicating the prize to her mother. “It doesn’t matter how old you are, or what you do in your life, you never stop needing your mum. And I will never stop needing mine. So thanks, mum. Thank you so much!”

The speech added to Ms Winslet’s reputation for unrestrained victory celebrations, which made headlines at last year's Oscar and Golden Globe ceremonies. And it led to an outpouring of hilarity among more cynical viewers, who briefly turned her name into a “trending topic” on Twitter.

Some commentators wondered why the actress tried to claim that the victory came as a surprise, given that she was long odds-on favourite to win for her portrayal of a single mother in port-Depression Los Angeles. Others unkindly wondered about the provenance of her cockney accent, noting that she was brought-up in prosperous Berkshire.

The woman herself reacted with understandable irritation when the issue was raised in the press room shortly afterwards. "I was truly, extremely unprepared, and I didn't think I would win at all," she declared. “It just comes out the way it comes out. There's not a huge amount you can do about it."

No such explaining was required of the team behind Downton Abbey, which has become as lucrative a hit in the US as it already is in the UK. The ITV series, set in an Edwardian country house, recently began its second series, and a third has already been commissioned.


Fellowes, who was plucked from obscurity when he won an Oscar for Gosford Park in 2002, called the success of the well-made period drama a “David and Goliath story” and said it seemed “perfectly extraordinary” to have won. “I would like to thank you, the American industry. Ten years ago you kick-started my second career with an Oscar, tonight you have nurtured it.”

Other big winners at Sunday’s Emmys, which is to American television what the Academy Awards is to its movie business, included the network show Modern Family, which won five major awards, including Best Comedy, and Mad Men, which was named Best Drama for the fourth consecutive year.

The evening wasn’t without a note of controversy, however. Hours before kick-off, a pre-recorded monologue by actor Alec Baldwin, the star of nominated show 30 Rock, was abruptly censored at the behest of its broadcaster, Fox.

Executives at the network objected to a gag in which Baldwin interrupted a phone conversation to ask “is that you, Rupert?” The gag was intended as a reference to the phone-hacking scandal dogging Fox’s owner Rupert Murdoch.

After learning that the joke had been cut, Baldwin demanded that his entire segment be removed. He did not attend the show. In a statement, the broadcaster said: “we take the phone-hacking allegations seriously and do not want to be seen making jokes about them.”

Main Emmy winners and nominations

Outstanding Comedy Series:

The Big Bang Theory

Modern Family (Winner)

The Office

30 Rock

Parks And Recreation


Outstanding Drama Series:

Boardwalk Empire

The Good Wife

Mad Men (Winner)

Friday Night Lights


Game Of Thrones

Outstanding Mini-series Or Movie:

Cinema Verite

Downton Abbey (Winner)

The Kennedys

Mildred Pierce

The Pillars Of The Earth

Too Big To Fail

Lead Actress In A Comedy:

Amy Poehler, Parks And Recreation

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie

Laura Linney, The Big C

Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly (Winner)

Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope

Tina Fey, 30 Rock

Lead Actor In A Comedy:

Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory

Louis CK, Louis

Steve Carell, The Office

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (Winner)

Supporting Actress In A Comedy:

Jane Lynch, Glee

Betty White, Hot In Cleveland

Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

Julie Bowen, Modern Family (Winner)

Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock

Supporting Actor In A Comedy:

Jesse Tyler, Modern Family

Ed O'Neill, Modern Family

Chris Colfer, Glee

Ty Burrell, Modern Family (Winner)

Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Jon Cryer, Two And A Half Men

Lead Actress In A Drama:

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife (Winner)

Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Mireille Enos, The Killing

Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights

Kathy Bates, Harry's Law

Lead Actor In A Drama:

Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights (Winner)

Timothy Olyphant, Justified

Michael C Hall, Dexter

Hugh Laurie, House

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire

Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Supporting Actor In A Drama:

Walton Goggins, Justified

Josh Charles, The Good Wife

Andre Braugher, Men Of A Certain Age

Peter Dinklage, Game Of Thrones (Winner)

Alan Cumming, The Good Wife

John Slattery, Mad Men

Supporting Actress In A Drama:

Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire

Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife

Michelle Forbes, The Killing

Margo Martindale, Justified (Winner)

Christine Baranski, The Good Wife

Reality-Competition Programme:

American Idol

Dancing With The Stars

Project Runway

So You Think You Can Dance

The Amazing Race (Winner)

Top Chef

Host Of A Reality Or Reality-Competition Programme:

Jeff Probst, Survivor (Winner)

Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race

Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars

Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance

Ryan Seacrest, American Idol

Lead Actress In A Mini-series Or Movie:

Diane Lane, Cinema Verite

Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey

Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce (Winner)

Taraji P Henson, Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story

Jean Marsh, Rose Buck

Lead Actor In A Mini-series Or Movie:

Edgar Ramirez, Carlos

Greg Kinnear, The Kennedys

Barry Pepper, The Kennedys (Winner)

Idris Elba, Luther

Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood

William Hurt, Too Big To Fail

Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or Movie:

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey (Winner)

Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce

Melissa Leo, Mildred Pierce

Mare Winningham, Mildred Pierce

Eileen Atkins, Upstairs Downstairs

Supporting Actor In A Mini-series Or Movie:

Tom Wilkinson, The Kennedys

Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce (Winner)

Brian F. O'Byrne, Mildred Pierce

Paul Giamatti, Too Big To Fail

James Woods, Too Big To Fail