Entertainment Television

Emmys red carpet: Stars abuzz about Trump, diversity and Canada!

By Nelson Branco, 24 Hrs

LOS ANGELES — The late morning clouds parted and the unusually chilly weather dissipated when the sun suddenly emerged and shined bright like a statuette just as the boldest of names walked down the 69th Annual Prime Time Emmy Awards red carpet at the Microsoft Theater L.A. live on Sunday night.

And the award show gods really showed up when I found out I was lucky to be positioned on the red carpet right between E! and a major Australian outlet so we got great celeb traffic.

“Isn’t it great,” smiled Big Little Lies’ Lead Actress in a Limited Series winner Nicole Kidman to 24 Hours. “I just flew in from Nashville because my daughter had a fever and it was a bit grey (earlier) but I guess it looks like all is well. Hopefully, it’s an omen.”

Oscar-winning duo and fledgling TV producing winning team Kidman and Reese Witherspoon — who were nominated in the same category twice — co-produced the epic HBO hit and no one was more stunned over the overwhelming positive reaction to the book-turned-series than them.

But what everyone wanted to know was: Will diehard fans of the thriller soap opera be rewarded with a season two?

“Yes, we’re seriously talking about another season,” confirmed Witherspoon to 24 Hours. “We’ve heard the fans and they want more so we’re talking ideas right now. We just have to figure it all out.”

Kidman added, “We knew TV was (cool) but we had no idea how powerful it was to resonate with an audience inside their homes each week because we’re (usually) in (the) film (world). We’d like to do more (episodes) but we have to make sure it makes sense story-wise.”

Kidman also revealed the female cast would present the first award of the night: Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, which went to multiple winner John Lithgow for The Crown.

Meanwhile, Witherspoon looked like she was in a daze, explaining, “I still can’t believe we’re all here with 16 nominations! I mean, everyone wants in on the TV game!”

That included co-star and Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie winner Alexander Skarsgård, who was still surprised over the reaction to his stellar tour-de-force performance as an abusive husband.

“I was actually in your neck of the woods — northern Alberta when it aired,” the underrated hunk said. “When I got back to America, I didn’t understand why everyone hated me. Now I get it!”

As for a prepared speech, the former True Blood star said he would have to wing it because he claims he had nothing prepared.

Despite all the love: the award show was a bloody duel between Big Little Lies and Ryan Murphy’s masterpiece Feud: Bette and Joan.

As for going head-to-head with co-star Jessica Lange as Best Actress in a Limited Series, Oscar winner Susan Sarandon is still pinching herself: “I’ve been approached to play Bette in the past before — by her people even! — but it never worked out. I’m still surprised (it gelled) because we only had a couple of scripts in the beginning and we kind of improvised it all but I guessed it worked!”

The Thelma & Louise diva nodded to 24 Hours that she wouldn’t mind if host and nominee Stephen Colbert got political during his golden gig.

“I hope he does,” she winked. She also added that Canada’s lucky to have Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leading our country. (She wasn’t the only star who shared that sentiment.)

In fact, that was the hot topic on the red carpet given Colbert’s fearless stance on U.S. President Donald Trump’s reign of, what some called, “terror.”

Earlier, Colbert confirmed to reporters he’d get super political so the White House would be wise to be prepared.

(You know Trump was watching!) Colbert said, “Listen guys, the biggest TV star this past year was Trump. Period. How can I not bring him up?” And as predicted, Alec Baldwin scored his latest Emmy for playing the Tweeter-in-Chief as Best Supporting Comedy Actor.

But Colbert, the former Daily Show scene-stealer, teased he had other surprises: “Look forward to my butt crack,” he teased.

And he was telling no lies. Everyone in the press room erupted in shock and laughter when former White House press secretary Sean Spicer walked on stage during Colbert’s monologue.

The nine-time Emmy winner was also up for a couple of more awards last night — but lost both.

Finally, this was one of the happiest red carpets we’ve seen in forever: stars were very hopeful, mainly because of the diverse nominees and the fact that critical and ratings juggernaut Game of Thrones was not eligible.

One female nominee told 24 Hours, “When is it going off the air for good?!”

The black-ish cast received some of the most applause. Lead Comedy Actor Anthony Anderson nom told 24 Hours he was just happy his popular mother Doris Hancox, who co-stars with her son on game show To Tell The Truth, was attending. “You will want to interview her — not me,” he laughed.

But it was Canadian Margaret Atwood’s Emmy-winning The Handsmaid’s Tale — and Lorne Michaels’ Saturday Night Live which won Best Variety Series for only the third time — that had everyone raving on the carpet.

Almost every star we spoke to said the same thing: they binged the Hulu/Bravo-produced series in a couple of days.

Aussie director Kate Dennis told 24 Hours, “We’re back for season two and we’re filming again in Toronto and Vancouver. By the way, I love working those cities! It’s amazing that this series intersected with the corner of the zeitgeist and art. How often does that happen?”

It was truly a Maple Leaf night: Big Little Lies and Montreal director Jean-Marc Vallee scored what some consider a top prize: Best Director for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special.