As I strolled down Beverly Boulevard in Beverly Hills, a pair of tourists in a rented white Mustang, top-down, of course, flagged me down: “Where are the stars?” they asked, while simultaneously drawing out the shape with their hands. And though I did my best to explain, in the five seconds before the light changed, that they were miles away from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the irony could not be overstated: The real Hollywood stars were actually right under those tourist’s noses, secretly tucked away behind the bushes of the Wallis Center, ready to celebrate and congratulate each other’s Emmy nominations in an intimate, unassuming, and elegant fashion.
The annual Television Academy’s Emmy Nominee reception took place on Friday night, September 20th, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Small and delightful, like a Lindor truffle (the sweet sponsor and creator of Sunday’s “Red Room” for guests) and as refreshing as the Marvelous Mule (provided by sponsor Ketel One), the reception provided a breath of fresh, celebratory air, before the big show. Unlike most social media and celebrity-filled conversations that swirl around the Emmys and award season, most rumors at this event were about the delightful banana pudding. Phones only seemed to come out to capture the graduation like-ceremony, where several of the 2019 nominees were awarded a certificate by the Television Academy. Those honored, and their esteemed peers and guests, included William Jackson Harper, Marin Hinkle, Giancarlo Esposito, Niecy Nash, Asante Blackk, Sterling K. Brown, Chris Sullivan, Jared Harris, Jharrel Jerome, Michael K. Williams,Tony Hale, Mandy Moore, Luke Kirby, Fiona Shaw, Michael McKean, Carice van Houten, Laverne Cox, Catherine O’Hara, Anthony Carrigan,Sian Clifford, Brett Gelman and Patricia Clarkson.
The relaxed but elegant setting fueled with delicious food, Sterling wine, the afore-mentioned mules, and Ferrari champagne, allowed for managers, talent, and guests to congratulate one another, take a quick photo, and say hello to their idols. There was even a Maisel-Family photo op, as Maisel stars Marin Hinkle and Luke Kirby took a quick photo together.
About three hours after the start of the evening, after the jazz band that had been playing alongside pop covers packed up their gear, the overhead lights abruptly came on like we had closed out a bar. It was a quick reminder that this brief respite, a little oasis in the middle of Beverly Hills, was a small stop in the midst of a crazy weekend. The end of one party just means the start of another. In fact, this reception wasn’t even the only event of the evening; the Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter/SAG-AFTRA gatherings were still on-deck. But, to use a term said by many a guest, it might have been the “chillest” gathering of the next 48 hours.
Leading Photo Caption: Premium Swiss chocolatier Lindt returns for the second consecutive year as the Official Chocolate of the 71st Emmy® Awards, turning the telecast backstage Green Room into The Lindt Chocolate Lounge, and providing decadent chocolate treats at the Governors Ball. Throughout Emmy season and television’s biggest night, TV’s brightest stars will have the chance to escape and indulge with Lindt Chocolate’s iconic LINDOR truffles, and enjoy some new creations crafted with love by the Lindt Master Chocolatiers especially for Emmy night.