‘Handmaid’s Tale’, ‘Mrs Maisel’ guest stars capture Emmys

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A trio of Emmy-honoured actors are winners again for their guest performances in TV series, joined by an awards newcomer.

Bradley Whitford and Cherry Jones received trophies for their The Handmaid’s Tale roles at last Sunday’s Creative Arts Emmy ceremony. Jane Lynch and Luke Kirby won on the comedy side, both for The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.

Game of Thrones led with 10 Emmys in technical and other categories at the two-night weekend ceremony, which is the precursor to the main Emmy Awards that will air on September 22 on Fox.

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel was the top comedy series winner, with six awards.

Jones, who previously won for 24, heaped praise backstage on fellow nominee Phylicia Rashad (This Is Us), calling it “absurd” that Rashad has yet to win an Emmy despite four nominations, and saluted Cicely Tyson, nominated for How to Get Away with Murder.

Chris O’Dowd poses in the press room with the Award for Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for ‘State Of The Union’; and Jane Lynch with the Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a comedy series for ‘The Marvelous Mrs Maisel’. PHOTOS: AP

“I got to tell Ms Tyson tonight that watching the Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is one of the things that made me want to be an actress, and I tell her that every time I see her and she always rolls her eyes,” Jones said.

Whitford has an Emmy for The West Wing and one for Transparent — the latter for guest actor in a comedy, making him the first actor to win comedy and drama guest star Emmys. In his acceptance speech, Whitford struck a political note as he thanked Margaret Atwood for the titular novel that is the basis of the dystopian The Handmaid’s Tale.

Atwood is “giving us perspective in this disorienting moment as we are inundated and undermined by a misogynistic, radical, right-wing ideology,” he said. “She understands three things: Despair is not an option. Our children can’t afford it. Action is the antidote to despair.”

Lynch, who added to her four previous Emmys for series including Glee and Hollywood Game Night, said she based her portrayal of a 1950s comic on the women she grew up watching.

“I went right to the source: Phyllis Diller, Totie Fields, Moms Mabley,” Lynch said. “Back then, in order for a woman to be in comedy, she had to have a gimmick.

“Usually that meant cracking wise about her own looks, her bad body, how she can’t hold on to a man but these women did it with such panache and style and such self-possession, and they inspire me.”

Kirby, who played Lenny Bruce on The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, has also appeared in The Deuce and Rectify.

The British marital comedy State of the Union won the Emmy for best short-form comedy or drama series, with short-form acting honours going to its stars, Chris O’Dowd and Rosamund Pike.

Leaving Neverland, which details allegations that pop star Michael Jackson abused them as children, was honoured at last Saturday’s ceremony as best documentary or non-fiction special.

Before his 2009 death, Jackson denied repeated, similar allegations against him, and his estate has denounced the documentary.