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THE ENVELOPE Hollywood's Awards and Industry Insider
Gina Rodriguez staying grounded despite 'Jane's' success

The night she won the Golden Globe for her warm, funny and versatile work as the kindhearted title character in the CW comedy "Jane the Virgin," Gina Rodriguez brought her whole family — Mom and Dad, her two older sisters and their husbands — to the celebrity-filled InStyle after-party at the Beverly Hilton. They hung out for about an hour, people watching, but Rodriguez mostly sat with her parents while her sisters Iveliss and Rebecca tracked down Channing Tatum for a selfie.

Full Coverage: Emmys 2015

Once that mission was accomplished, Rodriguez and her parents headed back to her one-bedroom Santa Monica apartment, where the 30-year-old actress made up her couch ("Of course, my mom and dad get dibs on the bed") and conked out early. She had to be on set at 5 a.m. the next day.

"The reason I got the Golden Globe was because of my job, so I needed to make sure I wasn't a hot mess the next day," Rodriguez says. "Yes, they probably would have cut me a little slack, but I didn't want to disappoint."

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Unlike Oscars, 2015 Emmys have diverse shows, actors to recognize

While the Oscars were largely a dry white straight male season, the Emmys are shaping up to be anything but, with acclaimed shows starring women, people of color and characters of various sexual and/or gender orientations. The list of newcomers breaking some rare ground is impressive: "Jane the Virgin," "The Nightly Show," "black-ish," "Empire," "Fresh Off the Boat," "How to Get Away With Murder," "Cristela" and "Transparent."

They join longer-running shows, including "Orange Is the New Black," "The Mindy Project," "Being Mary Jane," "Power," "Scandal" and "Looking," in giving the audience characters and stories from communities that were previously all but invisible on television.

One of the champions of the "normalizing" of TV — the term she prefers over "diversity" — is Shonda Rhimes. Her three ABC shows do so, starting with colorblind casting for "Grey's Anatomy." "Scandal" was the first network drama in 30 years to star a black woman. The newest Shondaland entry, "How to Get Away...

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'Mad Men' stars remember biggest bombshells hurled at them on series

This month, "Mad Men" made its exit, to the dismay of fans everywhere. As the satirical Twitter account ‏@LosFelizDayCare put it in March, "A lot of the children are afraid and asking but the truth is we don't know what life looks like after 'Mad Men.'"

If we can't look forward to more from the series about 1960s admen (and women) and their lives, at least we can look back. From the first episode, the show gave us dramatic, outrageous and stunning scenes that burned into viewers' consciousness — the runaway lawn mower, Betty Draper shooting the bird, the hanging suicides (Lane Pryce and Don's brother Adam), Mrs. Blankenship, Peggy's surprise baby.

Full Coverage: Emmys 2015

Every twist was unexpected, and yet the turns never felt like a soap opera. Instead, the series delivered a weekly commentary on the cultural shifts in American society.

Here, cast members recall the biggest bombshells hurled at them, with series creator Matthew Weiner weighing in.

Christina Hendricks (Joan Harris)

Season...

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Rupert Friend of 'Homeland' will be anyone you want him to be

"Homeland's" Peter Quinn is not to be trifled with: He's a crack shot and a tireless investigator for the CIA, though not without flaws (he's just begun an inadvisable relationship with Claire Danes' volatile Carrie Mathison, and he once stabbed a suspect through the hand). Rupert Friend, who plays Quinn on the Showtime series, may not be an assassin, but he could be. In fact, give him a few weeks of study and he'll be anyone you want. And he's full of surprises: When the British actor sat for an interview in an Italian restaurant near his New York City home, he ordered in fluent Italian, then went on to discourse on everything from Philippine knife-fighting to Ernest Hemingway.

Here's just a taste of what the 2013 Emmy nominee had to say.

FULL COVERAGE: Emmys 2015

You decided to learn Italian after watching "The Godfather," which is an interesting inspiration to take from that film.

It's so rarely spoken, when you find someone who does speak it, it's sort of a secret code you have. Those...

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Emmy Contenders: Mary Steenburgen talks 'Justified,' 'Last Man on Earth'

Mary Steenburgen didn't bring her accordion, but she graciously shared the story about how she came to write a song for Will Forte on "The Last Man on Earth." And no, she can't discuss playing Pornstache's mother on the upcoming season of "Orange Is the New Black" (yet). She can (and did) talk about the beard her husband, Ted Danson, grew for his upcoming role on "Fargo" and how she made him shave it off, even though, for a time, she liked the whole sea captain look.

What we're saying is that although Steenburgen (that's pronounced Steen-bur-jen, despite what you'll hear in the video) says she has long maintained that she's "not that nice," she really is. And she does a pretty great Valley accent.

The 62-year-old actress has enjoyed an amazing run on television this year, much to her surprise ("I kind of thought I'd be gardening," she says) between her turns on "Justified," "Last Man" and "Togetherness."

"It's been an extraordinary year and I've had such a good time," Steenburgen says....

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Emmy Contenders: Thomas Middleditch riffs on 'Silicon Valley,' so much more

As Richard Hendricks in the Mike Judge satire of the tech world, "Silicon Valley," Thomas Middleditch plays on stereotypes with his character's mousy, reclusive demeanor. Yeah, he's sort of a genius, but he's also a fumbling, socially incompetent business leader. He has a penchant for vomiting when under pressure and bungles in his attempts at being taken seriously as he gets his startup off the ground.

In person, the Canadian actor is far less awkward. In fact, when he stopped by the Los Angeles Times recently for a chat, he used his comedy improv background to riff on everything from his addiction to "The Bachelorette," to his costumed attendance at L.A.'s Renaissance Pleasure Faire (or Renfair), to the tasty mixture concocted for Richard to spew when he's anxious and even how Richard just might be the next Walter White.

Take a look at the video above and try to keep up. You can also check out previous Emmy Contender conversations.

 

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