By Meredith Blake
12:30 PM PDT, September 23, 2013
Sometimes, winning really is the best revenge. Just ask Anna Gunn.
The actress, who stars as Skyler White in "Breaking Bad," took home her first Emmy on Sunday night — for supporting actress in a drama series — a fitting rebuke to the small but vocal minority of fans with an irrational dislike for her long-suffering character.
The acclaimed AMC series, which will have its much-anticipated series finale Sunday, was also named outstanding drama for the first time, following three previous nominations.
In her acceptance speech, Gunn thanked series creator Vince Gilligan, calling him a "mad genius." What she could have said, but didn't: "Take that, haters."
Skyler's repeated efforts to stand up to her husband, a bland high school chemistry teacher who transforms himself into a ruthless drug lord (played by three-time Emmy winner Bryan Cranston), has made her the target of vitriol in Internet comment threads and on profane Facebook pages.
The enmity became so intense that last month, Gunn published an op-ed in the New York Times addressing the issue. Her character, she wrote, "has become a flash point for many people's feelings about strong, nonsubmissive, ill-treated women."
Backstage at the Emmys, Gunn stopped short of characterizing her win as a vindication for Skyler, but saw it as an encouraging sign.
"I'm glad there's people back there who enjoy Skyler," she said.
Gunn was the only performer from the show's ensemble to emerge victorious from the Nokia Theatre on Sunday night. Costars Aaron Paul, Jonathan Banks and Cranston were nominated but did not win.
Gunn was just one of many first-time winners at this year's Emmys, an awards show that is often criticized for being predictable and repetitive. This time around, however, the telecast was full of so many surprise outcomes it spawned a hashtag, #weirdemmys.
First-time winners in addition to Gunn included Michael Douglas of "Behind the Candelabra," Bobby Cannavale of "Boardwalk Empire," Tony Hale of "Veep," Jeff Daniels of "The Newsroom" and Merritt Wever of "Nurse Jackie," who, clearly caught off guard, gave one of the more memorable acceptance speeches in recent memory.
"Thank you so much. I gotta go, bye," she said, sprinting offstage.
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