As Matt Smith of “The Crown” accepted an offer of tea at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ tea party in Beverly Hills, he said, “It’s lovely to have a nice civilized tea. Tea and scones always make us feel as though we’re back on the Royal Britannia.”
And yes, he should know a thing or two about royalty from his English upbringing. About his role on the multi-Emmy-nominated Netflix series, Smith said, “I feel privileged to play Prince Philip. He’s a wonderful, interesting, complex man, and it’s a real joy.”
As for playing Queen Elizabeth, the Emmy-nominated Claire Foy said, “I love it. It’s hard work but it’s also fun and enjoyable. I thought I knew about the queen, but then when you really get to know someone, it really revolutionizes the way you feel.”
The Saturday afternoon affair, held in the Gardens at the Beverly Hilton and sponsored by BBC America and the Great Britain Campaign, celebrated achievements in television by honoring this year’s Emmy nominees from Britain, the United States and elsewhere.
Among the celebrity crowd that stopped by the event were Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley and Emmy-winner Gerald McRaney of “This Is Us”; Evan Rachel Wood and Angela Sarafyan of “Westworld”; Judith Light, Jeffrey Tambor, Trace Lysette and Amy Landecker of “Transparent”; Ann Dowd, Yvonne Strahovski and Madeline Brewer of “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Natalia Dyer, Joe Keery, Gaten Matarazzo, Noah Schnapp and Shannon Purser of “Stranger Things”; Matt Walsh and Tony Hale of “Veep”; Tracee Ellis Ross of “black-ish”; Alison Wright of “The Americans”; and Kiernan Shipka of “Feud: Bette and Joan.”
Any predictions about what will win best comedy? Perhaps “Veep”? Walsh, an Emmy nominee for supporting actor in a comedy, said, “It’s a horse race. There are really good shows in that category. It could be any of us.” He then added, “Do I think we should win? Sure.”
Sarafyan said she’s, of course, rooting for her series, HBO’s “Westworld.”
“I really don’t like to make guesses because I don’t want to jinx anything, but I have my fingers crossed,” Sarafyan said about the chances for “Westworld” in the drama series category.
She said she thought of the show’s meaning as “the awakening of consciousness” and then compared guests at the fictional future resort to drivers alone in their cars.
“I think you see people at their most honest when they’re driving in their cars,” she said. “That’s when they reveal who they are.”
However, one guest at the tea party was sure about his Emmy chances. That’s because McRaney already won one at last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys for his turn as a guest actor on “This Is Us.” About the early win, he said, “I was avoiding the rush.”
He then recalled the moment his name was announced, saying, “I had a delayed response, wondering, ‘Did I hear right?’ Then I turned to my left, and my wife was crying profusely. So I assumed that, yes, I had heard it right.”
For many of the guests, the BAFTA event was one of several parties on the road to Emmys night. In this party-packed weekend, Shipka was already at her fourth pre-Emmy event with one more to go.
“The Emmys only come around once a year. So you’ve got to embrace [the weekend],” said the “Feud” actress, also known for her role on “Mad Men.”
“I’m the type of person that usually just hangs out with friends,” she continued. “I’ve been known to stay in on Friday and Saturday nights, so I’ve got to push myself out there sometimes. But this is the perfect time because I get to see people that I love.”
Ellen Olivier is the founder of Society News LA.
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