Julie Bowen of “Modern Family”
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Emmys 2012: Overheard at the awards

Julie Bowen of “Modern Family”
Julie Bowen spent much of her time backstage extolling the virtues of Sofia Vergara, saying her costar inspired her to wear a form-fitting neon green fishtail dress. Plus, Bowen added: "[Sofia] doesn’t get the credit she deserves as an actress -- she gets it as a celebrity ... but only a few of us understand that what she does is not play herself.”

As for those infamous nipple covers Bowen mentioned so many times during her speech, Bowen said she wanted to reference “those little bits of rubber” to get rid of some of “the artifice” of Hollywood.

“We don’t pretend to be important in the way international events are,” she said. “But I love that Ann Romney and Michelle Obama said ‘Modern Family’ was their favorite show. That means our show is a place where people can sit on the couch and laughing is the only thing that matters.”  (John Shearer / Invision / AP)
Julianne Moore of “Game Change”
When Moore was asked what she thought Sarah Palin’s response to her win might be, she was coy. “I really don’t know.” Then she added: “This is not as much about Sarah Palin as it is about the process. It’s an examination of how we pick our leader. That to me was what was so compelling about this film.” (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Jessica Lang of ‘American Horror Story’
“It’s like doing a different film,” Lange said backstage, talking about being the only member of the “American Horror Story” ensemble to be returning to the show for its second season. “To revisit it was less interesting to me than starting afresh with a whole new place and time and character and story circumstances. I’m actually enjoying it.”  (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Sofia Vergara of ‘Modern Family’
On winning: “It’s unbelievable [...] I’m living the dream.” On her dress, the topic of much discussion: “I love it because it’s very sexy.” (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Kevin Costner of ‘Hatfields & McCoys’
“I just have to say that, looking at this thing, it reminds me a little bit of the Olympics, you know, the Olympic sports in London,” Costner said from the podium. “But it doesn’t seem like much of a sport, you know, this trophy here.”

Backstage, Costner was asked to explain what he was thinking at that particular moment.

“When you have 40 seconds, a lot of things come flooding through your mind,” Costner said. “I couldn’t help but think of the Olympics and how a lot of the sports kind of look like this trophy, sports that didn’t seem that much like sports to me.”  (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Aaron Paul of “Breaking Bad”
“I cried in [Giancarlo Esposito’s] arms and said, ‘It doesn’t make sense to me that I was on that stage and you’re not,’” Paul said backstage after winning the Emmy for supporting actor in a drama. “I didn’t know what to say to him. What he did with Gus Fring was so incredible. It’s so bizarre that I’m standing here right now.”  (Photo by Al Seib / Los Angeles Times )
Alec Baldwin of “30 Rock”
“With the show ending, this is a bittersweet day for me,” said Baldwin. “But my wife is about to be in a yet-to-be-announced fitness/health show, and she’s going to make a million dollars and be the next Jane Fonda.”

Hilaria laughed and nodded. “Jane Fonda looks so good!” (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
John Cryer of “Two and a Half Men”
“When Charlie and I were going on the show together, the show really rested on Charlie,” Cryer said. “The show was really structured around his character, so it was silly for me to be in the lead character [category]. That’s changed. It’s more of a partnership,” he said, referring to the addition of Ashton Kutcher to the CBS comedy.
MORE: Jon Cryer on life and awards after Charlie Sheen (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Claire Danes of ‘Homeland’
Claire Danes said she was surprised about “Homeland’s” win over “Mad Men.”

“We didn’t make the show just to, you know, undermine them,” she said.

“We’re delighted and thrilled and a little startled by this. I don’t think anyone was expecting to be recognized like this right off the bat, but it feels pretty niiiice.” (Los Angeles Times)
Damian Lewis of “Homeland”
After sweeping the dramatic acting categories at the Emmys on Sunday, “Homeland” stars Damian Lewis and Claire Danes are planning to celebrate in a very special way.

“We’re going to go away to a romantic island together, just for the weekend,” Lewis kidded backstage after picking up his gold statue. “When that baby is a ginger, you guys are going to have a field day.”

On a more serious note he added, “The show succeeds in being a thrill ride ... it turns out that people like to feel anxious and get their pulses racing on a Sunday night. It’s politically current and that grounds it in a reality -- and people are responding to it for that reason.” (Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)
Louis C.K. of “Louis”
“I’m better than I was before, and hopefully I’ll be better later too,” he said, adding that being in New York with a “better group of people” has helped his new FX program.

“Whenever you leave behind failure, you’re doing good. If you think everything you’ve done is great, you’re probably dumb. ... I’m older now too. Older people are smarter and funnier.” (Joe Klamar / AFP / Getty Images)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus of “Veep”
“What do I watch?” Julia Louis-Dreyfus mused, contemplating a reporter’s question backstage after taking home the top comedy actress prize. “Colbert, ‘The Daily Show,’ ‘Meet the Press,’ ‘Face the Nation,’ CSPAN.”

“It’s an amazing time in politics,” she said. “It seems front-and-center right now in our lives, and there’s a lot of good, rich material out there from which to glean -- and not parody. But [there are] little morsels that we can take away almost every day, it seems.”  (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)
Eric Stonesteet of “Modern Family”
“We know this isn’t going to last forever,”" Eric Stonestreet said. “We’ll be the old show in a couple of years, or maybe even next year. Who knows?”  (Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)
Steven Levitan of “Modern Family”
“Modern Family” co-creator Steven Levitan admitted backstage he was a bit surprised to win the Emmy for comedy series directing.

“My money was on ‘Palestinian Chicken’ to tell you the truth,” Levitan said, referring to the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode he was up against. “Those were incredible co-nominees in the category.”

I’m praying that everybody doesn’t get sick of us,” Levitan says of “Modern Family’s” three-year run of success at the Emmys.  (AFP / Getty Images)
Allison Williams of “Girls”
“This is just a little bit exciting,” Allison Williams joked, clearly thrilled. “You dream that other people will get your vision, but when they do it’s hard to believe. It feels like hitting the jackpot.”

Williams says she’s honored by the “Sex and the City” comparisons the show has been getting.

“That show meant so much to me and the other cast members growing up,” she said.  (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)
Matthew Weiner of “Mad Men”
“Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner still can’t believe his brainchild is such a hit.

Of his cast, he says, “They’re very important to me. So are the actors I get to work with, the different parts of my personality I get to express and the writers I get to exploit.”  (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)
Julianne Moore: Career in pictures