Emmys 2014: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bryan Cranston kiss and tell

Bryan Cranston, who won the Emmy for lead actor in a drama, plants one on Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won the Emmy for lead actress in a comedy, at the 2014 awards ceremony Monday.
(Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

The bout of tonsil hockey between Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Bryan Cranston was one of the few matches with an exciting outcome at Monday’s Emmys.

When Louis-Dreyfus won the Emmy for lead actress in a comedy series, it hardly came as a surprise. It was her third consecutive win in the category. And maybe one should have expected an amusing gag to accompany it -- considering the humdinger she gave us last year with the aid of Tony Hale, who plays her steadfast assistant on HBO’s “Veep.”

Yet, the interaction she had with Cranston upon hearing her name called had tongues wagging -- not just their own.

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The seed had been craftily planted under our nose. When the two co-presented an award earlier in the telecast, Cranston reminded Louis-Dreyfus of the time he played her love interest in an episode of “Seinfeld” (Cranston guest-starred as joke-loving dentist Tim Whatley). In the bit, Louis-Dreyfus claimed not to remember the episode.

But an 11-second kiss? Who could have seen that coming?

“Well, I think it’s not a question of why, but more a question of why not?” Cranston teased to reporters.

When a reporter quipped that the clip would likely go viral by morning, Cranston, ever the jokester, replied:

“Are you saying she has a virus that I’m not aware of?”

Louis-Dreyfus told reporters backstage that careful planning went into the gag.

“When Bryan and I were talking on the phone about what we were gonna do for the presenting bit we were sort of going through it -- and then it dawned on me as we were speaking that this would be a nice Part 3 of the group. I asked my husband if he was OK with that and he said sure and Bryan checked with his wife and she said sure. ... Obviously, I might not have won. That was very stiff competition. So we worked it so that the presenting stuff would hopefully have worked on its own.”

In commenting on how Cranston measures up in the kissing department more than two decades later, Louis-Dreyfus gave him her seal of approval.


“You saw it on TV, you tell me,” she told reporters. “It was pretty good, I think? He went for it. I appreciated that. He goes for it in everything he does.”

But what did Hale -- who we should point out knew how to get down when “Turn Down for What” blared on a dance floor at HBO’s after party -- think of Louis-Dreyfus new boy toy at the Emmys?

“Wasn’t that a long kiss?” Hale told the Los Angeles Times, who noted she had filled him in on her plan over the weekend. “I mean, I was like, uh, guys, can you breathe? Are you OK? Do you need a mint? I can’t wait for the GIFs. They must already exist, right. I need them.”

The Internet is here for you, Tony.


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