Emmy winners: The backstage reactions

Posted at 3:26 PM, Sep 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-23 15:28:22-04

By Breeanna Hare

(CNN) — Claire Danes’ hot streak at the Emmys is making her a bit bashful.

The 34-year-old “Homeland” actress told CNN backstage that she was a bit overwhelmed to be this year’s outstanding lead actress in a drama winner.

“This is preposterous,” Danes said. “It’s wonderful, and I’m very, very grateful — and it’s a little hard to accept, you know?”

Danes has played the troubled but brilliant intelligence officer Carrie Mathison on Showtime’s “Homeland” since 2011, and Sunday night’s win marked her second victory in a row as lead actress in a drama.

“I get shy, but I don’t mean to reject it any way. I’m so touched by it, so grateful for it,” she said. “I’m going back to work, and this will be a lovely thing to pass around the crew, and people can take photos with it. The point is the work itself.”

Michael Douglas was more embracing of his big honor — the movie star landed his first Emmy for his work in the TV movie “Behind the Candelabra.”

“This is what you dream about,” he told CNN. “I got one of the best parts of my life, and my co-star Matt Damon was brilliant.”

During his acceptance speech, Douglas made sure to shine the spotlight on Damon, who was also nominated in the outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie category for “Behind the Candelabra.”

“Thank you so much to the great performances by all the other nominees, but obviously, there’s one nominee in particular that I really have to thank. This is a two-hander,” Douglas said with a laugh, holding the Emmy.

“And Matt, you’re only as good as your other hand. You were magnificent, and the only reason I’m standing here is because of you. So you really deserve half of this. Do you want the bottom or the top?”

Damon, who’d been laughing along with the rest of the audience, responded, “Top.”

Douglas seemed in jovial spirits in spite of some recent personal turmoil. (The actor separated from his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones.) He admitted the role of Liberace was one of the best parts he’s ever had.

“This was one of the best two or three scripts I’ve ever had in my life,” he told CNN. “I have nothing but the fondest memories, and the fact is this all came about right after my whole cancer spell. So one day, I’m thinking about mortality, and then the next (director) Steven (Soderbergh) comes and says, ‘We’ve got this great project, and Matt’s going to play your partner’ … and here we are.”

The award for the biggest upset of the night went to Jeff Daniels, who won the outstanding lead actor in a drama Emmy, snagging it from odds-on-favorite Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad.”

Visibly shocked when he took the stage to receive his first Emmy, the “Newsroom” actor admitted — while chewing gum, “Well, crap … didn’t expect this. I usually don’t win anything.”

Daniels later told CNN backstage he was just being honest.

“I’ve been nominated a few times, but it always goes to somebody else, and you kind of get used to that,” he said. “It’s a wonderful feeling. It’ll probably hit me on Wednesday.”

CNN’s Nischelle Turner contributed to this report.

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