Scone-deprived Hollywood gets its fix at BAFTA/LA's Emmy TV Tea Party
Come awards season, casts of nominated series travel the party circuit in packs -- kind of like the Jets and the Sharks but better dressed and sipping Champagne. At least that was the scene at the eighth annual TV Tea Party thrown by the British Academy of Television Arts/Los Angeles -- BAFTA/LA -- at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on Saturday.
"Mad Men," nominated for best drama series, was repped by Rich Sommer, Bryan Batt, Alison Brie and a poised Kiernan Shipka, 10, who was clearly enjoying her trip down the red carpet during her fourth season as Sally Draper.
"The Office," which snagged four nominations this year including best comedy series, contributed Kate Flannery, Oscar Nunez, Phyllis Smith, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner and Creed Bratton. Alas, not among them was nominated series star Steve Carell, who is leaving the show after next season.
As the cubicle crew prepared to walk the red carpet, they bravely pondered the hit series' future without him. "I think it's going to be like any other job where bosses quit and there are mergers and we're going to go on as we always have," said Baker, who plays grumpy Stanley on the show. "We're going to make people laugh, and we're going to go to Steve's house and stalk him and call him, and it will be business as usual."
"We're going to miss him," Smith said.
"I'm not," said the burly Baumgartner, who plays Kevin.
"He feels the same about you," Smith replied.
It's enough to make you cry, isn't it? The large crowd on the lawn behind the hotel sipped tea and wine and snacked on British treats -- crustless tea sandwiches and scones. Mingling between bites were "Damages" nominees Glenn Close and Rose Byrne, "Weeds'" Evan Handler and Madeline Zima, nominee Jesse Tyler Ferguson from "Modern Family," "24's" Cherry Jones and Shohreh Aghdashloo, Anna Kendrick, Julia Ormond, "CSI: Miami's" Eva La Rue, "90210's" Jessica Lowndes and "Hot in Cleveland's" Wendie Malick.
Oh, yes. There were also actual British people there and a few who had just one degree of separation, like "Psych's" Dule Hill, whose pop singer British uncle David Grant was a judge on the BBC talent show "Fame Academy."
Also partying were the U.K.'s "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe and nominees Jonathan Pryce and Michael Sheen. Even though it was the day before the Emmys, the L.A.-based Sheen seemed utterly calm about his first nom for playing Tony Blair in HBO's "That Special Relationship."
"To be honest," he said, "there are things I didn't get nominated for that I thought maybe I would and things I have been nominated for that I didn't think I would, so it's kind of meaningless. But it's lovely."
-- Irene Lacher
Photo: Phyllis Smith and Leslie David Baker of "The Office" take a detour on the way to the scones table. Credit: Alex Berliner / Berliner Photography