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Al Pacino, Claire Danes celebrate their Emmy wins at HBO's star-studded post-party [pictures]

August 30, 2010 | 10:32 am

61440998[1] Truth may be stranger than fiction, but it's also more compelling, if the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards are any indication. Two vastly different individuals -- right-to-die activist Dr. Jack Kevorkian and Temple Grandin, an autism and animal-welfare advocate -– were the toast of HBO's lush post-Emmy party at the Pacific Design Center, along with their Hollywood  doppelgängers -- Al Pacino and Claire Danes -- who took home the gold for their performances in the cable network's biopics "You Don't Know Jack" and "Temple Grandin."

"If it's a good script about a real person, the reality of it, the credibility of it heightens the drama," Pacino said. The controversial Kevorkian had just left the cluster of VIP tables for "You Don't Know Jack," where Susan Sarandon, who played euthanasia advocate Janet Good, sat chatting with friends.

The doctor may not be much of a party boy, but Grandin, who came garbed in a black western shirt and pants, seemed to be enjoying the spotlight.

HBO Emmy party pictures
"It's very, very exciting," she said as she posed for photos with the glamorous Danes, whose actor husband, Hugh Dancy, had stood guard over her Emmy while she made a pit stop.

"The thing is, I have to get back to work," Grandin said. "I have a lot of autism talks I'll be doing, livestock talks I'll be doing and I've got tons of e-mail and letters saying the movie inspired them, and I have to keep educating people."

HBO always had a lot to celebrate, and this year was no different -- with its tally of 25 Emmys, the network beat all its competitors for the 11th consecutive year, and its party lured many faces not seen on the red carpet. (Click the picture of Emmy attendees Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin, above, to launch a gallery of HBO party arrivals.) Fortunately, HBO's inventive event designer, Billy Butchkavitz, had transformed the fountain plaza outside the Pacific Design Center into palace grounds for outdoor partying. The theme was ...

61441026[1] ... "summer safari" -- the place was a riot of animal patterns in Lily Pulitzer pink and lime green. Drummers and dancers in bikinis and sarongs performed on balconies overlooking three dance floors, but the action, as always, was inside the VIP tent, where industry networkers began to reach critical mass around 10:15 p.m.

Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, executive producers of "The Pacific," which won for best miniseries, chatted with HBO execs about the World War II series' surprisingly enthusiastic reception in Japan.

As "Sex and the City's" Evan Handler, who recently wrapped up the fourth season of Showtime's "Californication," visited his old stamping ground -- "I like to think I'm an honorary HBO-er unto eternity" -- he marveled at his casting in two sex-comedy series. "The older I get and the more weight I gain," he said, "the more people ask me to take my clothes off on camera."

Nominee Larry David chatted with Robert Wuhl, who played a sports agent in HBO's "Arliss." David commended Wolfgang Puck's spread of short ribs, creamed corn and onion rings, but he'd clearly curbed his enthusiasm about the Emmys. "I'm told we lost," he said. "I couldn't really care less about it."

So what was the best part about the night?

"Probably going home," he said.

-- Irene Lacher

Photos, from top: Al Pacino and Dr. Jack Kevorkian celebrate Pacino's win for "You Don't Know Jack" at the Pacific Design Center on Aug. 29, 2010. The real Temple Grandin embraces her Hollywood doppelgänger, Claire Danes, at the HBO party. Credit: Jeff Kravitz