Let the parties begin!
The 70th annual Emmys may not be until Monday, but the festivities began Friday night with stars and execs hopping from one party to the next.
Here, Variety is breaking it all down — who was where and what they were doing.
Make sure to keep checking back right here throughout the weekend for all the latest news about the hottest parties.
BAFTA Los Angeles + BBC America TV Tea Party
Beverly Hilton Hotel
An outdoor afternoon tea in Beverly Hills is the perfect escape from the late-night craziness of Emmys weekend.
Just ask the Brits and non-Brits who gathered in a garden at the Beverly Hilton for three hours of scones, cucumber sandwiches and, of course, tea. For those looking for something a bit stronger, tucked into a corner of the party was a Ketel One vodka bar.
RuPaul arrived with ‘Westworld’ star and nominee Thandie Newton. They’ve been friends for quite some time, they told Variety and have been working on getting Newton to make an appearance on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
“I’ve been trying for two seasons but I’m either shooting ‘Westworld’ or back in London,” Newton said. “We nearly managed it this year but it didn’t quite come together.”
While on their way out of the party, RuPaul introduced Newton to Bravo reality star Lisa Vanderpump.
Sandra Oh was the last bold faced name to arrive, but no matter because the red carpet press stuck around just for her. The “Killing Eve” star was quickly introduced to BAFTA-LA president Chantal Rickards and spent some time inside chatting with BBC America president and general manager Sarah Barnett.
Oh made history this year when she became the first Asian woman to be nominated for an Emmy in the lead actress category. “It feels good,” she said. “It feels great…I’ve been doing this for a very long time and I’m extremely grateful to be able to hold this not just for myself but for my whole community.”
Also seen at the party were ‘This Is Us’ star Justin Hartley, Jay Duplass, Alice Eve, Sarah Drew, Adina Porter, Camilla Luddington, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Abbie Cornish, Angela Sarafyan, Charlie Heaton, Janet Mock, Marcus Scribner, Ross Butler, Hal Linden and Lynn Whitfield.
Tatiana Maslaney proved just how serene things were at the BAFTA party by ditching her heels to enjoy the party barefoot.—Marc Malkin
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel’s Rooftop by JG, Beverly Hills
Now it can be told.
Stephen Colbert’s freshly grown snowy beard is coming off soon. So said “Late Show” producer Chris Licht as he waited for a drink at WME’s pre-Emmy gathering.
“It’ll be gone after the Emmys,” Licht predicted. Colbert came back from his Labor Day hiatus with a layer of peach fuzz that he decided to keep until after the Emmy Awards just for kicks, Licht explained. Colbert joked the other night on the show that Alex Trebek of “Jeopardy,” who also recently added some facial hair to his look (dubbed the #TreBeard by Twitter fans) had stolen his look. (“My wife really hates it,” Colbert also admitted on Friday’s edition of “Late Show”).
Balmy weather and a great view looking down Wilshire Boulevard made the rooftop a cozy spot for the kick off to an elongated Emmy weekend. The move of the ceremony to Monday this year — to make room on NBC’s gridiron for “Sunday Night Football” — means an extra full day of parties on Sunday before the main event. “It’s all about pacing,” said one attendee with a full schedule over the next 48 hours.
Ari Emanuel made his way through the crowd as Niecy Nash, who is currently shooting Ava DuVernay’s “Central Park Five” mini-series, hugged a fan who gushed that he was obsessed with her TNT drama series “Claws.”
Tiffany Haddish, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, Amazon’s Jen Salke, NBCUniversal’s Bonnie Hammer, “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris, “GLOW” co-creators Carly Mensch and Liz Flahive, AMC Networks’ Josh Sapan, HBO’s Casey Bloys, Lionsgate’s Sandra Stern, FX’s Nick Grad, Nat Geo’s Carolyn Bernstein, YouTube’s Susanne Daniels and showrunner Greg Daniels, Max Greenfield, LL Cool J and “This Is Us” star Milo Ventimiglia were among the boldface names making the rounds.
Most of all partygoers buzzed about the stunning downfall of Leslie Moonves and the pending union of Disney and 21st Century Fox. A number of those who will be affected by the move said there still wasn’t a whole lot of clarity about how the new hierarchy will shake out with the joining of ABC Studios, 20th Century Fox Television, Fox 21 Television Studios and more production assets. Some opined that Emmy weekend was a welcome distraction from the office drama.
It wouldn’t be a Hollywood party these days without an installation to provide a kind of digital party favor. Tracey Ullman shot four custom GIFs at the Bosch light station that was set up for custom shots. ABC Studios’ Patrick Moran stopped for a quick snap. So did “Broad City’s” Arturo Castro.
The menu included mini lobster sliders and French fries. A dessert station offered churros with strawberry and blueberry dipping sauces. Stickers on small bags of chocolate chip cookies assured guests that the bite size treats were — of course — “gluten, dairy, nut, & soy free.”
Others spotted in the crowd that swelled after 9 p.m.: Hulu’s Craig Erwich, 20th TV’s Jonnie Davis, Sony Pictures TV’s Chris Parnell, NBCU’s Bill McGoldrick, Paramount Network’s Keith Cox, MC’s David Madden and Susie Fitzgerald, ABC Studios’ Howard Davine, Amblin TV’s Darryl Frank, CBS’ Peter Golden, producers Warren Littlefield and Graham Littlefield and E!’s Adam Stotsky.—Cynthia Littleton
Audi Pre-Emmy Party
La Peer Hotel, West Hollywood
Audi’s annual pre-Emmy bash welcomed med a slew of nominees and TV’s finest. “Insecure” star Issa Rae arrived at the fete fresh off a plane from NYC, where she hosted Rihanna’s Diamond Ball the night prior, to celebrate her first-ever lead actress nomination. Fellow lead nominee Milo Ventimiglia was sporting a clean-shaven look, which he explained is for the upcoming season of “This Is Us.”
“We’re going to see a younger Jack, hence no mustache or beard or goatee,” Ventimiglia told Variety before stepping into the party. “We’re going to see this creation of a man that people have fallen in love with.”
Inside the La Peer hotel, “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris schmoozed with industry-ites, “Agents of SHIELD” actress Chloe Bennett was hanging with her beau, digital star Logan Paul, and “Modern Family’s” Sarah Hyland made it date night with her “Bachelor” boyfriend, Wells Adams. Celebs, agents and TV writers munched on passed trays of lamb meatballs, which a waitress warned “are not gluten free,” avocado tacos and orange meringues, and lots of prosecco and rose, which was free-flowing at the indoor/outdoor poolside 80-degree evening event, proving that although fall TV season is upon us, summer is definitely not over yet in L.A. Other guests included “The Handmaid’s Tale” stars Samira Wiley and Madeline Brewer, “Westworld’s” Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton, who made a quick pit-stop for a photo on the red carpet, Boyd Holbrook, who skipped the red carpet in the midst of the “Predator” drama, “Iron Fist’s” Finn Jones, Rumer Willis, Frank Grillo and more.—Elizabeth Wagmeister