Glenn Weiss on His Emmy Proposal: 'There Was No Plan B' (Exclusive)
By Elizabeth Stanton
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It was the moment that had all of television saying, "Awww!"
ET's Kevin Frazier and Kelitie Knight were backstage with Emmy winner Glenn Weiss and his newly minted fiancee Jan Svendsen, to whom he proposed live during his speech at Monday's Emmys.
Svendsen had no idea the moment was going to happen, though she admitted she's always ready for the camera to go to her during an awards show.
"I'm used to the camera cutting to me when he wins, because they usually do a cutaway. So I was thinking, 'This is my moment,' my three seconds or whatever. But that was unbelievable," Sevendsen said. "I don't really remember. I have to look at the tape, because I don't even know what I did."
Weiss and Svendsen happily rewatched the clip with ET, and both were amazed at the audience's reaction.
"Oh, that's so perfect!" Weiss said when he saw it. "I'll tell you what: What blew my mind here was the reaction, the room reaction. Honest to God, when I thought of doing this -- and in my head, I'm thinking, 'They're going to play me out. No one's going to want me to be doing this.' I really had all that going on in my head. 'What if they don't want...' And then I couldn't even finish what I had planned, because everyone was on their feet, yelling and screaming, which was great! I'm so happy it went that way."
Both missed the entire Microsoft Theater jumping to their feet and cheering them on as the sweet couple only had eyes for each other.
"I didn't see any of that!" Svendsen added. "I didn't even notice that anybody -- I didn't realize that people were standing and clapping. I literally just saw you. I'm walking to you. I don't even know what anybody else was doing."
Svendsen did have some celebrity support urging her onstage even as she was totally overwhelmed.
"I remember Mandy Patinkin going, 'Go up on stage! Go up on stage!' Mandy's, like, pushing me up there," she said.
"I kept running it in my head and timing it with a watch, because I don't want to be played off during the biggest moment of our lives," he said. "So I keep trimming and trimming and taking stuff out, and I'm going, 'God, please don't play me off.' And as the night's going, I'm watching other people speak, the prompter, [thinking] OK, how much are they enforcing? What are they not? I'm kind of getting my head there. I've got to cut it. I still cut some stuff out. I don't even know what made it and what didn't."
The big question is: What would Weiss have done if he hadn't won?
"There was no plan B; our life is a plan A!" he said. "And whatever happens is where it happened. So it happened to happen on the stage. It could've happened somewhere else. You never know!"
The ring had a truly special meaning for Weiss, who mentioned in his speech, before placing the ring on Svendsen's finger, that it had been his late mother's. And Weiss wasn't kidding when he said none of his siblings knew he was going to make his big move.
"I spent time with my dad two or three days ago, when we were still in New York, and I asked him, 'Do you still have -- where's mom's things? Can I borrow this?' I told him what I was going to do, and he was supportive. My dad was the only one who knew what was coming," the 57-year-old said.
Svendsen had been close with Weiss's mom as well, and the two met during -- what else? -- an awards show!
"I met her at the Tony rehearsals, and we used to sit and chat and she ... reminded me a lot of my own mother who passed away, so she became a kind of second mom to me, gave me great advice and would just always comfort me," Svendsen said. "We became friends and pen pals. We used to email each other book recommendations, and I just, I loved her so much."
"Which, at the time, I found weird," Weiss added jokingly. "You and my mom are emailing? What does this mean for me?"
"When his mom found out about us, that we were dating, she went, 'She was my friend first!'" Svendsen explained.
The couple, who have been together since 2001, plans to keep the ceremony simple, despite the epic proposal in front of hundreds of celebrities and an apparent assist from Mandy Patinkin.
"We have lots of friends and family, and we'll keep it really small. I'm not going to go on the celebrity guest list," Svendsen said.
Weiss added, "Just the two of us on the beach."
The Emmy winner has been nominated several times and won in the past, but it's safe to say this win tops the others.
"This is the only Emmy award I've ever won, because this is the prize tonight," Weiss said, referring to his new fiancee.
Svendsen added, "Aw! You see why I said yes?"
Weiss is heading back to work in a couple of weeks for the American Music Awards, but he and Svendsen said first they'd be hitting parties like the Governor's Ball and HBO's Emmy party, among others. At the Governor's Ball, Weiss even picked up a bottle of Sterling Vineyards Iridium Cabernet Sauvignon that he plans to save for a future anniversary.
For more big Emmy moments, check out our coverage below!