What the Nominees Think About the 2020 Emmys Going Virtual (Exclusive)

Emmy Nominees 2020
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Hugh Jackman, Catherine O'Hara and others open up about a virtual Emmy ceremony and adapting to the current situation.

One day after the nominees for the 72nd Primetime Emmys were announced, it was reported that the ceremony will go virtual this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. While ABC and producers for the event have yet to confirm any details, ET did speak to several of the nominated stars about how they feel about the awards being handed out virtually and not being able to gather together at the annual celebration, recognizing the best of the past TV season.  

“If it’s safe and everyone feels it’s the right thing to do, absolutely,” Hugh Jackman, who is nominated for his first-ever Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for Bad Education, said of holding an in-person ceremony, adding that “it’s important for us all to come together.” But given the current circumstances, the actor believes they will “find a way” to hand out the Emmys virtually. “I tell you, one positive about it being virtual is no one will be hiding [booze in] their pocket. There will just be a bar off-screen.”

He also said he’ll still get dressed, even from home. “But I can’t promise from the waist down,” he quipped. 

For Nicholas Braun, who is up for his first Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series for Succession, it’s a bittersweet moment. “I would love to be with everybody on this night, you know, no matter what happens,” he said of reuniting with many of his co-stars who are also nominated. “It would be great to all be dressed up and be able to party and do all this stuff together. I also just haven't seen anybody in so long and so this would have been a great way to get together.”

But when it comes to the ceremony itself, Braun doesn’t mind it being virtual. “I’m thrilled to be nominated. I'm psyched for the show to be nominated for so much,” he said, adding that he hopes to make the most of it at home. 

“It’s actually good because I can bring more than just one person. Normally I think you just get a plus one and now I can, like, have a bunch of people over to my house. I was thinking maybe putting up a projector and a screen on my rooftop and watching it there with some people,” he continued. “So I don't know. It'll be different, but it's still the Emmys.”

When asked about how he would feel about attending a virtual ceremony, Dylan McDermott, who is nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for Hollywood, said simply, “Whatever it is or shape it takes, I'm just happy to be there... It doesn't matter to me as long as there was recognition of the work.”

Like Jackman, he too plans to dress up and make a night of it -- even from home. “These moments don't come too often in life, you know?” he said. “So for me, this is going to be one of the fun times to actually celebrate.”

Meanwhile, Catherine O’Hara, who is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the final season of Schitt’s Creek, has already been part of several virtual events during the pandemic and said that she -- and Moira -- are more than ready to call in.  

“Well, Moira has now already been part of a virtual graduation,” the actress said, referring to YouTube's Dear Class of 2020 special. “I think Moira’s very proud of the way she recorded herself at home [and] doing her own hair and makeup. So, in Moira's defense, I would say she would be totally into it. Although Moira would definitely have a lot of empathy for the stylists of the world.”

Speaking to the importance of the awards, even amid the pandemic and unsettling times, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel actor Luke Kirby, an Emmy winner last year and nominee again for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, said, "It's such a peculiarly quiet and yet troubling time, but it's also full of hope for a better world."

He continued by adding, “This whole Emmy thing serves as a nice reminder that the wheels of entertainment are still being greased and set in motion, and hopefully someday [we] get back to doing what we love.” 

According to multiple outlets, producers sent letters to some of the nominees, revealing their plan to go virtual. While it included few specifics about what the ceremony will look like, the letter explained that the producers “are assembling a top notch team of technicians, producers and writers to work closely with [host] Jimmy Kimmel and with you and your team, to make sure that we can film with you (and loved ones or whomever else you choose to be with) at your home, or another location of your choice. We’re going to make you look fabulous – we’re exploring the cutting edge of technology to allow to use good cameras and lighting and look forward to working with you to produce your unique 'on screen' moments.”

As ET previously reported, Kimmel will return to emcee his third Emmys ceremony following the 64th event in 2012 and the 68th in 2016. The awards are still scheduled to be handed out during a live broadcast Sunday, Sept. 20 on ABC.

--Additional reporting by John Boone, Meredith Kile and Philiana Ng