British actor Damian Lewis has won an Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in Homeland.
It was one of the surprise upsets of the evening, with Lewis beating out hot favourites Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad and Mad Men’s Jon Hamm.
In a more predictable development, Dame Maggie Smith picked up a statue for her portrayal of the grand Dowager Countess of Grantham in the hit series Downton Abbey.
‘I’m one of those pesky Brits, I apologise,’ said Lewis, after he climbed on stage to accept his award.
‘I don’t really believe in judging art, but I thought I’d show up just in case.’
The Londoner, who plays U.S. Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody in Homeland, was joined at the awards night by his wife Helen McCrory, who dazzled on the red carpet in an elegant floor-length Luisa Beccaria cream gown.
‘What an extraordinary honour to be in a category with these golden actors setting a gold standard in acting in a golden age of TV,’ Lewis said.
‘The cast that I work with who are delightful and enjoyable to dine with but especially to the two ladies who’ve suffered me the most, Claire Danes and Marina Baccarin. You’re both beautiful and it’s enjoyable working with you, every minute of it.
But Lewis saved ‘the biggest thank you of all to the leading lady of my life Helen McCrory, I adore you darling, thank you for being here’.
He continued: ‘My two children at home thought daddy had been nominated for an Emma.
‘Well, Manon and Gulliver, Daddy just won an Emma.’
At press interviews backstage, Lewis joked with reporters that he and his pregnant Homeland co-star Claire Danes, who won the award for best actress, were planning to celebrate in a very special way.
He said: ‘We’re going to go away to a romantic island together, just for the weekend.
‘When that baby is a ginger, you guys are going to have a field day.’
Accepting Homeland’s award for best drama, executive producer Alex Gansa praised its ‘irresistible’ lead actor.
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