Like a proud father, Baton Rouge native and "Westworld" actor Louis Herthum will be watching the Emmys on Sunday night, hoping for a win for his on-screen daughter, Evan Rachel Wood.
Wood portrays Dolores Abernathy opposite Herthum's Peter Abernathy in the critically acclaimed HBO sci-fi series set in a futuristic amusement park run by humanoid robots. Guests can have their fantasies indulged — for a price. The western thriller, in its freshman season, earned 22 Emmy nominations, including the biggie, best drama series.
"Well, it’s not really something we discuss on the set, but I can assure you everyone is very excited about the possibilities for the show," Herthum said from his Los Angeles home only days before the awards show. "With 22 noms, we should at least take home a handful. I would love to see the show take the big prize (best drama series), but what I think I would most like to see is a win for the actors, especially Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood."
Herthum shared a scene in the series pilot with veteran actor Hopkins, who plays amusement park mastermind Dr. Robert Ford. Hopkins last won an Emmy in 1981 for his portrayal of Adolf Hitler in the film "The Bunker," which aired on CBS.
It would be the first Emmy win for Wood, who was nominated in 2011 for outstanding supporting actress in the HBO miniseries "Mildred Pierce."
With the perennial winner and HBO juggernaut "Game of Thrones" out of Emmy consideration this year — it didn't air an episode between the Television Academy's June 1, 2016, and May 31, 2017 parameters — the best drama series competition has opened up considerably. Likewise, there's speculation on whether "Westworld" will take over the top of the TV culture heap when "Game of Thrones" bids farewell in 2018 or 2019.
"Yes, I have been hearing that for some time now. And I agree. The scope and grandeur of the show is what sets it up to take over that lofty position," Herthum said. "There really isn't anything else out there as big and ambitious."
Those behind Netflix's "Stranger Things" might beg to differ, as it's also a top contender for best drama this year, and another possible heir to "Game of Thrones' ” well, throne. "Stranger Things" had an eight-episode first season in 2016, and the nine-episode second season will be available Oct. 27.
Set in the 1980s, the sci-fi series follows a group of teens who discover a new world called the "upside down." There's a superhuman character named Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), aliens, and a support cast that includes Matthew Modine, Winona Ryder and Baton Rouge's Joe Chrest.
Chrest, a film acting teacher at LSU and an actor for 20 years, plays Ted Wheeler, the father of Mike, whose friend goes missing in the upside down.
Either way, Herthum plans to watch the ceremony from home before heading off to the HBO after-party. The Emmys, like other Hollywood awards nights, are preceded and followed by party after party.
"This morning, I attended a 'Made In Hollywood' event, which honors Emmy-nominated shows. I was there representing 'Westworld' and, along with HBO executive Jay Rowe, accepted an award honoring the show's 22 Emmy nominations," Herthum said. "I also attended the GoldDerby.com Emmy party back in June, which really kicks off the Emmy season, and the Emmy Members party in August. And I plan on attending another Emmy Peer party this weekend and possibly the Entertainment Weekly party."
Herthum laughed at the mandatory red-carpet question — "Who will you be wearing?"
"There are not currently a lot of designers breaking my door down to dress me. But for the Emmy (Members) party, I was dressed by Ben Sherman," he said. "For the Emmy night HBO after party, I will be dressing myself, wearing one of my favorite suits. It’s a black suit that belonged to my dad (the late Louis Herthum) and is vintage 1969-70. I have never heard of the suit maker and doubt anyone else has either. But I love that suit and get a lot of compliments when I wear it."
Workwise, shooting for Season 2 of "Westworld" is "well underway," the actor said. "I also appear in the latest season of 'Narcos' now out on Netflix (Season 3, Episode 3), and guest star in the first episode of 'Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders' drama, which starts Sept. 26 on NBC. I'm also in an indie horror film titled 'Be Afraid,' which just hit Netflix."
Forrestall goes to the Emmys
Gonzales native and actress Shanna Forrestall attended her first Emmy Awards in 2016. Here's her take on the big Sunday night event:
ON GOING TO THE SHOW:
"I'm really looking forward to it. We had a great time last year. We are able to go because I'm a member of the Television Academy, and we sit up high, but it's a great night and a good excuse to dress fancy."
"I absolutely loved 'Westworld.' And I'm so proud of Louisiana boy Louis Herthum for his work on the show. I thought all of the cast were amazing, and I'm happy that Thandie Newton is up for supporting actress in a drama series. I think she's just lovely and did beautiful work on the show."
ON HER OTHER FAVORITES:
"I'm also a big fan of Robin Wright; her role in 'House of Cards' has been flawless.
"I'm excited, too, about 'The Night Of' being nominated. I am a huge fan of the series, and I thought the writing and the character work by John Turturro was very well-done and exciting to watch, and the evolution of Riz (Ahmed)'s character was extremely organic and well-timed. I really felt for this kind boy who was turned into a hardened man out of the need to survive."
ON WHAT SHE'S WEARING:
"I am really excited to be wearing a custom dress by Romey Roe this year. We met a few years ago at New Orleans Fashion Week and became friends. This past year, I was lucky to wear some of his pieces on the red carpet while hosting for NOFW 7, and we arranged for me to get a dress from him for the Emmys. I love his work and feel very privileged to be wearing one of his amazing gowns this year."
'69th Annual Emmy Awards'
WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday
CHANNEL: WAFB, Channel 9 (cable Channel 7 in Baton Rouge and Lafayette) and WWL, Channel 4 (cable Channel 3 in New Orleans)
HOST: Stephen Colbert ("The Late Show with Stephen Colbert")
Emmy nominees in major categories
Best Drama Series
"Better Call Saul"
"The Handmaid’s Tale"
"House of Cards"
"This Is Us"
Best Comedy Series
"Master of None"
"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Best Limited Series
"Big Little Lies"
"Feud: Bette and Joan"
"The Night Of"
Best Actress in a Drama Series
Viola Davis, "How to Get Away With Murder"
Claire Foy, "The Crown"
Elisabeth Moss, "The Handmaid’s Tale"
Keri Russell, "The Americans"
Evan Rachel Wood, "Westworld"
Robin Wright, "House of Cards"
Best Actor in a Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown, "This Is Us"
Anthony Hopkins, "Westworld"
Bob Odenkirk, "Better Call Saul"
Matthew Rhys, "The Americans"
Liev Schreiber, "Ray Donovan"
Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards"
Milo Ventimiglia, "This Is Us"
Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Pamela Adlon, "Better Things"
Jane Fonda, "Grace and Frankie"
Allison Janney, "Mom"
Ellie Kemper, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"
Tracee Ellis Ross, "Black-ish"
Lily Tomlin, "Grace and Frankie"
Best Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, "Black-ish"
Aziz Ansari, "Master of None"
Zach Galifianakis, "Baskets"
Donald Glover, "Atlanta"
William H. Macy, "Shameless"
Jeffrey Tambor, "Transparent"
Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Carrie Coon, "Fargo"
Felicity Huffman, "American Crime"
Nicole Kidman, "Big Little Lies"
Jessica Lange, "Feud: Bette and Joan"
Susan Sarandon, "Feud: Bette and Joan"
Reese Witherspoon, "Big Little Lies"
Best Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Riz Ahmed, "The Night Of"
Benedict Cumberbatch, "Sherlock: The Lying Detective"
Robert DeNiro, "The Wizard of Lies"
Ewan McGregor, "Fargo"
Geoffrey Rush, "Genius"
John Turturro, "The Night Of"