Macfadyen's "actual wife" Keeley Hawes also got a shout-out during the actor's acceptance speech
Matthew Macfadyen has many people in his life to be thankful for.
During Monday's 75th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, the actor, 49 was declared the winner of the outstanding supporting actor in a drama series category.
The 2023 nominees were an HBO festival, with Succession's Macfadyen, Nicholas Braun, Alan Ruck and Alexander Skarsgård facing off against The White Lotus stars F. Murray Abraham, Michael Imperioli, Theo James and Will Sharpe.
"Acting with you has been one of the most wonderful things in my career. Thank you, Nick. Thank you, sir. It's been a joy," he added, before concluding, "Thank you to my actual wife, Keeley, my love and my best friend for being here."
One week before Monday's ceremony, Macfadyen won a Golden Globe for his efforts in Succession's final season. The English actor used his acceptance speech to note how he "adored every second playing the weird and wonderful human grease stain that is Tom Wambsgans."
He then joked, "Tom Wambsgans CEO — God help us," referencing his character's ascension in the HBO show's series finale.
"My love, thanks, and admiration to [creator] Jesse Armstrong as always," he added. "And to all our extraordinary writers, I'm too shared to named them all 'cause I’ll forget them all, and I won’t sleep. To Adam McKay, to Francine Maisler, HBO, to all our wonderful directors and producers and, of course, our gorgeous crew and cast, who I miss very much. Thank you."
Elsewhere in the category, Abraham was one of several stars from The White Lotus to be recognized with an Emmy nomination following a successful and thrilling second season. In the series, he played Bert Di Grasso — a father to Dominic (Imperioli) and grandfather to Albie (Adam DiMarco), both of whom joined him on a multigenerational trip to Italy to explore their Italian heritage.
The actor previously noted that Bert, who has an old-school way of thinking when it comes to his view of women and how he approaches them, is "completely out of step with the present day."
"One of the reasons I think he gets away with some of the outrageous things he says is that he's so innocent about it. And he's not ashamed. He's not censoring himself," he told GQ. "I have to tell you, these days, especially in our business, you have to be censorious about your thoughts. About how you express yourself. I come from Bert's era. I'm not proud of that whole era, of course. I'm a feminist, actually. And that's the last thing that Bert is."
Like his Succession costars, Braun has received multiple Emmys nominations in the past for his efforts on the HBO drama, which concluded in May 2023.
Braun noted that bidding farewell to his beloved character, Cousin Greg, was "a bit of a bummer."
"When you're making a show — and we're all signed for seven seasons in our contract —you're at the whims of the writing and HBO and anybody else who can make a decision. It's cool, it's not up to us, and there was something kind of nice about that there's an end point," he previously told The Globe and Mail. We now had to make the most of this season and know that this was going to be the last time that I worked with a lot of these people. It's not going to be an ongoing thing for 10 years in my life."
Upon starring as sex-addicted Hollywood producer Dominic Di Grasso on The White Lotus, Imperioli has been able to play another character of note that's rooted in their Italian heritage following his time on The Sopranos. He was able to visit and stay in Sicily, Italy, while filming season 2 of The White Lotus.
Opening up about how portraying such characters allowed him to better understand his background, the actor told The Hollywood Reporter: "I was around 25 when I first went to Italy, and I went to Rome, which is where my family’s from. It was a very profound experience — I was really overwhelmed."
"I broke down in tears, and I don't really know why. There were things that really seemed very familiar," he continued. "Sounds, people's voices, faces, smells, light. Yet it was foreign — it was familiar and foreign. I had never had that experience. I’d been to other different countries, and I was always a foreigner. And I was a foreigner in Italy, yet there was a strong connection to it."
Throughout the run of The White Lotus's second season, James' character Cameron Sullivan drummed up lots of conversation for his many questionable behaviors, including having an affair with a local prostitute. The British actor previously said playing the problematic businessman "was definitely a process."
"I needed to frame him in a way in which I liked him myself. If you need to play someone convincing, even if it’s the most abhorrent person, you need to find pieces of the person in yourself," he explained to The Hollywood Reporter. "You need to find pieces of the person that you enjoy and like. He was funny in a way because I ended up liking him or convincing myself that I liked him — so much that when I was watching the show, I was reminded of what an abhorrent person he was."
James continued, "I was like, 'No, but he's a great guy. He may do terrible things, but he’s effusive and charming and he loves people around him.' But in a way, he’s part sociopath, because he's bent on disruption. That’s his kind of main thing. He gets off on disrupting everyone around him."
Ruck has shined since Succession's 2018n debut as the often forgotten oldest Roy sibling Connor. And this year's Emmys ceremony marked the first time he had been recognized by the Television Academy for his efforts.
Looking back on the show's fourth and final season, the Ferris Bueller's Day Off actor admitted he was happy the HBO drama didn't outstay its welcome.
"The truth is, we've all known on the show since June," Ruck told Empire in March 2023. "And I think it's the right time to end it in terms of the struggle to see who’s going to take command of this empire. A fifth season would have been drawn out, and if it just faded away, that would have been a disgrace."
Sharpe's White Lotus role as tech genius Ethan Spiller marked a shift in his career. Before joining the HBO series, he had often worked behind the camera as a director, writer and producer for film and television projects.
"I do remember those conversations where people are discussing what [project] they’ve just come from, and I’m realizing I had been in the director’s chair for three years,” he told the Los Angeles Times last June.
"I definitely was aware of the oddness of suddenly being a part of the show. But I had missed it — and one of the things that really made me miss it was I'd just done Landscapers," he continued. "Watching brilliant actors like David Thewlis and Olivia Colman — watching them have such a good time — that was very gratifying to me as a director but also really made me miss that process and the thrill of that."
Skarsgård was first introduced in Succession's third season as Lukas Matsson, the billionaire CEO of tech streaming media giant GoJo.
The Swedish actor's character — who became a series regular in the fourth and final season — planned to buy the Logan family's media conglomerate Waystar Royco.
"He's, obviously, quite an eccentric character," Skarsgård told Entertainment Tonight. "It was a lot of fun coming in with that energy 'cause it clashes so much with the somber mood and state they're in when he shows up."
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