Four decades after his first nomination, now was the right time for Henry Winkler’s first Emmy, he told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY after winning Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
Henry Winkler, 72, is a television veteran. He was first nominated for a Primetime Emmy in 1976 for his most well-known role, The Fonz, on Happy Days. He was an Emmy nominee four more times after that, again for Happy Days, as well as his roles in Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids? and The Practice. Henry finally took home a trophy after the 2018 Emmy Awards on Sept. 17 after winning Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Gene Cousineau on Barry, starring fellow Emmy winner Bill Hader. But the legendary actor doesn’t think his Emmy is long overdue! HollywoodLife caught up with Henry after the award show, and one of comedy’s most respected figures EXCLUSIVELY spilled to us about his first Emmys win.
We asked Barry if now was the right time to win his Emmy. “You know what, it seems to be,” he admitted to HollywoodLife in the press room. “It is the time. It is actually the moment I won and it has got to be right!” He later added in the group panel that winning was “wonderful,” mentioning that he’s been “nominated before.” And while the crowd in Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater loved Henry’s speech, which he joked that he wrote “43 years ago,” Henry thinks he left out some honorable mentions. “Oh, but I didn’t get to thank the kids in my class who make me a great teacher,” Henry told us. Funnily, Henry plays an acting teacher on Barry, who gives lessons to Bill Hader’s character, Barry Berkman. Earlier this year, HBO put up fake advertisements of “Acting Teacher Extraordinaire” Gene M. Cousineau on Manhattan’s buses and subway cars, with Henry’s face on them. The actor added, “And I didn’t get to thank HBO… Who put us on the air.”
We then asked if Henry anticipates another win at the next Golden Globes, which will take place on Jan. 6, 2019. “Oh, I have no idea. I won many years ago for Happy Days and then Heroes, but I have no idea. But I’m excited for now,” he mused to us. Henry’s being modest — he won Best Actor for a Television Series Musical or Comedy consecutively in 1977 and 1978 for his role in Happy Days. Later at the HBO after-party in West Hollywood, Henry dished on what it’s like to work with Barry‘s star Bill, who won the coveted award for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series at the 2018 Emmys. “I will tell you when he is producing, he is not a comedian, he is focused and serious,” Henry revealed. “He would write the script, he would mouth it with you even if he was in your scene. You’d have to remind him we are acting together, I can see your lips moving. He would say to me, ‘Henry, please just once say it the way I wrote it so I could hear it.’ And my mind and my mouth are not always friends. So I said, ‘I’m trying.’”
So, how does it feel like to hold an Emmy trophy? “It feels unbelievable. On Wednesday, in two days, we start the second season and I’m on this great show,” Henry told us at the HBO bash. “I was 27 when I started doing the Fonz. I’m now 72 and I’m standing right here in front of you with her,” and proceeded to hold up the award for us to admire. Henry ends on a topic not everyone knows about: his dyslexia. “You know what, I’m very dyslexic. And I don’t know that I could have done anything else,” he admitted, referring to his acting career. “It was never in my mind, in my body, in my heart to do anything else. And every job is like a puzzle. It’s like a big puzzle. And all the pieces are a shade of blue and I have to put them together each time. So it is like an amazing challenge every time, no matter how big or how small, in order to create a living breathing human being so that I can be on this stage with her.” He proudly lifted his trophy once again.
So, did Henry really write that speech 43 years ago? Well, he might have been exaggerating a tad. “No. That was another speech,” the jokester told us. “Different people. I forgot to thank HBO. I wanted to say for everybody that works between the roof and the lobby on both coasts, they took such good care of our show. I forgot that.”