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September 21, 2009|Denise Martin and Greg Braxton and Jessica Gelt

The acting talent passing through the press room backstage at the Emmys was astounding. There was Glenn Close and Jessica Lange. And over there, Alec Baldwin and Bryan Cranston. But among seasoned entertainment journalists, everyone played it cool. Until J.T. stepped into the room, that is. After winning his second Emmy for his work on "Saturday Night Live," Justin Timberlake came backstage and was positively ambushed. Feet were stepped on, people were knocked over. "I was shocked," he said of his rowdy reception, just before he was pulled away again.

-- Denise Martin

For Iranian-born actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, winning an Emmy (for her role in the TV movie "House of Saddam") possibly meant more than it did for her peers. "I'm hoping that this award will bring more shows and more light on the injustices in the world, not just in the Middle East but all over the world. Especially with what's happening in Iran right now." The green bracelet adorning her wrist was worn in solidarity with the young people engaged in civil disobedience in Iran, she said.

Losing their cool over Timberlake

Keeping the cause in her thoughts

-- Greg Braxton

You don't have to compete to win

Toni Collette seemed uncomfortable backstage when asked how she felt winning for lead actress in a comedy when Tina Fey was favored. "I really don't think about that stuff. I don't believe there's competition in art. I just got dressed up and came here. I hope that this means I get to work on this show and with these characters for a long, long time." With a follow-up from one reporter about "the year of the cougar" -- in which older women make plays for younger men -- an annoyed Collette noted, "I just think it's someone else's fantasy."

-- Greg Braxton

It's always a good time to tone

After making a bid for work on "30 Rock," "The Office" and "24" while accepting the Emmy for her performance in the now-canceled "Pushing Daisies," a weeping Kristin Chenoweth was greeted backstage by the cast of "How I Met Your Mother." Jason Segel gave her a bear hug and told her, "That was the sweetest speech." She squealed a thank you as hunky Mario Lopez handed her a glass of champagne and showed her how to do bicep curls with her shiny statuette.

-- Denise Martin

For Newhart, a bit like old times

For Bob Newhart, being at the Emmy Awards was like old times -- he's been nominated five times over the years and has also hosted the show. "Things have changed a lot since then," noted the 80-year-old nominee for supporting actor in a miniseries or movie. Indeed, they have; no one on the red carpet paid the frail-looking comic much attention at all.

-- Jessica Gelt

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