Courtney B. Vance celebrated his bittersweet “Lovecraft Country” Creative Arts Emmy win by paying tribute to his late co-star Michael K. Williams and not sugarcoating his feelings regarding the hit HBO series’ cancellation.
Vance took home the Emmy for guest actor in a drama category for his role in the 2020 sci-fi/fantasy series during the Sept. 12 ceremony and made sure to honor Williams, who passed away suddenly Sept.6, at the event.
Williams and Vance played brothers Montrose and George Freeman, respectively, in the series, but met years before. According to the “American Crime Story” star, the brotherly connection shared onscreen extended beyond acting, making Williams’ untimely death “too painful to really think about.”
“Michael did everything with his full heart open, with his infinite spirit, and with way too much style,” said Vance during his acceptance speech. “May he rest in power and let us all honor his immense legacy by being a little more love-forward, a little more endless in thought, a little bit more swaggy in act.”
Following the awards ceremony, Vance wasn’t shy about voicing his confusion over the series’ cancellation after it received a largely positive critical response and strong ratings and seemed to insinuate race as a factor by drawing “Game of Thrones” comparisons.
“I’m sad for audiences that we don’t get to see, like “Game of Thrones,” don’t get to see seven, eight years of following these characters and learning more about the time period and learning about our people and our struggles and where [showrunner] Misha’s [Green] mind was going to go,” he told reporters. “So that’s very painful for me as a fan and me as an actor.”
He added, “I don’t understand it; it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t make sense to fans and that’s all who matter. We set everyone up and then we don’t deliver for whatever reason and I’m tired of it, I’m tired of that scenario. They can find a way to make a “Game of Thrones” but not a ‘Lovecraft Country.’ “
Although “Lovecraft Country” was originally intended to be a one-season mini-series, the show’s success opened doors for discussions about future seasons. Show creator Misha Greene even shared a tidbit of what could have been with fans on Twitter after cancellation news broke.
“A taste of the Season 2 Bible. Wish we could have brought you #LovecraftCountry: Supremacy. Thank you to everyone who watched and engaged. #noconfederate”
Vance made sure to give Green her due and ended his night “on a more positive note.” “But on a more positive note, the future is bright,” he said. “Misha is at Apple TV [with an overall deal] now and her fingers still work so I’m sure we will be hearing from her and I hope we clean up on the rest of this evening and next Sunday.”
Lovecraft Country landed 18 Emmy nominations total and along with Vance’s victory, also won a Creative Arts Emmy for sound editing for a comedy or drama series. Williams is up for best-supporting drama series actor in what is projected to be his first win.
The 73rd Annual Primetime Emmys airs on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 8:00 PM ET.