Even before its big Emmy wins, Fleabag was the most popular topic on the red carpet
Fleabag and its creator-writer-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge pulled off huge upsets at the 2019 Emmys, reigning victorious in four categories, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Writing, Directing, and Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. But even before the British series accepted its first award of the night, it was already the talk of the town on EW and PEOPLE’s pre-show red carpet where the stars couldn’t stop raving about it.
“Fleabag is the best show on TV,” PeopleTV host Lola Ogunnaike said again and again over the course of the red carpet show. She was far from the only one to express admiration for Waller-Bridge’s acerbic comedy (available to stream on Amazon Prime). Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi eloquently expressed her admiration for Waller-Bridge’s work when asked if she had “fangirled” over any other celebrities at the red carpet.
“I totally fangirled already when I met the lead actress from Fleabag,” Lakshmi said. “I met her last night and I was trying to be calm so she doesn’t think I’m a stalker, but I love that show. I love how subtle it is, how layered. It’s just very funny and edgy — in a subversive way. Not just like ‘We’re trying to be raw’ or whatever. It is the things we think of doing in our heads. All those actors are great, not just her, but it was great to see her be recognized.”
Ogunnaike and her fellow hosts said at the beginning of the red carpet that they’d love to talk to Waller-Bridge. Unfortunately, she never came by, though several of her costars did. Sian Clifford, who was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy for her role as the older sister of Waller-Bridge’s character, did have some bad news for fans, confirming that there will be no season 3 of Fleabag.
“I’m so sorry to report that that’s not happening. This is it, we’re done!” Clifford said. “I was pushing for a third season, until I saw that final episode. And then I knew it was right that it ended. It just felt complete. Phoebe is an artist of uncompromising integrity and I just have to bow down to that.”
Fleabag love wasn’t limited to the red carpet. Waller-Bridge won Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and Writing in a Comedy Series, while Harry Bradbeer won Directing in a Comedy Series for his work on the show. Waller-Bridge earned uproarious cheers from the audience for both her wins.
Waller-Bridge came into this Emmys with long coattails. Fiona Shaw also earned a nomination in Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. On the red carpet, she told EW editor-in-chief J.D. Heyman and PeopleTV host Andrea Boehlke how her role came about after previously working with Waller-Bridge on the first season of Killing Eve.
“She rang me up and asked, ‘Will you come up and do a bit on Fleabag?’” Shaw recalled. “At first I said I was too busy, but I hung on, and suddenly a free day came up. Not only did she write me a little scene, but she continued to rewrite it. She wrote it as we went along! I can’t tell what a joy it is to be nominated for something we wrote as it went along.”
Lest anyone think the women of Fleabag are self-centered, as Shaw was leaving the EW and PEOPLE red carpet presenters she came across Sarah Snook, who was coming to discuss her role as Shiv Roy on Succession. Shaw gushed over Snook, telling her, “You’re so wonderful. You’ve changed our lives. I hate being here tonight because you’re on tonight and I want to know what happens!”
Watch the full red carpet video above.