Attendees packed the Directors Guild of America for An Evening with Ryan Murphy, Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon. And by packed, lines were forming outside the DGA in Hollywood, only to be turned away as the venue hit full capacity. Every seat was filled, with a few people volunteering to stand just so they could be a part of the evening.
The evening kicked off with a screening of Feud: Bette and Joan. The episode shown to the enthused crowd was “And the Winner is…(The Oscars of 1963).” It was the Oscar episode filled with visual goodness and outstanding performances from both Lange as Joan Crawford and Sarandon as Bette Davis.
The episode also featured that spectacular Steadicam shot with Murphy tracking Crawford from the Oscar stage and backstage. During the panel, director, writer, and creator Ryan Murphy said they rehearsed that shot for days, shooting it with over 150 extras.
“I was so interested in that shot and adamant about taking viewers through the experience of going from stage to backstage.” He joked, “I wanted that sensory experience and my favorite part was that I got to be Joan Crawford.”
Lange couldn’t attend the event for personal reasons and sent a heartfelt speech which was read out by her Feud: Bette and Joan co-star.
— @jazzt (@jazzt) August 11, 2017
Murphy’s episode not only highlighted everything about the Oscars, the bitchery, and the scheming, blending in the motivations of the iconic acting legends, including the campaigning. The episode also highlighted Joan’s preparation for the ceremony which saw her take to the stage to accept the Best Actress Oscar on behalf of Anne Bancroft.
As Crawford glides past Davis to accept the Oscar, it’s a truly heartbreaking and devastating moment on so many levels. The audience seemed thoroughly engrossed in revisiting the FX show which originally aired back in April. The episode stood as strong and powerful as the actresses on screen.
Murphy talked about the importance of working with women both on-screen and behind the cameras. He confirmed that both Lange and Sarandon are now producers on Feud Season 2 which he confirmed would focus on Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
“Change for me happened when I said I wanted to do something different,” Murphy said. “Two years ago only 15% of my shows were directed by women.”
Through his Half Foundation, Murphy said, “I’ve gone from 15% to 60%.”
With a huge round of applause the panel with featured guests Murphy, Sarandon, Costume Designer Lou Eyrich, and Production Designer Judy Becker wrapped.
The guests spilled out into the atrium of the DGA gushing over the episode, the show, the production, the acting, and of course, the Emmys as music from the show and 60’s played. Feud: Bette and Joan received a total of 18 nominations.
Will Feud: Bette and Joan go home with the Emmy for Best Limited Series? I think so.