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2010
SUNDAY, JUNE 13, 2010
Live at Radio City Music Hall

Alan Cumming Celebrated His Tony Win with a 'Snog Competition'

Alan Cumming Celebrated His Tony Win with a 'Snog Competition'
Photo by: Bruce Glikas

Alan Cumming

My friend Andrew and I had a snog competition to see who could kiss the most people before bed.

Alan Cumming burst onto the New York theatrical scene with a dazzling performance as the Emcee in Sam Mendes' 1998 revival of Cabaret at Studio 54. In a very competitive Best Actor Tony race (the other nominees were Ragtime's Brian Stokes Mitchell and Peter Friedman and The Scarlet Pimpernel's Douglas Sills), Cumming won the prize. These days, you can see Cumming as an oh-so-serious political operative on the hit TV show The Good Wife and headlining cabaret shows in support of his solo CD I Bought a Blue Car Today. Below, the charmingly cheeky star recalls his big night with Tony.

Which year did you win your first Tony?
1998

For which role and show?
Emcee in Cabaret

Where were the awards held?
Radio City Music Hall

Who hosted?
Rosie O'Donnell

What did you wear?
Black leather Hugo Boss suit and black T-shirt

Who was sitting next to you?
Camryn Manheim

Who did you think would win your category?
Me! I couldn't really admit that at the time—at the time, I wanted anyone to win because I wanted the whole evening to be over. It was so nerve-wracking.

What was the first thing that ran through your mind when they said your name?
To run! During the commercial break they had advised that they were running over and to make speeches shorter, so I thought, “RUN to the podium!”

Did you forget to thank anyone?
No

Did you cry?
I nearly did, and did later on the phone to my Mum who saw my acceptance speech on Scottish news before I could call her.

If you could relive that night, would you change anything?
I snapped at my dresser changing back into my Hugo Boss after performing. He understood it was nerves, but I wouldn't do that if I were able to do the evening again.

Who were you most surprised to hear from after the win?
Highland Springs. They saw me run on stage holding a bottle of Evian, which Annette Bening held for me while I received the award. They thought that I should have been drinking Scottish water!

Did winning a Tony change your life? How?
It means that I'll always have the prefix "Tony Winner" and it gives you a certain kudos, which although irrational is palpable.

What's your biggest memory of the night?
My friend Andrew and I had a snog competition to see who could kiss the most people before bed. I was shameless and said, "I won a Tony and I want to snog you!" Naturally, I won!

What's the best piece of advice you can offer for getting through Tony night?
Have your friends around you.

Where do you keep your Tony?
On the mantel in my office.
 

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