By Andrea G Mandell, USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES -- In Hollywood, the Emmys party is already in full swing.
The awards weekend kicked off at the Entertainment Weekly pre-Emmy party Friday night, where festivities were held at Fig & Olive in West Hollywood.
"This weekend is going to be bananas," predicted Ginnifer Goodwin on the red carpet, having come from shooting ABC's Once Upon a Time. "I don't know when I'm going to sleep."
"Emmy weekend is like a high school reunion," added Kate Walsh. "You get to see all your friends and even if your show's not nominated, it's just fun."
Chris Noth seemed happy to kick Emmys weekend off -- and even more pleased to avoid the official black tie event. "The awards itself, if you're not nominated, you don't want to be there," he said with a chuckle (his co-star, Julianna Margulies, is up for best actress in a drama, but the show was snubbed in the best drama category). "But if you're nominated it's very exciting."
Inside the party, stars hit the photo booth and pals Allison Janney, Sarah Paulson and The New Normal's Andrew Rannells danced to Rihanna while trays loaded with tomato and mushroom tarts and dessert crostinis circled. The crowd included Krysten Ritter, Joe Manganiello, Shenae Grimes, Elisabeth Moss and Jennie Garth.
Most were happy to dish on what's in store for their shows.
Once Upon a Time is "better than last year," said Goodwin. "There's a more mature, tonal layer that gets me excited."
On Modern Family, "there's a lot of stuff going on," said Sarah Hyland. "Gloria's pregnant, Haley got into college." She grinned, adding, "Dorm life for Haley, just imagine."
On The Good Wife, "I'm running for governor," said Noth. "I really don't know if I'm going to win or not. If I do win, I'm getting my own CBS series called The Gov," he joked. He got a bit more serious discussing the political tactics surrounding the current election. "It's scary to me," he said. "I'm a Democrat so I find it scary."
Carrie Ann Inaba did some forecasting on the upcoming All-Stars season of Dancing with the Stars. "I would say keep your eyes on the athletes," she advised. "They have a way of competing that is not like the other people." Her judging style is going to be "way tougher." In terms of scrutiny, "imagine this is Week 11. We're starting there."
Walsh is wrapping up the last season of Private Practice. "I'm totally sad to be leaving my family," said the actress, whose film The Perks of Being a Wallflower opened the same night. "I'm soaking up every second of it," she said. "Change is good but it's also a little scary too."
Over at The Newsroom, Olivia Munn defined the secret to speaking Sorkin: "Study, study, study," she said. "And never ever think that you have got it down." The HBO drama wasn't eligible for an Emmy this year, so Munn was throwing her support over to The Daily Show, where she has been a correspondent. "They're doing (election coverage) great," she said. "I'm such a fan of everybody on that show, obviously. I'm so lucky to be able say that they're my family."
Mark Cuban is still waiting for a phone call about cameoing in new Entourage movie. "I haven't asked Doug (Ellin) yet, I have to call him and find out. We're shooting Shark Tank like every day, so I haven't had a chance to breathe but I better be or I'm going to be really upset," he joked.
It was Rannells' - a Broadway alum - first Emmys weekend (he's hitting the HBO party). He recently went to see the newly installed production of The Book of Mormon in Los Angeles, which he earned a Tony nomination for on Broadway. "It's hard," he admitted. "I went and saw the show last week when it opened and one of my best friends is playing Elder Price, the part that I played, and I'm so happy for him but it was definitely weird. (Book of Mormon co-star) Josh Gad and I went together. (Gad will soon appear on new NBC White House comedy 1600 Penn.)
Rannells said the feedback for The New Normal, Ryan Murphy's buzzy new show about a gay couple who decide to have a child via surrogate, has been "mostly positive. I feel good about it. I think we're finding our audience which is nice. I think our scripts keep getting strong and better and we're excited that people are digging it."
What TV shows do the stars watch? "I cannot wait for The Walking Dead. And I love Homeland because those are my boys from 24," said Happy Endings' Elisha Cuthbert,.
"I got to be on Girls the first season, so I'm very much rooting for Lena (Dunham) for all of her nominations," said Rannells. On his DVR, "I got a couple Hoarders on there. I've got a couple Frontline. And actually, I've got a couple Honey Boo Boo on there too. For work. For research," he laughed.
And it's fair to say that most of the stars attending Sunday's ceremony have picked their gowns by now.
"I've never worn this designer before so I'm really excited," said Hyland. "But I can't say who!"
Munn was a bit more forthcoming. "It's Armani Prive couture," she shared. "It's the first time I'm wearing one-of-the-kind anything."