By Brandi Fowler
Sep 18, 2018 @ 4:30 pm
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Academy Awards Director Glenn Weiss stole the show at the 2018 Emmys when he pulled a surprise proposal for his girlfriend Jan Svendsen during his acceptance speech for Outstanding Directing. The entire auditorium was shook: Leslie Jones stood up in shock, Betty Gilpin and Claire Foy were standing side by side wiping tears, and even reporters in the nearby press room were tearing up, clapping, and sitting at their tables with their jaws dropped.

VIDEO: The 2018 Emmys Red Carpet Best Looks of Them All

But as Weiss sent celebrities and social media into a frenzy, one question remained: what would have happened if he hadn't won?

When Weiss and Svendsen stepped into the Emmys press room after the big moment, InStyle got the lowdown on the proposal heard around the world — and what was running through Svendsen’s mind when it went down.

What would you have done if you hadn’t won (as far as proposing)?

Glenn Weiss: Waited until next year. No. I suppose In-N-Out Burger, which is like our staple after award shows.

Was the plan always to propose if you won?

GW: No. You can’t come in and plan this. It became thought, and the thought picked up steam. That’s how we got here. The timing just lined up very nicely, and it was a really magical moment.

Have you talked to your families yet?

GW: No, we’ve been back here and thrown all over the place. We haven’t spoken to anybody yet.

It must have been nerveracking to walk a red carpet with a diamond ring in your pocket. Did you have any idea, and what was going through your mind when this was all going on?

GW: I will say this, that it’s not a diamond ring, it’s my mom’s wedding ring, which to me is more valuable than a diamond. It’s obviously precious to me. Yes, walking around the red carpet when nothing’s happening with this thing sitting in my pocket was kind of a nerve-wracking experience to be honest with you. It was such a valuable thing sitting right here, but now it’s where it belongs.

Jan, did you have any suspicions?

JS: I had no suspicions whatsoever. I had no idea. He’s usually so eloquent in his thank you speeches, so I was just so grateful that he won, and I really hoped he was going to dedicate the award to his mother, and he did, and then some. I’m still processing this.

GW: And I want to say thank you to Hamish Hamilton, who’s directing tonight’s show, who took the cue, because, obviously, I didn’t speak to him. So I couldn’t even say, hey, buddy, this might happen, because it’s just awkward. The [camera] was on her at the right point. I’m so glad to see the replay of that.

Jan, what it was like walking up those stairs and watching your now-fiancé kneel before that crowd at the Emmys?

JS: I can’t even put words to it. As I said, he’s done so many awards shows, and I worked on the Tony Awards for many years, so I’m used to going up and down the stairs, and actually one time I fell down the stairs. But walking up, it was surreal, and it feels like this is supposed to be what it was supposed to be. It just feels right, because he was getting an award himself, and as a director and producer, on stage with his friends and family around, and others gathered around the television watching, it just feels right, and we always felt right. So I’m beyond ecstatic.

How will you two celebrate? You mentioned In-N-Out. Is that something you think you’re going to do?

GW: I think we’ll probably hit more parties than we thought we were going to hit tonight. So, I don’t know if we’ll make it as far as that. But honestly, we’re going to celebrate...it's going to be a long night.

 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.