Before Monday night, Glenn Weiss had already taken home 14 Emmys. So you couldn’t blame him for wanting to change up his acceptance speech a little bit.
The Oscars director, who was awarded an Emmy for Directing for a Variety Special at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, used his time on stage to propose to his girlfriend, Jan Svendsen, who sat in the audience.
After thanking his children and co-workers, he said:
“I’m really grateful to be here, but it’s bittersweet. The person most proud at this moment would be my mom, but she passed away just two weeks ago. My heart is broken, I don’t think it’ll ever be repaired. But she’s in me. And she always will be. Mom always believed in finding the sunshine in things, and she adored my girlfriend, Jan. Jan, you are the sunshine of my life, and Mom was right: Don’t ever let go of your sunshine. You wonder why I don’t like to call you my ‘girlfriend’? Because I want to call you my wife.”
As the audience erupted, Svendsen laughed, cried and said, “Oh my god!” She stood and said yes, but Weiss called back, “I didn’t ask yet!”
Svendsen stepped up on stage as Weiss pulled a ring from his pocket, noting that it was the same one his father had given his mother 67 years before. “Jan, I want to put this ring on your finger that my mom wore in front of all of these people and in front of my mom and your parents watching from above. Will you marry me?” As he sank to one knee, she nodded yes, then pulled him to stand so they could kiss.
“Thank you to the Academy!” Weiss said.
Later, Weiss told reporters backstage that he probably would have proposed later in the evening, maybe at the Governor’s Ball or during a late-night run to In-N-Out Burger, if he hadn’t won. “It became a thought, and the thought picked up steam as we got here,” he said. “The timing just lined up very nicely, and it was a really magical moment.”
Svendsen added a thank-you to Emmys director Hamish Hamilton: “Thank you for not playing us off!”
What did you think of the surprise proposal?