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Festivities get stars ready for Monday's Emmys

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LOS ANGELES -

Most everyone was still a potential winner as nominees stepped out this weekend to celebrate in advance of Monday's Emmy ceremony.

Festivities began early Saturday afternoon, with the annual BAFTA L.A. TV Tea event, sponsored by the Los Angeles branch of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, which brought out, among dozens of others, nominees from the hit Brit drama "Downton Abbey."

"It's great fun because you get to see everyone before the big day," said actress Michelle Dockery, who portrays the Abbey's Lady Mary Crawley. "It's also ("Downton" actress and nominee) Joanne Froggatt's birthday," Dockery continued, sliding into a joke: "So, it's great! They're putting on all these parties for her."

Froggatt, who actually turned 34 on Thursday, is nominated for playing Lady's Maid Anna Bates. "I think there's four possible parties tonight," Froggatt said. "I don't think I'll make all four. I'll see how my stamina holds out. But, then, tomorrow is quite quiet, just the evening-before party and then the big day."

Among Saturday's other major Emmy-related bashes: the Television Academy's performers nominee reception as well as the "Variety" and Women in Film pre-Emmy celebration.

Like Dockery and Froggatt, actress Mayim Bialik is an Emmy veteran. She has three nominations, but no wins, for her portrayal of neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler on the sitcom "The Big Bang Theory."

"I usually have Thai food before I go to the Emmys," Bialik said. "I usually put on mopey emotional music, just because it lets me feel something, so I'm not numb with all my anxiety."

When asked about Emmy-day rituals, nominee Jim Carter, best known as "Downton" butler Mr. Carson, replied playfully, "I always check that my fly is up. I think that is essential. I wash thoroughly. And I stand upright. And that's about as close as I can get to a routine, I'm afraid."

Laverne Cox, who lost out in the guest actress in a comedy category to her "Orange is the New Black" co-star Uzo Aduba at last weekend's Creative Arts Emmys, showed team spirit when discussing Monday's comedy-series competition. That's where "Orange" could break "Modern Family'''s four-year winning streak.

"I love the gang at 'Modern Family,'" Cox said, with a sly smile. "But it's time for a new show. Of course, I'm biased," she added.

"Orange" nominee Kate Mulgrew said just getting the role of prison chef Red meant she had the prize.

But that's not the attitude of "Fargo" nominee Billy Bob Thornton, who explained, "You know how people say, 'Well, I've been nominated. I feel like I'm already a winner'? I look at it a different way. I look at it like, 'I'm already a loser,' and it's much easier."

Copyright 2014 Associated Press

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