The thing we will definitely remember about the 2019 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series is that it went to Jodie Comer for her excellent turn in Killing Eve. But what we cannot forget is that on her way to present the award, Gwyneth Paltrow moved across the stage with a walk so delicate it seemed like her body would fall apart if she moved any faster — just limbs in danger of dropping right on the floor if she loosened her posture even the slightest bit.
Clearly we’re dealing with a wardrobe issue here. Paltrow obviously did not select her dress with mobility in mind (unlike Viola Davis, who wore sneakers during her presenting bit). The combination of heels, a sleek skirt with apparently rigid fabric, the hand stuck clutching the garment so as to allow her feet room to move, and the long shawl that needed to stay in place all amounted to a kind of binding around the actress. The abbreviated steps, the motionless shoulders, the single swinging arm — it’s like watching a cyborg in beta test make her awards-night debut. But of course, Paltrow maintained an unflinching smile during the entirety of the long walk, because a professional knows how to adapt. Let’s take a look at that full video again and celebrate with the memes of the internet.
Update, September 26, 3:20 p.m.: Team Paltrow has finally spoken out on the actress’s memorable Emmy walk. As Paltrow explained to Today’s Savannah Guthrie, she was wearing a couture Valentino gown from 1963 that did not have a slit anywhere on the skirt, and since she’s not a monster, she did not want to savagely modify the dress by adding one. Paltrow, however, doesn’t “totally get” what any of the fuss was about, since she thought she looked “pretty normal.” But that assertion opens a whole new Pandora’s box, because we’ve either been seeing Paltrow walk this way her whole career and just never noticed, or she’s gaslighting us into thinking that’s the truth. Regardless of the long-term mechanics of Paltrow’s walk, though, her stylist will have none of this slander about the Emmy walk being weird. “In 1963 there were no back slits!” Elizabeth Saltzman told The Hollywood Reporter. “It was not that she was having this fabulous walk, which she already has. In order to keep the dress authentic, I didn’t want to change Mr. Valentino’s design.” Do you hear that? Fabulous! Don’t forget it!