The director who won an Emmy Monday evening for his work on the Oscars — then stunned the crowd by proposing on stage to the woman he loves — joined his new fiancee backstage at the Microsoft Theater and called the engagement “magical.”
“It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in my life and it became a thought and the thought picked up steam as we got here,” director Glenn Weiss said. “It was a really magical moment.”
Weiss and Jan Svendsen met while working on the Tony Awards, and they have been together for roughly 10 years.
Weiss’ mother died just two weeks ago and he dedicated his win to her before making the even more dramatic move of proposing. Weiss didn’t tell anyone about the idea other than his father, who he had to ask permission to give Svendsen his mother’s wedding ring.
His mother would have approved, Weiss said, telling reporters he would always find his mom and his girlfriend off talking in a corner.
“(My mother) would always say, `She was my friend first,’ and she was,” Weiss said.
He said he hasn’t had a chance to talk to anyone in his family yet, because the couple was immediately swept backstage for interviews.
Svendsen said the day began “like a regular day for us” because Weiss works on a lot of awards shows and she has spent plenty of time backstage, including as chief marketing officer for the Tony Awards. “I never expected this.”
For Weiss’ part, it was “kind of a nerve-wracking experience” carrying the engagement ring in his pocket. It’s not a diamond ring, but a wedding band that is “more valuable than the Hope Diamond” to him.
“But now it’s where it belongs,” he said.
Svendsen said she was still processing the moment.
“Thank you for not playing us off,” she said to the show’s producers.
It was “surreal” and yet “it feels like this is the way it was supposed to be. It just feels right,” Svendsen said, talking about all their friends at the awards and also gathered around televisions watching the show.
Weiss said he didn’t have a “plan B,” and said, “If this didn’t happen in this way, something equally big and surprising would have happened.”
“Thank you for saying yes,” Weiss told his fiancee.
The couple, who have five daughters between them, expect they will have a long night of celebration ahead.
“I think we’ll probably hit more parties than we thought,” Weiss said, smiling.