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The internet’s finest get candid backstage at the Webby Awards

The internet’s biggest night brought out a mix of celebrities across film, politics, and more–and Fast Company had a backstage seat to it all.

The internet’s finest get candid backstage at the Webby Awards
[Photo: Celine Grouard for Fast Company]

The Webby Awards brought tougher the best of the internet earlier this week in New York City, and Fast Company had a backstage seat in the winners’ lounge. We sat with a wide-ranging group of CEOs, politicians, and actors to discuss a wide range of topics.

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David Harbour on being a 20-year overnight success

“It takes 20 years to become an overnight success. One thing I can say is that I’m really glad it happened when it did as opposed to when I was 25 or 30 because now that I’m 40, I don’t get swept up in it like I would have 10 years ago. I would’ve really believed that there was something about me suddenly that was really interesting and I would’ve been neurotic about it because I would’ve had to hold onto it and figure it out or obsess about it. But now I know that some of success is an accumulation of good work and some of success is being in the right place at the right time. But in general, I know my craft and I know what I do and I know what I love to do.” — David Harbour, Webby winner for Best Actor

David Harbour on balancing his social media brand with his career

“To a certain degree, I’m scaling back. My social media is a true expression of who I am. I’m kind of a lighthearted, weird, sweet guy, but I take my work very seriously. And my only fear is that my personality will interfere with the way you view my characters. The most important thing is that when I play certain role, I want you to see that character. I don’t want you to see David as much. To a certain degree, I struggle with it more in the sense that it seems like a natural impulse because I like to interact with people that way and I get a lot of buzz out of it. But I worry a little about my brand in terms of, I don’t want to be that defined as a personality. I want to be mercurial or chameleon like as an actor.”– David Harbour

[Photo: Celine Grouard for Fast Company]

Dominique Fishback on running her career like a CEO

“You have to be CEO. It’s great to love people to be loved by people that you’re working with. But sometimes if it’s not elevating your artistry or if it doesn’t feel like it’s a right fit, it’s ok to love somebody and let them go if it’s best for the business. I’m being a CEO so I have to start thinking about all the pieces matching together.” — Dominique Fishback, Webby winner for Best Individual Performance (Film & Video)

[Photo: Celine Grouard for Fast Company]

Vicente Fox on living in the age of Trump

“Resist. Everything in this life passes. So this guy Trump will pass and the United States will keep being this great nation with great people and great hope. the United States is the land of the American dream–that will not fade away. Freedom will not be forgotten. And so resist. Change will come.” — Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico, and Webby winner for Best Web Personality/Host (Film & Video)

[Photo: Celine Grouard for Fast Company]

Mitchell Baker on where the fight for privacy and data is headed

“I see two paths: One is that it fades–we’ve had a high point and then we all go back to the rest of our lives and wait for another crisis or trauma to actually get to real action,” she says. “But the optimistic [path] is that we start to understand that these sort of abstract, arcane, technically complex things have a real meaning in life. And it starts to become real that we’re not opening our wallet to pay directly, but there’s a cost. These systems are so profitable and the executives at these companies so unbelievably wealthy because there is a value exchange happening. We have to develop an understanding of that because it’s new to most of us. I’m hopeful as that becomes clearer, we as citizens and consumers can say that’s not good enough–that’s not the right value exchange.” — Mitchell Baker, chairwoman and co-founder of Mozilla, and Webby Lifetime Achievement Award winner

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Steven Soderbergh on making the most with the least

“In terms of shots that never made any version of Mosaic, we’re in the low single digits. I’m always starting from a position of nil–how few shots do I need? If this was a silent movie, what would I be doing to get across the point? And then I’m building out from there.” — Steven Soderbergh, Webby Film & Video Person of the Year

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About the author

KC covers entertainment and pop culture for Fast Company. Previously, KC was part of the Emmy Award-winning team at "Good Morning America" where he was the social media producer.

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