09/18/2016 19:55 EDT | Updated 09/19/2017 01:12 EDT

Emmys 2016: Canadian Tatiana Maslany takes home best actress in a drama

Canadian Tatiana Maslany took home the Emmy for best actress in a drama series for her multiple roles on the cult hit clone series Orphan Black.

"It is really an honour to be part of a group of actors who I really look up to," the Regina native told CBC's Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge in a sit-down interview before the show. 

"But it feels very separate from my life and what I do. It's this weird other world that is very flashy and very like — yeah just not my — I don't think anybody's normal experience of anything is the Emmys.​

Rami Malek too him his first Emmy for his lead role as a as the socially awkward computer hacker Elliott in USA Network's Mr. Robot.

"I think there's a little Elliott in all of us," Malek said as he accepted his award.

The FX true crime drama The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story swept the 68th Emmys with awards for best limited series, lead actor, lead actress and supporting actor.

Courtney B. Vance took home the best actor award for his role as charismatic defence lawyer Johnnie Cochran, who helped acquit NFL legend O.J. Simpson of double murder under the glaring spotlight of the so-called "Trial of the Century."

Sarah Paulson won the Emmy Award for best actress in a limited for her portrayal of prosecutor Marcia Clark, who endured widespread criticism for failing to win a conviction. 

Paulson's co-star Sterling K. Brown, who played prosecutor Christopher Darden in the series, won the best supporting actor award and she thanked him in her acceptance speech.

Paulson also thanked Clark, who she brought to the Emmys, and apologized to her for having a two-dimensional view of the prosecutor before signing on to play her onscreen.

"The more I learned about the real Marcia Clark ... the more I had to recognize that I along with the rest of the world had been superficial and careless in my judgment," she said.

The drama had 22 nominations on the wave of a true crime trend in television coupled with a contemporary backdrop of racial tension.

"I knew it was going to be popular but I didn't know it was going to be so widely popular. That was a really pleasant surprise," said John Singleton, a best director nominee for the limited series show.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep win again

Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her fifth straight Emmy on Sunday for her role in the satirical White House comedy on a night when politics played large in the midst of an extraordinary 2016 U.S. election campaign.

For the second straight year, Veep was named outstanding comedy.

Veteran Jeffrey Tambor won best comedy actor for a second time for his role as a father who transitions to a woman in Amazon's groundbreaking Transparent. 

Louis-Dreyfus, who plays the vainglorious U.S. president Selina Meyer on HBO's Veep, apologized for what she called "the current political climate."

"I think that Veep has torn down the wall between comedy and politics. Our show started out as a political satire but it now feels like a sobering documentary," she said while accepting her award.

As Americans prepare to vote in November for a new president, Veep is also expected to win the coveted comedy series category, which is announced at the end of Sunday's three-hour ceremony.

Jeffrey Tambor calls for diverse casting

Turning serious a moment later, she fought back tears as she dedicated the award to her father, who died Friday.

Louis-Dreyfus has been an Emmy favourite for years, winning comedy acting awards for Seinfeld and The New Adventures of Old Christine before dominating the category with her work on Veep.

Tambor used his speech to call for more roles for transgender people.

"I would not be unhappy if I were the last cisgender male to play a female transgender on television," he said.

This is the second year in a row Tambor has won the best comedy actor Emmy.

Game of Thrones leads pack in nods

In the drama series race, to be announced later on Sunday, HBO's medieval fantasy Game of Thrones, which dominated with 23 nominations, is seen as favorite to retain its crown for a second year.