Emmy night is a joyous occasion for the evening’s winners, but at the recent September 2016 ceremony “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington was disappointed. Harington enjoyed a supersized central role in the sixth season of HBO’s smash hit fantasy series — including a resurrection! — and Gold Derby pundits gave him leading odds to win the Emmy for Best Drama Supporting Actor. But respected character actor Ben Mendelsohn was named the surprise winner for playing a ghost on Netflix’s “Bloodline”; even Mendelsohn probably didn’t see that coming, as he was not on hand to accept the award.
But Harington has a chance to make an awards comeback at the approaching Golden Globes just like Matt Bomer did two years ago. After receiving critical praise for his performance in “The Normal Heart,” Bomer had near unanimous support from Emmy pundits to win Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor. But he lost in a shocking upset to Martin Freeman (“Sherlock: His Last Vow”). But a few months later Bomer managed a comeback and was finally recognized for his acclaimed work in an even more competitive race at the Golden Globes, where supporting performances from dramas, comedies, movies and miniseries are combined into one category.
Harington could follow in Bomer’s footsteps because he is exactly what Globe voters love to reward: the hottest actor of the moment on the hottest show of the moment. The catch-all Best TV Supporting Actor category has a history of recognizing standouts on hit series, even if the Emmys look the other way. Just look at the recent wins for Chris Colfer (“Glee”) in 2010 and Christian Slater (“Mr. Robot”) just last year. And though they ultimately weren’t winners, the Globes in recent years happily gave nominations to Tobias Menzies (“Outlander”), Corey Stoll (“House of Cards”) and Scott Caan (“Hawaii Five-O”) after the Emmys turned up their noses.
However, this category sometimes does just the opposite and rewards an established veteran instead. Paul Newman (“Empire Falls,” 2005), Jeremy Irons (“Elizabeth I,” 2006), Tom Wilkinson (“John Adams,” 2008) and Jon Voight (“Ray Donovan,” 2013) all emerged victorious in this category over younger actors in popular shows. So Harington should keep a careful eye on John Lithgow (“The Crown”) and Ed Harris (“Westworld”). These respected performers have both won this category before, and quite recently — Lithgow for “Dexter” in 2009 and Harris for “Game Change” in 2012.
On top of that, the Golden Globes have shown lackluster support for “Game of Thrones.” While the series has broken Emmy records left and right, the Globes have only nominated it three times for Best Drama Series (2011, 2014, 2015), and it lost each time. The show’s only other Globe nomination (and to date its only win) was for Peter Dinklage in the Best TV Supporting Actor category (2011), exactly where Harington is hoping to break through now. So if Harington can cash in on his heightened popularity he could become the show’s second ever Globe acting nominee, and maybe its second winner.
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