2017 Daytime Emmy reel: Bryan Craig (‘GH’) struggles with mental illness in moving Younger Actor submission [WATCH]

The 2017 Daytime Emmy Awards will be handed out on April 30, but the winners in the soap opera acting categories have already been decided by blue ribbon panels that viewed sample performance reels. In the race for Best Younger Actor, Bryan Craig (“General Hospital”) is nominated for the fourth time for playing Morgan Corinthos, a role he played from 2013 until his character’s death in 2016. He’s the defending champ in this category, and to pull off a second consecutive win he submitted scenes in which Morgan struggles with mental illness. Watch his reel above.

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In Craig’s first scene, Morgan is restrained in a hospital bed and pleads with his parents Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Carly (Best Actress nominee Laura Wright) not to have him committed to a mental institution for his bipolar disorder. They insist that they only have his best interests at heart and wish to protect him from himself, but he is overcome with feelings of betrayal and abandonment and yells at them to get out.

In the next scene Morgan is in the throes of another mental health crisis. He is suicidal, standing on the ledge of a building and threatening to jump. Sonny tries to talk him down and tells Morgan that if he really wants to jump he’ll have to take Sonny with him.

Will Craig win Best Younger Actor with this performance against Pierson Fode (“The Bold and the Beautiful”), James Lastovic (“Days of Our Lives”), Tequan Richmond (“GH”) and Anthony Turpel (“B&B”)? Let’s consider the pros and cons.

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PROS:

Craig’s 2016 victory in this category was also for scenes involving Morgan’s bipolar disorder, so the storyline is a proven winner for the actor.

Expressing the mania of a bipolar episode, the pain of being sent away by his loved ones, and finally the feeling of worthlessness that leads him to contemplate suicide, Craig has by far the most emotional impact and empathy in this category.

Craig was written off the show in 2016 when Morgan was killed by a car bomb meant for someone else, so this is the academy’s last chance to award him for this role — unless of course Morgan comes back from the dead, which has been known to happen once or twice on soap operas.

2017 Daytime Emmy nominations: Full list of nominees

CONS:

At just over six minutes, this is one of the shortest reels in the category, so he has less time to make an impression on TV academy judges.

Because Morgan is in the midst of a mental breakdown in both of his scenes, the intensity level is high throughout. Does he show a wide enough range of emotions?

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