The 2017 Daytime Emmy Awards are 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 Actress, Chloe Lanier (“General Hospital”) is nominated for the first time for her role as Nelle Hayes, a character she originated in August 2016. She submitted scenes in which Nelle behaves very badly. Watch her reel above.
At the beginning of her submission, Nelle is in a bar with Morgan Corinthos (Younger Actor nominee Bryan Craig) commiserating about their woes; Nelle’s parents sold her kidney, and Morgan is bipolar. They ultimately kiss. By the next scene, Morgan has died and Nelle is comforting his older brother Michael (Supporting Actor nominee Chad Duell), asking him to lean on her when he needs relief from the pressures of his family.
But the bulk of her reel is the scene that comes after that, when she manipulates Morgan’s father, Sonny (Maurice Benard). First she convinces him that his wife is cheating on him with her ex. Then she drugs him and guides him to his bedroom in order to convince him that they have slept together. When his wife returns home, she tearfully begs him not to reveal the truth.
Will Lanier win Best Younger Actress with this performance against Lexi Ainsworth (“GH”), Reign Edwards (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) Hunter King (“The Young and the Restless”) and Alyvia Alyn Lind (“Y&R”)? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
Lanier’s performance stands out from the rest in that she’s the only character engaging in villainous behavior. Previously, Sarah Michelle Gellar (“All My Children,” 1995) and Sarah Brown (“GH,” 1997-1998) won this category for nefarious portrayals.
Nelle’s opening scene with Morgan gives her an element of empathy as she explains the emotional damage of her abusive parents.
The reel leaves an impactful last impression as Nelle pleads with Sonny to keep their secret.
“GH” is one of the most awarded programs in the history of this category, winning seven times, second only to “The Young and the Restless” with eight.
Her opening two scenes are fairly brief, so there’s limited emotional and story context to give us a clear sense of her character and relationships.
Lanier spends much of her time reacting to her co-stars’ showier performances, especially during her scenes with Duell and Benard.
Nelle is clearly up to something, but she’s cagey, so the scenes don’t afford the actress many opportunities to deliver the kinds of showy emotional fireworks that voters usually gravitate to.
Because Nelle keeps her motives and intentions close to the vest, Lanier doesn’t get to show off as much emotional range as some of her rival nominees.
Make your Daytime Emmy picks and tell industry insiders which shows and performers you have out front to win on April 28 and April 30. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before the announcement. Be sure to make your predictions right here. You’ll compete for a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s winners). Read our contest rules.