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 Supporting Actor, James Reynolds (“Days of Our Lives”) is nominated for only the second time for playing Mayor Abe Carver, even though he’s been playing the role since 1981. He also has one other nomination for Best Actor (1991) for his role on the short-lived soap “Generations,” but he has yet to win an Emmy in any category. Looking to win his first career award, he has submitted scenes in which his character comforts his son, tries to stop a city-wide crime wave, and fights for his life after taking a bullet from a sniper. Watch his reel above.
In the first scene of Reynolds’s wide-ranging submission, Abe comforts his son Theo (Kyler Pettis), who is autistic and feels guilty for not responding well to his loved ones’ needs during a frightening blackout. Then we see Abe dealing with a related crisis, a hostage situation during which he demands more from detectives Rafe Hernandez (Galen Gering) and Hope Brady (Kristian Alfonso).
Afterwards Abe gives a press conference regarding the “reign of terror” against the city of Salem committed by three felons, which has caused the blackouts and hostage crisis. Abe also appeals to the rest of the town’s residents to cease their looting and vandalism, but at the end of the conference he is shot by a sniper.
While being treated for his wounds at the hospital, Abe is told by his doctor Kayla Brady (Mary Beth Evans) that there are bullet fragments remaining in his heart and that removing them could put his life at risk. Then he’s visited by his son Theo, who demands to know when Abe’s shooter will be brought to justice.
Will Reynolds win Best Supporting Actor with this performance against John Aniston (“Days of Our Lives”), Steve Burton (“The Young and the Restless”), Chad Duell (“General Hospital”) and Jeffrey Vincent Parise (“GH”)? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
Reynolds’s reel is nothing if not eventful. Playing the paternal love between Abe and his son, the authority of a mayor trying to get his city back under control, and the physical suffering of a man recovering from a grave injury, this reel is chock-full of impact and emotional range.
Awards voters love speeches, so you couldn’t ask for more a than dignified press conference from a mayor trying to keep his citizens safe.
Abe Carver is the longest-running African-American character in soap opera history, still going strong 36 years after he was originally introduced, but this is only Reynolds’s second nomination for this role, and only the third of his career. Voters might think it’s time to finally give him the win.
Consisting of many different scenes, the reel can be challenging to follow if you don’t already know the context of the crimes taking place in Salem and how they specifically affect these characters.
Only one actor from “Days” has ever won Best Supporting Actor before: Eric Martsolf in 2014. Can Reynolds finally overcome the unusual bias against the supporting men from this NBC soap?
There’s another overdue veteran in this category: Reynolds’s co-star Aniston. If voters were torn between them while voting, that could open the door for one of their competitors.
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