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 Actress, Laura Wright (“General Hospital”) is nominated for the fourth time for playing Carly Corinthos, a role she assumed in 2005 and which earned her an Emmy in this category in 2011, plus two additional Best Actress bids in 2012 and 2015. In the hunt for her second career Emmy, Wright has submitted scenes involving the death of her son. Watch her reel above.
In the first scene, Carly gives her son Morgan (Younger Actor nominee Bryan Craig) a gift and says how proud she is of how he has dealt with his mental health issues. Afterwards Carly tries to convince her husband, mob boss Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), not to order the assassination of his enemy Julian Jerome, arguing that further violence would only bring danger and pain to everyone involved.
Later Carly learns that Morgan has died in a car explosion. Detective Dante Falconeri (Dominic Zamprogna) tells Carly that Morgan was actually driving Julian’s car at the time of his death, which leads Carly to realize that Sonny must have been responsible for the bomb that killed their son. When Sonny returns Carly screams at him, “Our beautiful little boy is dead. And you killed him!” Carly is then seen packing her bags to leave Sonny. She explains to her older son, Michael (Supporting Actor nominee Chad Duell), that if she had left Sonny sooner, perhaps Morgan would still be alive.
The reel ends with Carly mourning Morgan’s death with her close friend Jason (Billy Miller). She tells him that even though Sonny is hurting too, and even though he tried to call off the hit, she will never make peace with the fact that her son is dead and her husband is the reason why.
Will Wright win Best Actress with this performance against Nancy Lee Grahn (“GH”), Gina Tognoni (“The Young and the Restless”), Heather Tom (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) and Jess Walton (“Y&R”)? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
Wright’s entire reel tells a contained, easy-to-follow story that allows her to show a vast range of emotions, from pride in her son to grief over his death. Wright’s performance of Carly’s sorrow and anger truly anchor her scenes. She cries and throws things, showy displays of emotions that Emmy voters love, but it always feels authentic rather than contrived or over-the-top.
At just over 20 minutes, Wright’s reel is the longest in the category. And because she is the focus of every scene, it’s a perfect showcase for her talent, chock full of lengthy emotional monologues.
All of the other nominees in this category have multiple Emmy wins, but Wright has only won once before. After more than two decades in daytime television she could be seen as overdue for a second Emmy win.
Including Wright, only three actresses from “GH” have won in this category, and no “GH” actress has won it twice, so history is working against her.
Wright is competing against co-star Nancy Lee Grahn, who has never won as a lead actress, so perhaps voters will consider her more due for a win in this category than Wright, who already has a recent Best Actress trophy.
The length of the reel could work against her. Having the longest reels didn’t help Wright’s “GH” co-stars Anthony Geary and Maura West last year. Both lost to shorter submissions. So voters may wish for a more succinct acting showcase.
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