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 Actor, Scott Clifton (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is nominated for the fifth time for playing Liam Spencer, a role he originated in 2010. He previously won Best Younger Actor (2011) and Best Supporting Actor (2013) for this role. When you add in his earlier nominations for “General Hospital” and “One Life to Live,” Clifton has received nine total bids in his career. Looking to win for the first time as a leading man, Clifton submitted scenes involving his amnesia and what he is shocked to discover upon getting his memories back. Watch his reel above.
Liam is confused in the first scene. He can’t remember who he is, and Quinn (Rena Sofer) lies to him, telling him that his name is Adam, she’s Eve, and they’re happily married. He feels guilty for not being able to remember their relationship, but she reassures him that he’s trying the best he can, and the two of them embrace.
The next scene takes place much later when Liam sees his brother Wyatt (Darin Brooks) for the first time since his amnesia. That triggers his memory and he suddenly realizes what has happened: Quinn has been holding him captive at the cabin and feeding him lies. He calls her “insane,” but she’s still deluded into believing they can make their relationship work.
Later, Liam is heartbroken. While he was suffering from amnesia and hidden away at the cabin, the woman he loves, Steffi, married Wyatt. Quinn visits Liam and once again begs for another chance, but Liam throws her against a wall and warns her to leave before he loses control of his temper.
The last scene is between Liam and his father Bill (Don Diamont). Once again Liam is angry, this time because Bill has told him to respect Steffi’s marriage to Wyatt even though Bill has been cheating on his own wife. Liam urges Bill to tell his wife the truth and then resolves to win Steffi back.
Will Clifton win Best Actor with this performance against Peter Bergman (“The Young and the Restless”), Billy Flynn (“Days of Our Lives”), Vincent Irizarry (“Days”) and Kristoff St. John (“Y&R”)? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
The opening scene nicely establishes the context for the rest of the reel, and Clifton gets the added benefit of showing a tender, lost and lonely side before the anger of his later scenes. That gives him the opportunity to show voters his emotional range.
He has some of the most impactful scenes in this category when he confronts Quinn, calls her a “monster,” and fights the urge to hit her. In most cases yelling at a crying, pleading woman would lose you sympathy points, but considering how cruelly she violated him we’re on his side throughout.
Clifton is only 32-years-old, but he has an Emmy track record that would be the envy of an actor twice his age: two wins out of nine nominations for his roles on three different soaps. That shows us how much the TV academy admires him.
This is Clifton’s first time nominated in the lead-acting category, and while voters don’t hesitate to award younger stars in the Younger and Supporting Actor contests, his age may be a liability here against decades-long daytime veterans like Bergman, Irizarry and St. John. If Clifton wins he would be the second youngest champ in this category’s history, behind Darnell Williams (“All My Children”), who was 30 when he won in 1985.
Liam is angry at Quinn and angry again at his father Bill. Though he has a tender early scene that shows off some of his range, voters may wish to see more facets of this character than are on display here.
Clifton’s scene partner Rena Sofer, herself a past Emmy winner, gets as much of a performance showcase as he does. Might she steal his thunder in the eyes of some voters?
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