Four of last year’s six Emmy nominees for Best Comedy Supporting Actress are back in the running this year, with Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”) looking to defend her title. The only two women who are out are Niecy Nash (“Getting On”), whose series ended last season, and Allison Janney (“Mom”), who moves up to the leading category this year. So with two open slots and a strong returning champion, what will happen in this year’s Emmy contest?
Watch our in-depth interviews with 14 of this year’s Emmy contenders below:
Yael Grobglas (“Jane the Virgin”): “I know Petra at this point so well, and I think we all know our characters so well, that you can easily place yourself in their shoes and understand what they’re going through and understand what they’d be feeling.” (Watch Now)
Kathryn Hahn (“Transparent”): “[‘I Love Dick’] was one of a couple of titles [‘Transparent’ creator Jill Soloway] sent my way to possibly read,” Hahn reveals, “and of course I was immediately intrigued, having never heard of it before.” (Watch Now)
Angela Kinsey (“Haters Back Off”): “It feels really great because I think a lot of times as a character actress — and that’s what I am, a character actress, I’ve never been the leading lady — you sort of are in the background a little bit, so it’s nice when the character actor gets to anchor a show emotionally.” (Watch Now)
Jemima Kirke (“Girls”): “When they first said action, I was so unsure of what I was doing. I was sort of free falling that day. I didn’t have a grasp of the magnitude of the thing I was involved in.” (Watch Now)
Judith Light (“Transparent”): “You’ll see her try to make her way into continuing to find her voice. It’s one of those things where this place in her has been opened and she’s going to try a bunch of different things to see what fits.” (Watch Now)
Zoe Lister-Jones (“Life in Pieces”): “I personally was shocked. I had no idea that that’s the direction the story was going in. But I do think it’s important to bring awareness to miscarriage and the stigma that surrounds it and how painful it can be for women and their partners who are going through that sort of loss.” (Watch Now)
Andrea Martin (“Great News”): “I love this show because it’s so chock-full of juicy comedy lines. [The jokes] go by really fast and you kind of take it for granted because they’re known for doing shows like that. There’s no wasted air. [It’s] very rich and comedic material.” (Watch Now)
Yvonne Orji (“Insecure”): “I’m able to use my words and communicate with the production company and the directors and everyone just to get on the same page and say, ‘Hey, listen: I have a brand that I want to protect. I understand this character has different things that she wants to convey. How do we marry the two whereby I can still protect my brand and I can still live in the truth of this character?’” (Watch Now)
Nicole Richie (“Great News”): “Portia’s nobody’s fool. Her energy is different, but she got to that place for a reason. She’s actually very smart. There’s a level of self-confidence and self-importance to her, but in a very sweet and bright way.” (Watch Now)
Lena Waithe (“Master of None”): “I compare it to having to drop a sophomore album after everybody really likes your debut. You’re excited to get back in the studio, but you’re also nervous because you don’t wanna mess up.” (Watch Now)
Allison Williams (“Girls”): “My qualities that are insane work very well in this line of work. I was a dancing, singing, prancing around, performative little girl who looked at my parents and said, ‘I’d like to be an actor someday.’ That was clearly an expression of something that was already in there. It was kind of the only option.” (Watch Now)
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums.