Harris flawlessly portrays the Arizona Senator in the HBO biopic of Sarah Palin's political life. Just as Palin's portrayer Julianne Moore is the odds-on frontrunner to secure victory as Movie/Mini Actress, Harris is also currently #1 in his race for Movie/Mini Supporting Actor. According to Gold Derby polling, 10 Experts, eight Editors and about 400 Users predict Harris to win his first career Emmy, giving him overall odds of 2 to 3.
Should Harris prevail at the Emmys, will he thank McCain during his acceptance speech? It may be a silly question, but it's actually quite commonplace for actors and actresses of biopics to thank their real-life counterparts during their victory speeches.
When Tina Fey won her Comedy Guest Actress Emmy in 2009 for spoofing Palin on "Saturday Night Live," she thanked the 2008 VP canidate during her speech, joking that, "This would not be possible without Mrs. Palin herself. Mrs. Palin is an inspiration to working mothers everywhere because she bailed on her job right before Fourth of July weekend. You are living my dream. Thank you, Mrs. Palin!" (See video below.)
On a more serious note, Claire Danes' Emmy victory in 2010 for her portrayal of the title character in "Temple Grandin" wasn't complete without a shout-out to the real-life Temple Grandin who was in the audience (here's that video). And when Jessica Lange won an Emmy in 2009 for playing "Big Edie" in "Grey Gardens," she gave a special nod to real-life Edith Bouvier Beale (watch the video).
Harris' four competitors in the longform supporting category are Martin Freeman ("Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia"), David Strathairn ("Hemingway and Gellhorn"), Denis O'Hare ("American Horror Story") and Tom Berenger ("Hatfields and McCoys"). Truly any of these men could overtake Harris for the win, making this a much closer race than the one for Movie/Mini Supporting Actress, where Jessica Lange ("American Horror Story") is expected to run away with the prize.
Here is Tina Fey's hilarious 2009 acceptance speech "thanking" Sarah Palin:
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