"I've been acting for 36 years just so I could do that speech," reveals Jeff Daniels in a video chat with Gold Derby. "As they say, 'Didn't leave anything in the locker room with it'."
Referring to the opening five minutes of the pilot episode of "The Newsroom," which debuted last June on HBO, he called it "not the greatest country in the world speech," which introduced his character of news anchorman Will McAvoy to the viewers.
After a long and varied film career in such movies as "Terms of Endearment," "The Purple Rose of Cairo," "Something Wild," "Dumb and Dumber," "The Hours," and "The Squid and the Whale," Daniels now has his first regular series role. The reason? Creator and head writer Aaron Sorkin.
"A friend of mine said, "With Aaron, wait 'til you see what you get to say. And that speech along with a lot of other things we get to do in this show is evident of that."
The first season of the program will be eligible at this year's Emmy Awards. According to exclusive Gold Derby odds, Daniels is favored to be nominated as Best Drama Actor alongside previous winners Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") and Damian Lewis ("Homeland") plus perennial nominees Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") and Steve Buscemi ("Boardwalk Empire"). If nominated, he reveals that the pilot episode would be the likely choice as his submission to Emmy judges.
Daniels adds, "Over a long career, you have your ups and downs. When it's up, the older you get the more you appreciate it. 'The Newsroom' is something, if we do it right for five years or so or however long HBO wants it, that it has the chance, the potential to outlive us."
One of the heartbreaking aspects of watching the Emmys is those times when we witness the snub a performer who we know could have won if only they had been nominated, because we know they had the episode to do it.
For instance, Emmy voters were notoriously unkind to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and its star, Sarah Michelle Gellar. Had she been nominated in 2001, she could have submitted one of the show's most famous episodes: "The Body," in which she discovers that her mother has died and struggles helplessly to revive her.
That year, she would have faced eventual Best Drama Actress winner Edie Falco ("The Sopranos"), who submitted "Second Opinion," in which Carmela consults a psychiatrist about her marriage to mob-boss Tony.
Click arrow on right side of photo above to see 14 other sure-fire Emmy winners.
And check out our other fun Emmy photo galleries:
Win $1,000 predicting the Oscars
Win $100 Amazon gift certificates predicting the guild awards, Razzies and other kudos
Read more about entry and rules here. Make your initial Oscar predictions now. Change them later as often as you wish up until Oscar Day. Below, meet our past winners of recent award prediction contests.
Oscar Nominations: New York state resident Tim Kressner (gufa54) won $1,000 for reaping the highest percentage (78%) when predicting Academy Award noms. Watch our video chat with him here and learn his strategy for making picks. See the leaderboard here. See Kressner's predix here.
Golden Globes (Film): Mario Gomez, a med studen in Mexico, won our contest with the highest percentage of correct picks (86%) and highest point score (2,693). See our video chat with him here. Two other contestants also scored 86%: lulo1989 and eastwest. Tom O'Neil reaped best Experts' score. David Schnelwar had top score among our Editors. See the leaderboard here to see if you made the top tier.
Critics Choice Nominations: Bryce H scored an impressive 83% when sizing up 20 categories. That was one percentage point ahead of our smartest Editor, Daniel Montgomery. Our top Expert was also one of our Editors, Paul Sheehan, who reaped 74%. To see how you performed, check out our leaderboard plus the score section of your account page.
Golden Globe (Film) Nominations: Jonathan was our top User, reaping a staggering 86% when forecasting the lineup of 10 categories. That put him six percentage points ahead of our best Expert -- Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood) -- and eight ahead of our leading Editor, Daniel Montogomery. Did you made the cut on the leaderboard score breakdown?
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Winners: Christian aced all rivals, scoring 82%. That was almost 20 percentage points ahead of our top Expert (Edward Douglas of ComingSoon ) and Editor (Matt Noble), both of whom earned scores of 64%. Christian foresaw that surprise screenplay win for "Before Midnight." See leaderboard.