Editors Clash Over Best Drama Actor of Rami Malek vs. Sterling K. Brown vs. Bob Odenkirk
While the Best Drama Series race at the Emmys is jam-packed with new shows like “The Crown,” “Stranger Things,” “This is Us” and “Westworld” looking to assert their dominance right out of the gate, there’s a returning champ hoping to defend his title in the race for Best Drama Actor: Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”). But he too will have to contend with an onslaught of new and returning competitors. Gold Derby editors Tom O’Neil, Paul Sheehan, Daniel Montgomery and Marcus James Dixon disagree on who will take the prize. Watch our editors’ slugfest above or listen to the podcast version below.
“A lot of people in this category repeat. I think there have been nine repeaters, so it fits their mold to anoint [Malek] again” Dixon reminds us, citing four-time winner Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) and three-time champs James Gandolfini (“The Sopranos”) and James Spader (“The Practice” and “Boston Legal”).
But Dixon isn’t predicting Malek. He’s betting on Sterling K. Brown, who won Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor last year for “The People v. O.J. Simpson” and now is a contender for his breakout family drama “This is Us.” “He’s a rising star, filming three movies right now,” says Dixon about Brown’s hot streak.
Sheehan agrees that Brown is out front. “There was some question of which category he would go into, and I almost feel like going up to lead was the right thing to do because he’s going to stand out. I don’t think [his co-star] Milo Ventimiglia will get nominated, so if it’s just Sterling K. Brown, I think he’ll win.”
But Montgomery thinks Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) is the man to beat, arguing, “The show’s airing at the right time during the spring, he’s been nominated for the last two years in a row. ”Better Call Saul’ had a lot of pressure on it because it’s the prequel of ‘Breaking Bad’ which was so beloved, and it has met those expectations to most critics and audiences … In a sense it’s almost Bob Odenkirk’s turn.”
O’Neil brings up several other major contenders in the race, including Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”), Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”), Anthony Hopkins (“Westworld”), Paul Giamatti (“Billions”), Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”), Kyle Chandler (“Bloodline”) and Billy Bob Thornton (“Goliath”). Who will win? See O’Neil’s Emmy picks here. See Sheehan’s here. See Montgomery’s here. See Dixon’s here. See the racetrack odds of all of Gold Derby’s website editors.