The chances are good that this year’s Emmy for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor will go to a first-time champ since only one of the six contenders is a past Emmy winner: Stanley Tucci (“Feud: Bette and Joan”). Will Emmy voters spread the wealth, or will Tucci add to his collection?
Be sure to make your own predictions in this race as well as the rest of the Primetime Emmy categories and compete against our Emmy experts who cover this race year-round for such leading media outlets, as well as the two dozen amateurs who ranked in the top 24 last year, the all-stars who did well for two years in a row, and thousands of Emmy fans just like you. (Scroll down to see up-to-date racetrack odds derived from all of these predictions.)
Tucci is nominated for playing real-life Hollywood studio head Jack Warner, whose cynicism is on display as he promotes in-fighting between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford on the set of “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” and belittles the film’s director. It’s a showy, mustache-twirling role, and Tucci has already won three Emmys out of seven previous nominations, so he’s the biggest TV academy favorite in this race, but he faces his co-star Alfred Molina as “Baby Jane” director Robert Aldrich, who has a more prominent and more sympathetic role. Molina has one previous Emmy nomination in this category for “The Normal Heart” (2014), but he’s a respected industry veteran who may be considered due.
Under the new plurality voting system that was implemented in 2016, vote-splitting is a greater risk for co-stars nominated against each other. That could be a problem for Tucci and Molina, and it could also be a problem for “The Night Of” actors Bill Camp and Michael Kenneth Williams as a police detective and a Rikers Island prisoner, respectively. Williams is nominated for the second time following a 2015 bid in this category for “Bessie,” but his impressive career also includes past roles in “The Wire” and “Boardwalk Empire,” so voters will have plenty of reasons to award him for the first time. Camp is nominated for the first time, but he’s an admired Tony nominated stage actor, and he could get extra votes from fans of his mysterious guest role in “The Leftovers” this past season.
If the co-stars end up cancelling each other out, that could be good news for Alexander Skarsgard, who plays an abusive husband in “Big Little Lies.” This is his first nomination following stints in Emmy winning HBO programs “Generation Kill” and “True Blood,” and he’s the only option in this category for voters who want to honor the limited series here.
There’s one more baddie in this category, and he gives arguably the category’s showiest performance: David Thewlis, nominated for the first time for his role in “Fargo” as a sociopath prone to giving maniacal speeches. Like Skarsgard and Camp, this is the first Emmy nom for Thewlis, but the film veteran has established more than enough industry cred to make voters want to check off his name. However, “Fargo” has never won an acting award despite eight previous bids, so maybe the actors branch is somewhat ambivalent about the anthology series.
UPDATED: August 24, 2017
1. Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies” — 27/20
2. Alfred Molina, “Feud: Bette and Joan” — 3/1
3. David Thewlis, “Fargo” — 6/1
4. Stanley Tucci, “Feud: Bette and Joan” — 7/1
5. Bill Camp, “The Night Of” — 33/1
6. Michael Kenneth Williams, “The Night Of” — 33/1