With her Golden Globe win for Best Movie/Limited Actress, Sarah Paulson has won four of the five most prestigious television acting awards now for her portrayal of real-life attorney Marcia Clark on FX’s limited series “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” Will she take home the SAG Award on January 29 and make it a clean sweep?
Her first award for the role came in August from the Television Critics Association. This was probably her biggest hurdle to a clean sweep, as the TCA does not have separate categories for men and women or even a separate category for performances from television movies and limited series, so they nominated Paulson for Best Drama Individual Achievement. Paulson’s performance is one of only seven from movies and limited series in 20 years that the TCA felt transcendent enough to nominate opposite performances in continuing drama series. She became the third to win, following Paul Giamatti for “John Adams” in 2008 and Matthew McConaughey for “True Detective” in 2014, who likewise won on their first TCA nominations.
Paulson won an Emmy in September, her first win of six nominations, having been nominated since 2012 when she broke through for “Game Change” as Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress. Although she was not nominated by the Critics’ Choice Awards for “Game Change,” they made it up to her by awarding her in that category for both 2012 and 2015 for “American Horror Story.” She won her third Critics’ Choice Award — and first for a leading role — last month for “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” which tied her for the record of most TV wins.
Her Globe win on Sunday leaves only the Screen Actors Guild Awards on her path to a historic clean awards sweep, and according to the aggregate predictions by Gold Derby’s Experts, Editors and Users, she is the biggest lock of the night — for television or film. Although Paulson’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson” performance would be the fifth to win all five awards (TCA, Emmy, Critics’ Choice, Globe, SAG), hers would be the first to sweep for a limited series performance and the first to sweep within the span of a year.
Tina Fey won TCA, Emmy, Globe and SAG in 2008 for the second year of “30 Rock,” but the Critics’ Choice Awards were not yet awarding television then. The first year that they did was 2011 and Fey was immediately victorious, making her performance the first to win all five awards. The other performers to achieve the feat are Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”), Claire Danes (“Homeland”) and Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”).
Four more performances won all four existing major awards before 2011 and all four swept in single years: Best Drama Actor James Gandolfini for “The Sopranos” in 2000, Best Drama Actress Edie Falco for “The Sopranos” in 2003, Best Comedy Actor Alec Baldwin for “30 Rock” in 2007 and Best Movie/Mini Actor Giamatti for “John Adams” in 2008.
This was Paulson’s first Globe win and third nomination, following Best Supporting Actress bids for “Studio 60 and the Sunset Strip” in 2007 and “Game Change” in 2012. This is her first SAG nomination as an individual, but second overall, as she shared in the 2012 nomination by theatrical release “12 Years a Slave” for Best Ensemble.
Make your SAG picks and tell industry insiders which shows, films and performers you have out front to win on January 29. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before the show time. Be sure to make your predictions right here. You’ll compete for a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s nominees). Read our contest rules.