Maggie Gyllenhaal seemed like a strong threat to win the Golden Globe for Best TV Drama Actress for “The Deuce” before the nominations were announced, but when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association revealed their choices and Gyllenhaal was the only nomination for the gritty HBO drama she started to look like more of a long shot. Can she really win if she’s the only nominee for her series? Actually, that’s exactly what happened in 2015 when she won for “The Honorable Woman.”
Three years ago Gyllenhaal contended for Best Movie/Limited Series Actress for “The Honorable Woman,” a SundanceTV miniseries in which she played Nessa Stein, a businesswoman who found herself caught in the middle of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She was the only bid for the series, so it seemed that she was at a disadvantage against Frances McDormand (“Olive Kitteridge”), Allison Tolman (“Fargo”), and Frances O’Connor (“The Missing”), who were all in programs that were nominated in the top race.
Oftentimes Globe voters like to pair their top program winners with an acting winner — like “The People v. O.J. Simpson” claiming Best Movie/Limited Series and Best Movie/Limited Series Actress (Sarah Paulson) — so missing out in the top race often hurts the actors’ chances. But that wasn’t a problem for Gyllenhaal then, and it might not be a problem for her now that she finds herself in a similar position.
Gyllenhaal is the only nominee for “The Deuce,” in which she plays Candy, a world-weary prostitute who hopes to take more control of her life in 1970s New York City. She’s up against the defending champ Claire Foy (“The Crown”) as well as Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), both of whose programs are up for Best Drama Series. And currently Moss is the overwhelming frontrunner to win with leading odds of 2/11 — compared to Gyllenhaal who trails with 50/1 odds. But perhaps we’re overestimating Moss like we did McDormand, who was the heavy favorite to win for “Olive Kitteridge” while Gyllenhaal ranked last in our odds as she does now.
So will history repeat itself with an upset win by Gyllenhaal?
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