Billy Miller has been an Emmy darling in recent years, winning three times out of six nominations since 2010. He won Best Supporting Actor for “The Young and the Restless” in 2010 and 2013. Then he won Best Actor for “Y&R” in 2014. But after that he moved over to “General Hospital,” and now he’s nominated for the ABC soap for the first time. Can he win Best Actor again? The awards will be handed out on April 29, but they’ve already been decided in the drama acting categories by blue ribbon panels that viewed sample performance reels. Watch Miller’s submission above.
“I can’t for the life of me figure out how I got here,” says Miller at one point during his reel, and he’s not kidding. For half of his scenes he’s playing Jason Morgan, a role that was previously played by Emmy winner Steve Burton. However, later on he discovers that he’s not really Jason, but his long-lost twin brother Drew Cain. Since Drew still has all of Jason’s memories he faces an identity crisis of not knowing who he really is at all.
The first two scenes involve the birth of Jason/Drew’s child while his wife Sam (Kelly Monaco) fights for her life in the hospital. He delivers a monologue at her bedside about how much he needs her and how he was miraculously able to find her while she was missing in the snow. Then he holds his newborn child and expresses fear: he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to raise a child successfully on his own if Sam doesn’t survive.
Much later he and Sam are at the police station, where Drew is struggling to process the news that he isn’t really Jason. He confronts the real Jason, insisting that they’ll never really be brothers no matter what the DNA tests say. In the last scene Drew is still reeling from the discovery of his true identity. He and Sam love each other, but he doesn’t think she should commit to him since he’s literally not the man she thought he was. But she insists that he’s still the man she loves and gets down on one knee to propose. He accepts.
Will Miller win Best Actor with this performance against Peter Bergman (“The Young and the Restless”), Michael Easton (“GH”), John McCook (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) and James Reynolds (“Days of Our Lives”)? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
The opening scene is an uninterrupted three-minute monologue that Miller delivers with tenderness and sensitivity. And he’s just as impressive when confessing his fears about fatherhood.
The reel has a powerful emotional payoff as Drew and Sam get engaged despite his confusion about his identity.
The Jason/Drew identity switch was one of the highest profile storylines of 2017, and it also earned nominations this year for Laura Wright (Best Actress), Anthony Montgomery (Best Supporting Actor) and Hudson West (Best Younger Actor), so it clearly resonated strongly with voters.
The television academy clearly loves Miller since he has only lost twice in his five previous nominations.
Miller gives a quiet, contained performance throughout, but Emmy voters often prefer the kinds of showier acting scenes that were submitted by the other four nominees in this category.
There isn’t much emotional variation from scene to scene, so Miller doesn’t get a chance to show off his range as an actor.
Miller has been on “GH” for almost four years now, but he wasn’t nominated for it until now, so perhaps voters prefer his Billy Abbott to his Jason Morgan/Drew Cain.
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