Darren Criss (‘Versace’) would defy odds to win Emmy for Best Movie/Mini Actor, based on past decade of winners

The Emmy for Best Limited Series/Movie Actor does not often match with the Limited Series or Movie category, at least from the past decade. While the corresponding Best Actress category almost always lines up with a program win, there are significantly less winning pairs on the male side, which may be troubling news for star Darren Criss as his program “The Assassination of Gianni Versaceis expected to win on Emmy night.

Over the last decade, Best Limited Series/Movie Actor and the Limited Series or Movie categories have matched up only four times out of 10. This includes Courtney B. Vance for “The People v. O.J. Simpson” in 2016, Richard Jenkins for “Olive Kitteridge” in 2015, Michael Douglas for “Behind the Candelabra” in 2013 and Paul Giamatti for “John Adams” in 2008. All of those respective programs went on to win Best Limited Series, Best TV Movie or the now defunct Best Miniseries or Movie category.

Far more often, though, we have seen splits between the categories, like Riz Ahmed for “The Night Of,” which lost to “Big Little Lies” in 2017; Benedict Cumberbatch for “Sherlock: His Last Vow,” which lost to “The Normal Heart” in 2014; Kevin Costner for “Hatfields & McCoys,” which lost to “Game Change” in 2012; Barry Pepper for “The Kennedys,” which lost to “Downton Abbey” in 2011; Al Pacino for “You Don’t Know Jack,” which lost to “Temple Grandin” in 2010; and Brendan Gleeson for “Into the Storm,” which lost to “Grey Gardens” in 2009.

In this year’s Emmy race, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” is the heavy favorite to win Best Limited Series. Criss, who plays murderer Andrew Cunanan, is also predicted to win the Best Actor category, but considering how much Emmy voters like to go their own way in this category over the past 10 years, it is not a guarantee. Among his competition, Jeff Daniels (“The Looming Tower”) is the only one whose program is not nominated, but everyone else has a decent shot of being the spoiler, including Antonio Banderas for “Genius: Picasso,” Cumberbatch for “Patrick Melrose,” John Legend for “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” and Jesse Plemons for “USS Callister: Black Mirror.”

Luckily for Criss, he arguably had the most buzz compared to any other nominees in his category and Ryan Murphy shows have certainly done well in the acting categories at the Emmys. We don’t often see villainous performances winning the Best Actor category lately, but Criss’ performance is so transformative that he may still be able to triumph on Emmy night.

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