Laura Wright has been a daytime TV star for 27 years, but she didn’t receive her first Daytime Emmy nomination until 2011, when she contended for and won Best Actress for playing Carly Corinthos on “General Hospital.” She’s now nominated for the fifth time in seven years for the role. Can she prevail again? The winners will be announced on April 29, but they’ve already been decided in the soap opera acting categories by blue ribbon panels that watched sample performance reels. Watch Wright’s submission above.
Wright’s reel consists of three separate storylines. In the first scene Carly confronts Sonny (Maurice Benard) about keeping a secret: Nelle (Best Younger Actress nominee Chloe Lanier) drugged Sonny and fooled him into thinking they had an affair as part of a revenge plot against Carly. Sonny knew about the scheme but kept his mouth shut and thus let Carly continue trusting Nelle as she insinuated herself into their lives. In the next brief scene Carly reprimands her teenage daughter Josslyn (Eden McCoy) for throwing a party without permission.
But the bulk of the reel focuses on the resurrection of Carly’s best friend Jason Morgan (Steve Burton). Everyone believed he was dead, but then they thought he had returned with reconstructive surgery (which is why he suddenly looked like “Young and the Restless” alum Billy Miller). When Carly realizes that the real Jason is back she is overjoyed, but also guilt-ridden over believing that the impostor was really Jason. She’s also heartbroken all over again when she explains how her son Morgan died while Jason was gone.
Will Wright win Best Actress with this performance against Eileen Davidson (“The Young and the Restless”), Nancy Lee Grahn (“GH”), Marci Miller (“Days of Our Lives”) and Maura West (“GH”)? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
Wright’s reel is full of emotional impact and range. She’s angry with both Sonny and Josslyn, but then she runs the gamut of emotions when Jason returns: disbelief, relief, regret, loss and joy. Most of the women in this category wring tears out of sorrow, but Wright stands out by expressing outrage and happiness as well.
The storyline of Jason’s return also earned nominations for Billy Miller (Best Actor), Anthony Montgomery (Best Supporting Actor) and Hudson West (Best Younger Actor), so it clearly resonated strongly with voters.
Wright gets a big assist from her co-star and rival nominee Maura West, whose reel includes another big performance showcase for Wright in which Carly confronts West’s character Ava for the role Ava played in Morgan’s death. Wright is the only woman in this category who appears in multiple nominated reels, which is a testament to how important she was to “GH” in 2017.
There are three different storylines on this reel, so Wright doesn’t get to show voters a complete, fleshed out emotional arc.
The middle scene with Josslyn doesn’t have the high stakes of the scenes that surround it. A teenage girl throwing a party doesn’t feel quite as consequential as lies, betrayals, and resurrection.
In these scenes Wright is mostly reacting to events involving other characters: Sonny’s lies and Nelle’s scheming, Josslyn’s partying, and Jason’s return. So while she’s front-and-center throughout, these scenes aren’t about her, per se. Voters may opt for one of the other nominees whose characters have more agency in their submissions.
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