Watch out Elisabeth Moss, as Claire Foy is a real threat to take away your Emmy crown. I just switched to Foy in my predictions and think she will win her first Emmy this year for playing Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s “The Crown.”
Foy sits in second place with 7/1 odds behind Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) at 8/15 and just ahead of Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”) at 15/2 according to our combined odds. And although none of our sage Emmy Experts have Foy in first place in their predictions, three of our Editors (Paul Sheehan, Marcus James Dixon and myself) have cottoned on to Foy being a more serious threat to dethrone Moss at next month’s Emmys.
Here’s five reasons why I think Foy might reign supreme on Emmy night:
1. Foy has won the last two SAG Awards in this category
Earlier this year, Foy took the drama TV actress category at the SAG Awards for the second year in a row. Moss was the only other nominee in her category that night who is also nominated at the Emmys this year. So it is clear that actors really love Foy’s performance in “The Crown,” enough to bypass favorite Moss and hand Foy a second consecutive trophy.
There is a significant overlap in membership between SAG/AFTRA and the actor’s branch of the TV academy. Yes, Foy lost to Moss at the Emmys last year, but that might be attributed to the groundswell of support for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which went on to effectively sweep on Emmy night, winning two acting prizes (for Moss and supporting player Ann Dowd), directing, writing and Best Drama Series. It might also be attributed to the noise around Moss never having won an Emmy after numerous attempts for her work on “Mad Men” and “Top of the Lake.”
This year, with Moss now an Emmy winner, a lot of that noise has gone away. If actors clearly love Foy, they might decide to hand her an Emmy to go with her two SAG Awards.
2. Is the second time a charm?
Sometimes, the Emmys are a little slow on the uptake. In recent years, we’ve seen a few sophomore winners in the drama categories. For example, Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”) lost Best Drama Actress in 2015 (her first nomination), but triumphed on her second go-round in 2016. In the actor race, Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”) lost in 2010 (his first nomination), but surprisingly won the following year.
We know “The Crown” has a lot of support at the Emmys. Last year it garnered 13 nominations overall, winning three (including for supporting actor John Lithgow). This year it held steady with 13 nods across the board, but it tellingly doubled its acting nominations from two to four, with Foy returning, adding supporting actress Vanessa Kirby and guest actor Matthew Goode, and Matt Smith replacing Lithgow in Best Drama Supporting Actor. The actors literally doubled-down for “The Crown.” Will some wins follow?
3. If episodes mean anything…
Back in the day, Emmy prognosticators carefully viewed and analyzed episodes submitted for Emmy consideration, knowing that episodes were the most important factor in determining who had the best chance of winning. That’s because the acting categories were judged by curated blue ribbon panels that judged performances on the merits of that single, all important episode. These days, episode entries are less important, as the acting categories are open to the membership, effectively rendering these races popularity contests. However, voters are still made aware of the episodes submitted for consideration, and these episodes are made available to voters.
This year, Foy submitted “Dear Mrs. Kennedy,” arguably the best episode of season two, revolving around US President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy‘s tour of Buckingham Palace. It is the perfect submission for Foy, as she demonstrates range, impact, screen time and empathy. The Queen feels threatened and vulnerable in some scenes, then takes charge on the world stage in other scenes, and ultimately connects with Jackie O via letter in the final scene, devastated at having just heard of the president’s assassination. If episodes still matter, this one is a dynamite submission for her, and will only help her cause when voters are checking off names on the ballot.
4. Best Drama Actress is a relatively strong field with no clear frontrunner
As we recently discussed in our slugfest (link above), you can make a very legitimate argument for all six contenders in this category. It is a real contest without a really obvious front runner. Moss, Maslany, Foy and Oh are all serious threats to take home the Emmy, as are Keri Russell with her third consecutive and final nom for “The Americans,” and Evan Rachel Wood, who returns for a second nom for her lauded work on “Westworld.”
With no clear leader, it might only take a few additional votes or a faction of support (such as, for example, a Netflix voting bloc) to tip a contender over the edge.
5. Is the last chance the best chance?
We know that the Emmys are generally not very sentimental. Emmy voters tend to fixate on their favorite shows and performers for years and years rather than awarding an actor or series because it’s their last chance to do so.
But there is some recent precedent in the drama acting categories where sentiment pushed an actor over the line. In 2014, the TV academy gave Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) a fitting send off in the Best Drama Actor category. The following year in that very same category, Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) received his final farewell hug after years of just missing out (the same as Chandler mentioned above).
Like fellow nominees Russell and Maslany, who also star in shows that have wrapped their final seasons, Foy might capitalize if voters realize that this is the last opportunity they have to award her for this role, as next season the entire cast, including Foy, are replaced with a new ensemble, and Olivia Colman takes over as the Queen.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 17. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.