4 reasons why ‘Ozark’ star Janet McTeer is an Emmy dark horse in Best Drama Supporting Actress

Our Best Drama Supporting Actress Emmy odds currently have Julia Garner out front to win for “Ozark,” but her co-star Janet McTeer, who joined the gritty Netflix drama in its second season, is back in 14th place. While McTeer appears to be a longshot with 100/1 odds, here are four reasons why you shouldn’t underestimate her:

1. “Ozark’s” five Emmy nominations last year
Netflix released the first season of “Ozark” in July 2017, so nearly an entire year before the 2018 Emmys. Keeping that, and the stacked drama field, in mind, its five nominations were an impressive feat, especially if you consider where it ended up hitting: Jason Bateman not only crashed the Best Drama Actor lineup, but also managed to sneak into Best Drama Directing (“The Toll”) alongside co-director Daniel Sackheim (“Tonight We Improvise”). It also got nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Production Design.

These five nominations are indicative of significant support from the TV academy, and now that the field has thinned out a bit — heavy hitters like “The Crown,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Stranger Things,” and “Westworld” are all sitting out this cycle — “Ozark” is predicted to see an uptick in bids for its second season: Our odds have it in fifth place in Best Drama Series, Bateman and Laura Linney are in second place in Best Drama Actor and Actress, respectively, and Garner is the odds-on favorite in Best Drama Supporting Actress.

When shows over-perform for their sophomore seasons, they often carry along a handful of new acting bids, which bodes well for McTeer if “Ozark” does indeed blow up. Just look at “Handmaid’s” last year, which rose from 13 to 20 noms for its second season and was able to add on another four acting bids to its four for Season 1.

SEE ‘Ozark’ overhaul? Netflix drama could earn Emmy nominations in all 4 acting categories

2. Its impressive guild performance
So yes, we know there’s support for “Ozark’s” first season, but what about its second one? Well, with 14 guild nominations, the second season has even more visible support than the first.

Four of those nominations came at the Screen Actors Guild Awards: Bateman and Linney already got in for the first season, so their returns weren’t too surprising, but the additional bids for the cast in ensemble and Garner alongside Linney in drama actress are what really put the show on top. In fact, it was the most nominated drama series of the year, which points to passion and support for the show from actors.

3. McTeer plays a villain
McTeer plays Helen Pierce, the cartel’s attorney who comes to town when Del (Esai Morales) and Garcia (Joseph Melendez) can’t be reached, not yet knowing that both were killed by Darlene (Lisa Emery) in the Season 1 finale, and to make sure that Marty (Bateman) continues to properly launder her client’s money.

She has a showcase episode with “Game Day,” in which Helen is wary of Ruth’s loyalty to Marty and therefore has her interrogated via waterboarding, even though Marty vouches for her. While she plays more of a straightforward villain rather than one that winks at the camera, McTeer still gives a performance that is in the TV academy’s wheelhouse: As Helen, she’s evil and fear-inducing, and a continuous looming presence that, even when she’s offscreen, you can’t help but think about how she’d react to certain situations.

SEE Guild awards scorecard: ‘Ozark’ surges ahead amid little consensus about TV dramas

4. She’s a veteran actress
McTeer may be a new face to the show, but she certainly isn’t one to the industry, having worked for nearly 35 years. She’s a two-time Academy Award nominee for “Tumbleweeds” (1999) in Best Actress and “Albert Nobbs” (2011) in Best Supporting Actress. Her first and only Emmy bid was for her supporting turn as Clementine Churchill in the 2009 HBO TV movie “Into the Storm.”

McTeer also isn’t just on the Emmy ballot for “Ozark” this year, but for playing Amy Shaw on Facebook Watch’s “Sorry For Your Loss” as well — in the same category. Yes, she may have risked splitting the vote with herself, but since “Sorry For Your Loss” isn’t predicted to fare as well as “Ozark” and there’s nothing stopping votings from voting for both of her performances, she might not have to worry about that. Instead, being on the ballot twice might have even boosted her chances since her name may have stuck out.

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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 nominations are announced on July 16. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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