Why win an Emmy for one performance when you can win for two, or three, or four. Sally Field could do that this year with her role as a pop psychologist-turned-super computer in Netflix‘s surreal limited series “Maniac.” And it wouldn’t be the first time Field has won for taking on multiple personae.
One of Field’s most famous TV performances was as the title character in “Sybil,” a young woman who suffered from dissociative identity disorder and exhibited multiple personalities. She won Best Movie/Mini Actress in 1977, which was also her very first Emmy nomination, and the role has become shorthand for any actor who tries to court awards voters by playing multiple parts.
And for good reason, because it works. Just look at Toni Collette, who won Best Comedy Actress in 2009 for playing a woman with multiple personalities in “United Shades of Tara,” and Tatiana Maslany, who claimed Best Drama Actress in 2016 as a smorgasbord of clones in “Orphan Black.” What better way to show awards voters your range than to give them many performances for the price of one.
Overall, Field has won three Emmys out of nine nominations, most recently Best Drama Actress in 2007 for playing the matriarch of the well-to-do Walker family. But it’s been a full decade since her last bid for that show in 2009. Now she’s aiming for her 10th nom and her fourth victory for playing Dr. Greta Mantleray, a bestselling author whose scientist son (Justin Theroux) creates an AI modeled after her. That program, in combination with an experimental drug, guides patients through dreams in the hopes of healing their traumas.
It’s a trippy, outlandish series, and Field has a field day playing multiple versions of Greta and her computer personality in various dream sequences. It’s a broad, emotionally showy, scene-stealing performance, the kind that often pays dividends at the Emmys. However, the limited series somewhat under-performed during the fall and winter awards season. Though it earned crucial bids from the Producers Guild, Directors Guild and Writers Guild, it was completely skunked by the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards, and Field’s performance hasn’t been nominated anywhere yet.
On the plus side, we know the television academy loves her, as evidenced by her multiple wins and nominations over the years, so she currently ranks fifth in our overall predictions for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress with odds of 11/1. Among those betting on her to earn a bid are 13 out of the 24 Expert journalists we’ve surveyed from top media outlets.
But no Experts are currently predicting her to win. Instead, they’re divided between a couple other veteran movie stars: Patricia Clarkson (“Sharp Objects”) and Patricia Arquette (“The Act”), who coincidentally also happen to play mothers with, shall we say, complicated relationships with their children. If I had to choose a parent to be in conflict with I’d take Greta in a heartbeat over Adora Crellin and Dee Dee Blanchard. Perhaps Emmy voters will do the same.
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.