On Sunday night Mahershala Ali took home his second career Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “Green Book,” but it turns out his year in the awards spotlight is just beginning. According to Gold Derby’s early Emmy predictions, Ali has leading 13/2 racetrack odds to win the Emmy this September for his leading role on HBO’s limited series “True Detective.” Can Ali do what Matthew McConaughey couldn’t do five years ago and take home the Emmy for “True Detective” months after claiming the Oscar?
As awards pundits will tell you, the first season of “True Detective” helped McConaughey win Best Actor for “Dallas Buyers Club” (2013), as the well-reviewed program aired smack-dab in the middle of Oscar voting. Much of McConaughey’s awards narrative that year focused on his transition from surfer dude to serious actor, and his amazing reviews as Detective Rustin “Rust” Cohle on the crime series played into that.
McConaughey’s first television performance would score nominations at the Emmys, Golden Globes and SAG Awards, where he lost to Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), Billy Bob Thornton (“Fargo”) and Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”), respectively. He did, however, take home the Critics’ Choice Award for that TV role. At the Oscars McConaughey prevailed for playing AIDS victim Ron Woodroof against fellow Best Actor nominees Christian Bale (“American Hustle”), Bruce Dern (“Nebraska”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”).
The third installment of “True Detective,” now led by Ali, also aired during the middle of Oscar voting, with the season finale actually scheduled opposite the ceremony on February 24. Ali played Wayne Hays, an Arkansas detective who’s haunted by the case of two missing children across three different timelines. In “Green Book” he took on the true-to-life role of Don Shirley, a world-famous jazz pianist who teaches his driver (Viggo Mortensen) about the racial inequalities of the 1960s deep south.
As of this writing, Ali’s likely Emmy competition for Best Limited Series/Movie Actor includes Sam Rockwell (“Fosse/Verdon”), Hugh Grant (“A Very English Scandal”), Benicio Del Toro (“Escape at Dannemora”), Anthony Hopkins (“King Lear”), Ian McShane (“Deadwood Movie”), Paul Dano (“Escape at Dannemora”) and Benedict Cumberbatch (“Brexit”), among others.
In the near future, you can check out how our experts rank this year’s Emmy contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own 2019 Emmy predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on July 16.