After “Game of Thrones” dominated the acting categories with 10 nominations for its farewell season at last year’s Emmys, these races are now wide open. That includes both supporting categories, in which “Thrones” occupied seven of the 13 slots. In our recent slugfest (watch the video above), I joined contributors Charles Bright and Riley Chow to discuss whether this wide-open field will result in the return of familiar faces or allow for newer ones to break through.
In Best Drama Supporting Actor, we all expect perennial nominee Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul”), last year’s drama guest actor champ Bradley Whitford (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) and Primetime Emmy rookie contender Tom Pelphrey (“Ozark”) to be shortlisted. “If he gets nominated, he is very competitive for the win,” I say about Pelphrey, a two-time Daytime Emmy winner whom we all peg as the front runner following a scene-stealing turn in “Ozark’s” acclaimed third season. While Bright considers Banks (who tops Gold Derby’s combined odds) the most likely spoiler, Chow and I are keeping our eyes on Billy Crudup (“The Morning Show”), who triumphed at the Critics’ Choice Awards and raked in a Screen Actors Guild Award nom.
After being blanked in the acting races for its first season last year, “Succession” is looking to break through with its second installment – but Bright and Chow disagree on which supporting actor gets in: The former has his money on Matthew Macfadyen and Golden Globe nominee Kieran Culkin, while the latter is going out on a limb for Nicholas Braun, noting that he plays “such a unique character.” Other contenders we discuss include past nominees David Harbour (“Stranger Things”), Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”) and Chris Sullivan (“This Is Us”), as well as newcomer Josh O’Connor (“The Crown”).
Over in Best Drama Supporting Actress, Helena Bonham Carter is the heavy favorite in our odds for her turn as Princess Margaret in “The Crown’s” third season. While our panel agrees that she’s a safe bet for a citation, only Bright is currently predicting her to win. At the same time he proclaims, “The idea that [‘Ozark’s’] Julia Garner and Janet McTeer are getting in is, to me, a no-brainer.” Chow and I agree, with Chow even forecasting reigning champ Garner to win, which would make her, as I point out, the rare repeat winner in the drama acting races of late.
After competing in the limited series categories and racking up eight statuettes for its first season, “Big Little Lies” is now being considered as a drama series and contends for recent Oscar winner Laura Dern (who also won for the show’s first season) and acting legend Meryl Streep. Only Chow is betting on both to rack up noms, but our panel agrees that you shouldn’t underestimate them. I also urge to watch out for “The Handmaid’s Tale’s” Ann Dowd and Yvonne Strahovski, while Bright and Chow are keeping a sharp lookout for Thandie Newton, who won for “Westworld” in 2018, but wasn’t eligible last year since the show sat out the Emmy cycle.
Watch as we also consider Sarah Snook for “Succession” after her category switcheroo, as well as past nominees Millie Bobby Brown and Fiona Shaw (“Killing Eve”), and hopefuls Cynthia Erivo (“The Outsider”), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“The Morning Show”) and Rhea Seehorn (“Better Call Saul”).
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