The fourth year of FX’s acclaimed anthology series “Fargo” begins with Chris Rock’s crime boss Loy Cannon making the heartbreaking decision to trade his son to his rivals and ends with him stabbed gruesomely at his front door just after his family happily reunites. Rock’s surprising dark turn in “Fargo” was a big departure for the stand-up comedian, one that he nailed by bringing to the role a mix of world-weary intelligence and rage. The Golden Globes love such unexpected, genre-defying performances and, as a result, he’s right on the cusp of securing his first-ever nomination from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).
Rock currently sits in sixth place in our current combined odds for TV Movie / Limited Series Actor. Although Rock trails last year’s Emmy-winner Mark Ruffalo (“I Know This Much Is True”), Ethan Hawke (“The Good Lord Bird”), Hugh Grant (“The Undoing”), Paul Mescal (“Normal People”), and Hugh Jackman (“Bad Education”), he is ahead of such heavy-hitters including Globe-winner Bryan Cranston (“Your Honor”), four-time nominee Jeff Daniels (“The Comey Rule”), Captain America himself, Chris Evans (“Defending Jacob”), and recent Emmy nominee Jeremy Pope (“Hollywood”), who round out our top ten.
Savvy prognosticators shouldn’t rule out a nomination for Rock for a number of reasons, especially because the HFPA voters love when actors play against type. In 1981, the first year the Globes handed out the trophy in this category, famed comedic actor Mickey Rooney took home the award for his moving turn in “Bill” about the real-life Bill Sackter, a man with an intellectual disability. Just three years later, Ted Danson won his first Globe for “Something About Amelia” for his disturbing role as a father who sexually assaulted his daughter; Danson received a bid for “Cheers” in the same year and later won two Globes for the sitcom.
Globes history is filled with similar examples, and the HFPA may set another this year as well on the film side: Sacha Baron Cohen currently leads our combined odds to win Comedy Actor for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and also sits in a competitive second place in Supporting Actor for his dramatic performance in “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
In addition to these kindred silly-turned-serious performances, Rock’s predecessors on “Fargo” have fared especially well in this very category. The anthology series has never missed a nomination for its leading actor, earning two bids for its first season (Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton), one for its second (Patrick Wilson), and one for its third (Ewan McGregor). Better yet, both Thornton and McGregor took home trophies, demonstrating just how much the Hollywood Foreign Press Association loves the show. If Rock lands his first Globes nomination next month, he’ll extend that enviable record — and could even upset with a win, too.
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