4 reasons why Ewan McGregor (‘Halston’) will beat the odds and win Emmy for Netflix

As of this writing, Gold Derby’s 31 Experts can’t decide who will win Best Movie/Limited Actor at the 2021 Emmys. A leading 17 of these pundits predict Paul Bettany (“WandaVision”) will prevail on Sunday night, with 13 more picking Hugh Grant (“The Undoing”) and one going out on a limb for Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton”). But I think they’re all wrong. Ewan McGregor (“Halston”) is my pick to win for playing famed American fashion designer Halston in Ryan Murphy‘s Netflix limited series. Even though the Scottish actor is a bit of an underdog at the Emmys, don’t count him out just yet. Read on to see my four reasons why I think McGregor will beat the odds.

1. Physical transformation

There’s nothing awards voters love more than when an actor transforms himself on camera, and McGregor does that in spades. “Halston’s” costumes and makeup were both nominated at the Creative Arts Emmys, but also don’t forget the way the actor changed his voice to perfectly emulate the fashion designer’s raspy, nasally tone. In this category alone, men like Mark Ruffalo (“I Know This Much Is True”), Michael Douglas (“Behind the Candelabra”), Kevin Costner (“Hatfields & McCoys”) and Paul Giamatti (“John Adams”) all prevailed recently for fully committing to their transformative roles. Will McGregor be next?

2. He plays a real person

The Best Movie/Limited Actor category is chock-full of performers who won for playing real people. In addition to the winners mentioned above, other recent champs who fit the criteria include Jharrel Jerome (“When They See Us”), Darren Criss (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace”), Courtney B. Vance (“The People v. O.J. Simpson”) and Barry Pepper (“The Kennedys”). This year’s Emmy race includes three such men: McGregor as Halston, Miranda as Alexander Hamilton and Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr. However, both of those “Hamilton” guys are playing heightened stage versions of their real-life counterparts and could experience a vote-split, opening the door for someone like McGregor.

3. The Ryan Murphy factor

Over the years, the uber-producer has helped no less than 11 actors win Emmys. Everyone from Billy Porter (“Pose”) to Sarah Paulson (“The People v. O.J. Simpson”) to Gwyneth Paltrow (“Glee”) have Murphy to thank for their fireplace mantels being a bit fuller, and McGregor is hoping his name gets called this year. Murphy’s secret sauce seems to be a combination of real-life drama, over-the-top camp and gut-wrenching empathy, three things Emmy voters simply can’t ignore. This year, four of Murphy’s actors were nominated for Emmys: McGregor, Porter, Mj Rodriguez (“Pose”) and Sophie Okonedo (“Ratched”), who lost last weekend to Claire Foy (“The Crown”).

4. He’s a movie star

Even as TV and film continue to meld together year after year, there’s still no denying the impact of having a movie star take the Emmy stage. Last year Ruffalo claimed victory in a bit of an upset, but it’s likely his blockbuster role as The Hulk helped him get a few extra votes. McGregor has appeared in dozens of popular films through the years, including “Trainspotting” and “Star Wars,” and earned Golden Globe nominations for “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” and “Moulin Rouge.” He won the Golden Globe for TV’s “Fargo,” but he still has an Emmy I.O.U. for that project as he lost to Riz Ahmed (“The Night Of”).

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