When Al Pacino began his career over five decades ago, he and other aspiring film actors were discouraged from taking TV roles, so he strictly avoided them for 35 years. By the early 2000s, TV acting had gained much more respect thanks to a rise in prestige dramas. Pacino jumped on board and starred in the HBO miniseries “Angels in America,” which brought him an Emmy and a Golden Globe in 2004. Now, after starring in several successful TV movies over the past decade, he has earned his 19th competitive Globe bid for “Hunters,” his first continuing series.
At the Globes, Pacino faces off against Jason Bateman (“Ozark”), Josh O’Connor (“The Crown”), Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) and Matthew Rhys (“Perry Mason”) in the race for Best TV Drama Actor. Bateman and Rhys have each competed in the category twice before, while Odenkirk has done so three times. O’Connor is the only Globes rookie in the lineup.
On Amazon Prime’s “Hunters,” Pacino plays Meyer Offerman, a Holocaust survivor who acts as the leader of a multi-generational group dedicated to preventing the rise of Nazism in America. He and his organization are seen through the eyes of new member Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman), who is initially eager to help the cause but soon struggles with the dark moral compromises it demands. The deeply mysterious Offerman teaches him that a hero is “not the one who does what is right, but the one who does what is necessary.”
Pacino’s nomination is his fourth for a television performance. After his win for “Angels in America,” he earned bids for the HBO movies “You Don’t Know Jack” and “Phil Spector,” winning for the former. The 80-year-old has competed in the film acting categories 15 times and has scored two Best Film Drama Actor wins, for “Serpico” in 1974 and “Scent of a Woman” in 1993. In 2001 he was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement.
Since 2016, Pacino has ranked as the second-most-nominated male actor in Golden Globes history behind 22-time nominee Jack Lemmon, who died in 2001. He continues to consistently prove his good standing with the HFPA and, by steadily narrowing the gap, is on track to set a new record of his own.
This article is a part of Gold Derby’s “Golden Globes nominee profile” series spotlighting the 2021 contenders in film and TV.
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