Kate Winslet is currently in first place in our early Emmy odds to win Best Limited/TV Movie Actress for “Mare of Easttown.” It would be her second Emmy and second win in the category — a perfect 10 years after her first.
The Oscar winner took home her first statuette for her performance on Todd Haynes‘ HBO miniseries “Mildred Pierce,” her first collaboration with the network. She beat out Taraji P. Henson (“Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story”), Diane Lane (“Cinema Verite”), Jean Marsh (“Upstairs Downstairs”) and Elizabeth McGovern (“Downton Abbey”). Remember when “Downton” competed as a miniseries? Good times. That’s how long ago this was.
“Oh, I didn’t think we were gonna win anything. Oh, look, I really did win it!” Winslet exclaimed upon accepting the trophy (watch above). “This means such a great deal to all of us because this really, I feel like, had nothing to do with me. It was all you, Todd. It was all you. It was HBO, our wonderful producers, our extraordinary cast.”
Winslet closed her speech by noting that the character of Mildred Pierce was “capable of great acts of love as a mother” and was an “extraordinary multitasker” before paying tribute to her own mother. “I actually do have to share this with my mum,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you do in your life. You never stop needing your mum and I will never stop needing mine.”
Nominated for 21 Emmys, “Mildred Pierce” won five, including supporting actor for Guy Pearce, who became such good pals with Winslet that she asked him to play her love interest Richard on “Mare” after the previously cast actor, Ben Miles, had to drop out. At first blush, Winslet might sound disingenuous saying that she didn’t think “Mildred Pierce” was going to win anything, but it had lost three of its categories at the ceremony to “Downton” until Pearce’s triumph, which was presented right before hers (Pearce did not face a “Downton” nominee). Immediately after Winslet’s victory, “Downton” bested “Mildred Pierce” to win the newly merged Best Limited Series or TV Movie prize. The categories were combined that year because of a dearth of miniseries being produced, which is hilarious to think about since it’s the complete opposite now. They were split again in 2014. Meanwhile, “Downton” started competing as a drama in 2012. (Ironically, if “Mare” does return for a second season, it’ll have to move to drama then as well.)
“Mare,” which received 16 nominations, is Winslet’s first major TV series since “Mildred Pierce” and it was bigger than the latter ever was. Part murder mystery, part character study, it was a bona fide hit as it aired over seven weeks in the spring, while Winslet, who served as an executive producer and could nab a second Emmy for the HBO smash if it wins limited series, earned career-best reviews. Winslet rose all the way to second place in the nominations odds, behind Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Queen’s Gambit”), but now she’s flipped the script on the season-long frontrunner — though it is a close one at 17/5 to 37/10. This whole category is very competitive with Michaela Coel (“I May Destroy You”) in third, Elizabeth Olsen (“WandaVision”) in fourth and Cynthia Erivo (“Genius: Aretha”) in fifth.
Perhaps helping Winslet is that the limited/movie actress category is kind to former champs — she’s the only one of the five who’s won or has even been nominated before. She’d be the 11th person to win the category twice, just a year after Regina King joined the club. Two people, Patty Duke and Laura Linney, have three wins and Helen Mirren holds the record with four. Regardless if Winslet wins or not, let’s hope she doesn’t wait 10 years again to do another series.
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