[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers about the fifth episode of “Mare of Easttown.” Read at your own risk.]
Despite the numerous acting nominations received by several actors who’ve starred on Ryan Murphy’s long-running FX anthology series “American Horror Story,” Evan Peters, who has appeared in eight seasons thus far, has never been nominated for any of his performances on the show. Some think he’s long overdue for Emmy recognition, and while it won’t be coming this year since the show is not eligible, the 34-year-old actor still has a chance to nab his first Emmy nomination thanks to his turn on a different limited series: HBO’s thrilling mystery “Mare of Easttown.”
Created by Brad Ingelsby, the show, which has received rave reviews and seen a growing weekly audience since debuting in mid-April, stars Kate Winslet as Mare Sheehan, a gruff detective sergeant investigating the death of a teen mother and the disappearance of another girl in a small town near Philadelphia where everyone knows everyone else. Peters first appears in the second episode as Colin Zabel, a young but competent detective from the county who is called in to assist Mare in her investigation. Unfortunately, the character met his untimely demise in the series’ fifth episode when he was shot in the head. It was a shocking moment and a particularly tragic ending for Zabel, who was just trying his best.
While Zabel won’t be able to help Mare solve any murders, Peters, who also guest-starred in the Disney+ limited series “WandaVision” earlier this year, is currently sitting in 12th place in Gold Derby’s combined odds in the race for supporting actor in a limited series or TV movie. His performance had been strong throughout the show’s entire run, but the character’s recent death seems to have put Peters on everyone’s radar, as he has steadily risen in the odds over the last few days. He was in 16th place on April 27 and 15th place on May 17, the day after Zabel was killed. As more people catch up on the show, it’s possible he’ll rise even further.
Of course, if Peters wants to have a shot at the Emmy or even a nomination, he has got a ways to go in a category that is led by John Boyega (“Small Axe”), who took home both the Golden Globe and the Critics Choice Award, the latter in the lead category, for his performance on the Steve McQueen anthology. The rest of the top contenders are Donald Sutherland (“The Undoing”), Bill Camp (“The Queen’s Gambit”), Brendan Gleeson (“The Comey Rule”), Daveed Diggs (“Hamilton”) and Courtney B. Vance (“Genius: Aretha”).
Despite the big names ahead of him — and though he’ll have to leapfrog a handful of other people to do it — Peters definitely has a good chance of getting his first Emmy bid here. Gleeson was nominated for the Golden Globe for his performance as former President Donald Trump, but “The Comey Rule” has generally underperformed. Meanwhile, “Genius: Aretha” flew entirely under the radar when it aired in March and the only actors who’ve been nominated for the Nat Geo anthology in the past have been lead performers, which doesn’t necessarily bode well for Vance even though he’s a former Emmy winner.
Also working in Peters’ favor here is the fact he’s somewhat playing against type, which shows off his range and helps him stand out more than he otherwise might have — and on a superficial level, he shed his trademark long locks for the role. And he’ll be fresher in the minds of Emmy voters too. The eligibility window closes May 31 and the voting period for nominations runs from June 17 until June 28. In other words, Peters’ could be starting to peak at the right time.
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