‘The Mandalorian’ unmasked at the Emmys? These Experts are betting on Pedro Pascal

The Mandalorian” made a huge first impression on Emmy voters in 2020, earning 15 nominations and winning seven times in craft categories. But Pedro Pascal wasn’t nominated for playing the title bounty hunter. Will that change this year? Eight of the Expert journalists we’ve surveyed say yes.

Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Tim Gray (Variety), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly), Christopher Rosen (Gold Derby), Keith Simanton (IMDb), Jazz Tangcay (Variety), Kaitlin Thomas (Gold Derby), and Anne Thompson (IndieWire) are betting on Pascal to be nominated for Best Drama Actor. It would be the first Emmy bid of his career despite previously appearing on another Emmy-winning fantasy series, “Game of Thrones.” Though no Experts are predicting him to win as of this writing.

Pascal hasn’t been recognized very much for this performance thus far. Though the show was an Emmy, Critics Choice, and Golden Globe nominee for Best Drama Series, its leading man has only gotten in so far at the Critics Choice Super Awards and the MTV Movie and TV Awards. That’s probably because he spends most of the show with his face entirely obscured by a helmet, but with so much love for the show from industry groups ranging from the Screen Actors Guild to the Visual Effects Society, we could see that halo of support extend around him in season two.

We already know industry actors like the show. SAG honored its stunt cast, and last year the Emmys gave the show two performance nominations in addition to its slew of bids in craft categories: Best Drama Guest Actor for Giancarlo Esposito (who’s eligible again this year as a supporting actor) and Best Character Voice-Over Performance for Taika Waititi.

Additionally, thanks in part to production delays from the COVID-19 pandemic, only two of last year’s Emmy nominees for Best Drama Actor are eligible to compete again this year. Reigning champ Jeremy Strong and his “Succession” co-star Brian Cox are out. “Ozark” and “The Morning Show” didn’t air any new episodes this season either, so Jason Bateman and Steve Carell are also absent from the race. That leaves only Billy Porter (“Pose”) and Sterling K. Brown (“This is Us”) among returning contenders from 2020.

And since “The Mandalorian” looks like one of this year’s top contenders for Best Drama Series (it ranks second in our overall odds behind “The Crown”), it might be wise not to underestimate Pascal, no matter how often he shows his face.

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