Alexis Bledel is the early favorite to take home the Best Drama Guest Actress Emmy for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a potential victory that would enter her in the record books. That’s because it would be her second award, which would put her in a seven-way tie for most wins in the category.
Bledel first won drama guest actress in 2017 for her performance as Emily on the first season of “Handmaid’s,” kicking off what would be a three-year reign in the category for the Hulu series. Her co-stars Samira Wiley and Cherry Jones prevailed in 2018 and ’19, respectively. Jones is one of the six people who’ve won the category twice; her other win was just last year for “Succession.” The other two-time champs are: Patricia Clarkson (“Six Feet Under,” 2002, ’06), Shirley Knight (“thirtysomething,” 1988; “NYPD Blue,” 1995), Margo Martindale (“The Americans,” 2015-16) Amanda Plummer (“The Outer Limits,” 1996; “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” 2005) and Alfre Woodard (“L.A. Law,” 1987; “The Practice,” 2003).
Working in Bledel’s favor is that she’s never missed a nomination for “Handmaid’s,” which not even Elisabeth Moss can say. In 2018, Bledel was nominated in supporting for the second season, losing to “Westworld’s” Thandiwe Newton, and she returned to the guest lineup last year for the third season, falling to Jones, who could’ve also been nominated for her “Handmaid’s” turn. The acting branch is also quite fond of the dystopian drama, especially in this category as “Handmaid’s” has already accumulated six bids in three seasons. Only “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “ER” — all of which ran/have run for at least 15 seasons — have more nominations.
Then there’s Bledel’s episode itself. She submitted “Testimony,” in which Emily is forced to confront and deal with her trauma from Gilead. Bledel’s first triumph for the episode “Late” is arguably one of the best in the category and her performance in “Testimony” is another Emmy-worthy turn. But we also know voters can be lazy and/or name-check-y in the guest categories (see: Jones’ first win, Martindale’s second), so nothing’s a guarantee here.
Currently in second place is Phylicia Rashad, who’s looking for her third consecutive bid for “This Is Us,” followed by Bledel’s co-star Mckenna Grace, Rosario Dawson (“The Mandalorian”) and Claire Foy (“The Crown”).
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