Prior to the debut of “WandaVision,” the first of several live-action Marvel series coming to Disney+ this year, Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany seemed like a long shot. And technically they still probably are. But both actors have seen their odds increase since the show premiered on Jan. 15.
Unlike the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards also extended its TV eligibility to Feb. 28, making it the first awards show for which “WandaVision” is eligible. Bettany, who is once again flashing his excellent comedic chops as the synthezoid Vision on the series, is currently sitting in 26th place in Gold Derby’s combined odds for Best TV Movie/Miniseries Actor. This is slightly down from last week, when he was in 24th place, but a wild jump from the week before, when he was sitting all the way at 47th. While Bettany definitely shines in the nine-episode limited series — if you haven’t yet, please watch the second episode, in which Vision accidentally swallows a piece of gum and Bettany portrays the android as being drunk — his moderate rise in the odds is likely the result of more people tuning into the series, which is an homage to classic sitcoms like “The Dick Van Dyke Show” wrapped inside familiar Marvel packaging.
It should be noted that Bettany is also in contention in the category for the Amazon film “Uncle Frank” — he’s in 24th place for that — so he could split votes.
While Bettany has more or less been on the rise, Olsen has been fairly steady in the odds for Best TV Movie/Miniseries Actress since the series’ debut. The actress, who portrays the powerful Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch, on the series, is currently sitting in 16th, down from 15th last week. She was in 16th the week before, so it doesn’t seem like she’s going to surge anytime soon, but this should not be read as any sort of indicator of her performance. Olsen moves through the show with ease, effortlessly turning on a dime whenever something threatens the couple’s new life in the idyllic neighborhood of Westview.
With SAG Award nominations slated to be announced on Feb. 4, it seems unlikely that either Bettany or Olsen will be able to triumph over the competition in order to score a nomination for their work, especially when you consider that the SAG Awards tend to overlook late-arriving new shows. As it stands, the limited series races are jam-packed with exceptional talent, especially in Olsen’s category, where the current top five include Cate Blanchett (“Mrs. America”, 18/5 combined odds), Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Queen’s Gambit,” 4/1 odds), Nicole Kidman (“The Undoing,” 5/1 odds), recent Emmy winner Uzo Aduba (“Mrs. America,” 6/1 odds) and Michaela Coel (“I May Destroy You,” 11/1 odds).
Bettany’s competition is not much better though. The actor with the best odds in the that race is Bettany’s former Marvel co-star Mark Ruffalo (“I Know This Much Is True,” 17/5 combined odds), who took home the Emmy for this performance in September. He’s then followed by Ethan Hawke (“The Good Lord Bird,” 4/1 odds), Hugh Grant (“The Undoing,” 5/1 odds), Hugh Jackman (“Bad Education,” 13/2 odds) and Brendan Gleeson (“The Comedy Rule,” 19/2 odds).
Some of these performers will not be eligible come Primetime Emmy time, and while there’s been no indication (yet) of plans to continue “WandaVision” and depending on how things shake out at the SAG Awards on April 4, Disney+ might want to consider submitting the series as a comedy at this year’s Emmys. It would not only be a worthy contender, but so many shows, like last year’s mega-winner “Schitt’s Creek,” won’t be eligible. Just a thought.
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