Best Drama Actor: Rob Licuria, Chris Beachum ‘massive migraine’ over who wins Emmy
“I’ve got a massive migraine about this one,” Gold Derby senior editor Rob Licuria admits about the Emmy for Best Drama Actor. “I have Sterling K. Brown in at number one, just to keep it safe for the time being, but I am really curious to know what you think Chris, because this category is giving me a headache.” Licuria recently teamed up with managing editor Chris Beachum, the original Gold Derby duo, in a series of slugfests this week about all six lead acting races at the Emmys. Watch their lively discussion about Best Drama Actor above. Also watch our recently-published videos about Best Comedy Actor and Best Comedy Actress.
“It’s tough!” Beachum agrees. “The person I have in first right now,” he reveals, “is Matthew Rhys. ‘The Americans’ is picking up steam left and right, it just won a lot of TCA awards last weekend. He has a tricky job. He’s Welsh, playing a Russian, who’s trying to pass as an American.”
Brown reaped his third and fourth career Emmy nod this year (along with guest acting for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), after winning last year for “This is Us” and the year before for “The People vs. OJ Simpson.” Rhys is also on his fourth career nod, but is yet to win. This would be his final shot for the FX spy thriller.
Jason Bateman received two nods this year for “Ozark,” in this category and also for directing. He’s been nominated twice before for “Arrested Development,” and has not yet won. This is Ed Harris‘ first Emmy nom for “Westworld,” having been nominated twice before in the movie/mini categories. Milo Ventimiglia joins his co-star Brown again this year, his second consecutive bid for “This is Us.” And Jeffrey Wright, a winner in 2004 for “Angels in America,” is nominated for the second time for “Westworld,” having received a nom in the supporting category last year.
“I agree ‘The Americans’ is picking up steam, it had a really great final season,” Licuria declares. “I have this sneaking suspicion that we’ll see a ‘Friday Night Lights’ effect for ‘The Americans,’ where it’s a show that has never really been a massive player at the Emmys but has always received those key nominations and has not really won much apart from obviously Margo Martindale winning the three Emmys that she’s won,” he argues. “But he’s a possibility and we could see a Kyle Chandler type win for him.”
“I’m virtually certain that the finale is going to win writing for ‘The Americans,'” Beachum adds. “And we saw that combo with ‘Friday Night Lights’ winning writing and Kyle Chandler, so maybe you’re right!”
“If you’re having trouble, you look at who won last year, put them in and you’d be safe,” Licuria explains. “That’s why Sterling K. Brown is probably the default, so I’ll put him in for now as the favorite for now because I think he might win again. However, the problem with that is ‘This is Us’ probably under performed a little this season at the Emmys, and apart from Jeffrey’s Wright‘s win back in 2004 for ‘Angels in America,’ no one else has ever won an Emmy of these [remaining] nominees … and I also think there’s a little vote splitting here as well … we’ve got multiple nominees here, like Jeffrey Wright and Ed Harris from ‘Westworld’ and Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown from ‘This is Us,’ who could pull votes from each other.”