Best Drama Actress: Chris Beachum, Rob Licuria slugfest over who wins Emmy in complicated category
“You can make a very legitimate argument for all six people,” Gold Derby managing editor Chris Beachum admits about the complicated, competitive, colossal Emmy race for Best Drama Actress. “Any one of them could win!” Beachum recently teamed up with senior editor Rob Licuria, 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 Actress above. Also watch our recently-published videos about Best Drama Actor, Best Comedy Actor and Best Comedy Actress.
“You could just say, look, Elisabeth Moss won last year, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ has 20 nominations, it’s in the news, it’s in the zeitgeist, it’s going to win a lot of Emmys, she’s probably going to win again. That’s probably what most people are thinking and that’s probably why she’s at my number one spot right now,” Licuria declares. “Her performance in season two of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ was really quite remarkable, her episode is a perfect submission, she really leads that show beautifully, she holds it together, so I can see a lot of reasons why she would just repeat as a winner.”
Moss, the incumbent, has a total of 10 nominations to date (6 for “Mad Men,” 1 for “Top of the Lake” and 3 for “Handmaid’s”), also winning as a producer on the Hulu drama last year. Tatiana Maslany reaped her third nomination for “Orphan Black,” having won in 2016, the last time that show was eligible, which also effectively makes her an incumbent too. Claire Foy is nominated for a second time for “The Crown,” Sandra Oh returns to the Emmys this year for “Killing Eve,” having been nominated 5 consecutive times for her supporting role on “Grey’s Anatomy.” Keri Russell received her third consecutive nod for “The Americans,” for this her final season on the spy thriller, and Evan Rachel Wood received her second nod for “Westworld,” having been nominate once before in 2011 for “Mildred Pierce.”
“When you’ve got this many strong contenders, it actually helps a frontrunner or a perceived frontrunner,” Beachum argues. “If they have one person to fight off, any anti-Handmaids or anti-Hulu or anti-Elisabeth faction, like we’ve seen at the Oscars, they’ll go for that other person or that other movie or that other show. And here, I think there’s going to be divided support among the other shows and the other people,” he says. “That’s probably going to help Elisabeth Moss more than anything.”
Licuria still agrees that we could see a surprise here. “Claire Foy, I’m very tempted to put her in at number one,” he admits. “I think she was absolutely incredible in ‘The Crown,’ and ‘The Crown’ has done very well this season at the Emmys, a lot more actors are nominated this time, which is a little more surprising.” Beachum agrees she’s a threat, noting that she “really surprisingly won over Elisabeth Moss at the recent SAG Awards, and a lot of the voters are the same.”