Drama Guest Actress Emmy slugfest: It is anyone’s race in this crowded field
“This is a tough category. There’s a lot of different ways we could see this going,” Zach Laws declares in our video chat (watch above) about the buzz-worthy Best Drama Guest Actress category at this year’s Emmys. Gold Derby senior editor Rob Licuria is joined by contributing writers Laws and Amanda Spears to debate which contender has the edge in a very tough field. “This category is so stacked!” Licuria proclaims. “I could make an argument for any of them to win.”
In this category, previous Emmy winner Cicely Tyson (“How to Get Away with Murder”) is fending off previous Emmy nominee Laverne Cox (“Orange is the New Black”), and first-time contenders Alexis Bledel (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) Ann Dowd (“The Leftovers”), Shannon Purser (“Stranger Things”) and Alison Wright (“The Americans”).
“I’m picking Ann Dowd for ‘The Leftovers,'” Laws reveals. “She’s sort of a classic winner in this category. She’s this steady, working actress who’s been around for a really long time. A lot of people kind of discovered who she was because of her role in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ which she’s also nominated for, which I think only helps her for ‘The Leftovers.’ On the other hand, Alexis Bledel’s episode of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is devastating,” he explains, adding that “it’s also a terrific episode for Ann Dowd,” given that Bledel’s episode features Dowd prominently, which might get the veteran actress over the line.
“I spent some time trying to find a reason to predict Alexis Bledel. Like, a legitimate strategy,” Spears says, acknowledging how much she wants to see the actress win due to her never having been rewarded for her breakthrough role on “Gilmore Girls.” “This is a woman who is known for speed talking [in her most famous role] and who proved you don’t need a word of dialogue and only the top half of her face to give an incredible performance,” Spears adds. “The problem is you have to go all the way back to 1989 [Kay Lenz in ‘Midnight Caller’], who won this category at age 36,” she says, arguing that younger actresses rarely win this category. “They love actresses of a certain age in this category.”
“Laverne Cox could be a huge spoiler in this category,” Licuria notes. “She was devastating as Sophia Burset.” Licuria also notes that Alison Wright is a real possibility too. “She’s finally nominated, doesn’t do a lot this season because her character is in hiding in Russia, but Emmy voters don’t care about that. They care about the character. They love characters. She could win this if they think about what Martha has done in previous seasons.” Licuria acknowledges that Bledel and Dowd are the likely frontrunners, though. “If Ann Dowd doesn’t win this it will be very heartbreaking because this is the only chance that ‘The Leftovers’ has to win.”