Outstanding Supporting Actor in A Drama
With John Lithgow, Jonathan Banks, Ron Cephas Jones, and Michael Kelly either ineligible or unlikely to reappear, it leaves room for at least four (and given last year, maybe five) new faces for this year. It’s likely that Game of Thrones will snatch up a nod for Peter Dinklage, and maybe more, but I have my own picks that I hope will embolden Emmy voters. Here are my choices.
Bobby Canavale, Mr. Robot
There are a lot of powerful supporting actors in this multifacted series, and one could just as easily see B.D. Wong or the redoubtable Christian Slater taking a nomination. But watching this subtle fixer for the Dark Army slowly demonstrate to Eliot and his alter ego just how deep their situation was were among the more frightening moments from this series. And the final episode — where he demonstrated just how powerful he was to Grace Gummer’s agent while chopping up the body of a man he’d killed — was absolutely terrifying. I’ve disagreed about his getting recognized for certain series in the past; he definitely earned it this time out.
Noah Emmerich, The Americans
Of all this extraordinary actors who passed through this drama over its six year run, the one whose probably gotten the shortest shrift was Emmerich. This is undeserved, and considering how brilliant work as FBI Agent Stan Beaman was in the final season, Emmy voters are going to have a hard time justifying leaving him out. As he came closer to figuring out that his next door neighbors were Russian spies was wonderful. But in the final episode, where he finally confronted the Jennings in the garage, realized all the lies that had been in his life, and then decided to let them escape — that was incredible. And that doesn’t even count the remainder of the episode where Stan had to act as if he was as surprised as everyone else. He deserves this one.
David Harbour, Stranger Things
Last year, I basically ignored Harbour’s work as Sheriff Harper, the protector of the boys in Hawkins — I guess because it was too subtle. But watching him guard Eleven, even as he lied to her, as he tried to honor his deal as the Upside Down spread, as it became more and more clear that Hawkins, if not the world needed Eleven — he proved what a great father was, and what a great actor he is. The SAG nomination, the Broadcast Critics award, and his unforgettable speech at last years victory party make it seem certain he’ll be back this year. He more than deserves to be.
Ed Harris, Westworld
He is one of America’s greatest actors, and he has never gotten the respect he deserves from any of the mediums he works in.. Now, in the second season, we learned that there was far more to the Man in Black than the possibly psychopathic killing machine we saw before. Even as he played a game that he was convinced was the park’s entire purpose, we learned far more of his backstory — including the fact that much of what was going on behind the scenes was at his direction that he had lost everything because of the park, and that his own family even meant less than this to him. Considering all the nominations that were showered on the series last year, its impossible to understand why he was ignore. Hopefully, this season will change the narrative.
Justin Hartley, This is Us
His work on Kevin has often been considered the lesser achievement than his acting siblings, but as this season passed, this charming character went down a dark path we didn’t think existed for ‘The Manny’. Spiraling into addiction, tearing at scars from his father’s death that have never fully healed, it took him forever to hit bottom, and even after that, its clear there’s still a lot of residual damage. There were signs of hope near the end of the season for Kevin. I hope that the Emmys recognize his journey as they will almost certainly recognize the rest of the Pearson clan.
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
I was actually a little dismayed last year when the Emmys chose to recognize Patinkin over the finals season of Rupert Friend. But there’s no question that Saul Berenson was at the absolute center of this strong seventh year. Trying to hold the country even as the Presidency seemed on the verge of collapse, realizing just how deep the rot was — to the point that he was willing to turn on Carrie. He did everything in his power to save the administration and his protege — and in the finale, it seemed that he failed at both. He’s always been a powerhouse, and he fully deserves to be recognized.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Asia Kate Dillon, Billions
I realize that this gender-neutral actor will pose a headache for Emmy voters. The fact that they were nominated for Best Supporting Actor by the Broadcast Critics may not have been of their own decision. But regardless where you put them, one thing you have categorize their portrayal of Taylor, the CFO who rose to power at Axe Capital, was incredible. Watching them trying to demonstrate new ways of doing business, try to maneuver for power after Axe’s return, suffer the betrayal of losing someone they loved, and then betraying Axe in return in the season finale was some of Billions finest work. I’m glad Axe chose not to kill Taylor off despite their betrayal — they’re one of the great characters on television.