My Picks For This Year’s Emmys: Week 3
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES
As always, there are more than their fair share of veteran contenders eligible this year. One could definitely imagine a lot of players from HBO and FX dominating the category. But, as always, I’m going to try and measure it in a more fair and balanced scale than the Emmy judges tend to, even though there have been a lot of good ones in each.
Martin Freeman, Sherlock
It’s hard considering that this brilliant thespian is really a supporting actor in this category (but then Doyle always had Watson as the lesser of the two). But he’s more than had to deal with his share of some of the more heartrending moments in this series. The birth of his child, the death of his wife, his estrangement with Sherlock, and the unfortunate final problem — and that was in three episodes. He’ll probably get one last turn in a role that he’s made as iconic as Cumberbatch has made his.
Benito Martinez, American Crime
Honestly, for the first half of the season, I would have considered Martinez’s determined immigrant, trying to find out the fate of his son, the lead character. And while it was daring of the series to have his character depart after Episode 4, it still left one of the most memorable stories. But it doesn’t change the fact that Martinez’s work, mostly subtitled, was among the most extraordinary of a great season. Add to this the fact that he’s been one of America’s most undervalued character actors since The Shield, and you have a role crying out for a nomination.
Alexander Skarsgaard, Big Little Lies
Lost under the towering female performances in this great series was the fact that there were several great turns by a lot of great actors. Indeed, I wouldn’t object if Adam Scott or Jeffrey Nordling got picked. But by far the most incredible turn was that of Skarsgaard as Perry, the initially perfect husband and father who, with each successive episode, reveals himself to be a truly horrible monster. By the time the final revelations come, you actually find yourself hoping what eventually turns out to be true. In an era where villainy and antiheroes reign supreme, Skarsgaard deserves consideration for creating one of the most subtle portrayals of evil I’ve seen in a while.
David Thewlis, Fargo
Fargo has never been shy when it came to creating truly menacing villains — they’ve already created the memorable creations of Lorne Malvo and Mike Milligan. But few villains have ever been as truly unsettling as Thewlis’ portrayal of corporate raider V.P. Varga. Never directly saying what he plans to do, never personally getting his hands dirty, never seeming — until the very end — unnerved by anything that any of the other characters tried to do to him. It was unfair that his character managed to walk away virtually unscathed from the events that happened, but if there’s ever been a character crying out for an encore, I’d be more than willing to see him back.
Stanley Tucci, Feud: Bette & Joan
One of the great character actors in the history of any medium, Tucci managed to recreated one of the most legendary forces behind old Hollywood, Jack Warner. Watching him maneuver to create a situation where two of the biggest stars in Hollywood are basically at each other’s throats on the same set makes you glad that we’ve finally moved past this era in Hollywood. Seeing how he see things also made you realize how much we need forces like him.
Michael K. Williams, The Night Of
As the lifer serving time in the facility where Naz turns out, as the man who eventually takes the innocent college student, and turns him into a hardened criminal, Williams gave another one of the masterful character portrayals we have come to associate with him ever since The Wire. He has been one of the great actors of our time, and has been associated with more than his share of Emmy-nominated HBO projects. Yet criminally, he has been shutout by the Emmys. This may not even have been his greatest work this season, but he more than deserves a shot at the Emmys.
Bill Camp, The Night Of
Lost in so many of the great acting classes we saw in this fantastic series was the performance of the ‘Subtle Beast’ Detective Box. A police officer on the verge of retirement, he does his best to try and convict Naz, and hold firm to his decision even as his career ends, and his own doubts begin to gather. It’s been nearly a year since this series debuted, and its likely to get buried over the other great performances. But his superb work is just as worthy of a nod as Turturro or Ahmed.