Thursday, September 1, 2022

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Adrien Brody as Josh Aaronson, Succession (Lion in the Meadow)
It’s good to see Brody back in awards contention two full decades after his surprise Oscar win for “The Pianist” since he hasn’t done all that much of note since that breakout. He was also a part of another HBO hit, “Winning Time,” this season, though that show isn’t the overall Emmy nominations leader. Brody has the second most substantial part of the four men nominated from his show, getting quality screen time with both Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong as a man with plenty of power on his own turf. A win is a distinct possibility.

James Cromwell as Ewan Roy, Succession (Retired Janitors of Idaho)
Cromwell has five previous nominations, three in this category and one for this role, and his lone win was for “American Horror Story: Asylum” in the supporting race. He’s the only returning nominee from his show, and while his screentime is again limited, his lines are so fantastic and his delivery is even better. He shares an episode submission with Nicholas Braun, and the whole plot about his inheritance and Greenpeace is fantastic. Cromwell definitely has name recognition in his favor, but I think his part is overall too minimal.

Colman Domingo as Ali, Euphoria (Ruminations: Big and Little Bullys)
Domingo is absolutely fantastic, and after being technically eligible last season for anchoring one of his show’s two special episodes, it’s wonderful to see him recognized here. He exudes such a spectacular relatability and influence as Ali, Rue’s sponsor, who sees her making the same mistakes he did and wants to reach her on a level that she’ll understand, not just say what he’s supposed to. In a field with one show dominating, I think Domingo has a sincere chance to stand out and triumph.

Arian Moayed as Stewy Hosseini, Succession (Retired Janitors of Idaho)
Moayed has been a recurring part of this show for a while, and I’m sure that, in addition to it being incredibly popular, his additional role on another series nominated this season, “Inventing Anna,” didn’t hurt. I probably would have chosen him for that show instead, however, since he is a worthwhile guest star but one whose appearances are often fleeting and not really what I think of when I consider this category. He also has the lowest profile of any of the nominees from his show, so I think he’s the least likely of any of these men to win.

Tom Pelphrey as Ben Davis, Ozark (You’re the Boss)
This is the definition of a makeup nomination, but given how much Pelphrey deserved to be honored for season three of his show, I’m all for it. Ben appears only in a short flashback scene at the start of his submitted episode, but it’s a great reminder of just how talented he is and how he should have won in the supporting category when he was a regular part of the show. I also had the chance to interview him and he was wonderful. Like Domingo, he stands a good chance since I think voters will have a tough time picking between the men of their preferred show in this category.

Alexander Skarsgård as Lukas Matsson, Succession (All the Bells Say)
Skarsgård was previously nominated – and won – for his role on Big Little Lies. He’s playing someone less overtly terrible here, but it’s just as riveting a performance. The fact that he’s going to have an increased role in season four only helps the case for a win, especially since I think he’s the easy pick from his show. But there will still be vote-splitting, making him the best bet to win from the series but still hardly a guarantee.

Who should win (based on entire season): N/A
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Domingo or Skarsgård
Who will win: I’ll pick Domingo over Pelphrey and Skarsgård.

Next up: Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series

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