Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.
Murray Bartlett as Armond, Hacks (Recentering
This is Bartlett’s first Emmy nomination, and he’s already emerged as a favorite thanks to his wins at the Critics Choice Association and the Hollywood Critics Association. As resort manager Armond, Bartlett is hilarious and committed, locked in battle with one difficult guest – played by fellow nominee Jake Lacy – and engaged in other entertaining confrontations with needy visitors. I think Bartlett is far ahead of the rest of the pack. Check out our interview here.

Jake Lacy as Shane Patton, The White Lotus (New Day
This is the first Emmy nomination for Lacy, who does a fantastic job of playing an extremely irritable and entitled resort guest who believes that he should get everything he wants. He has great onscreen interactions with Alexandra Daddario, Molly Shannon, and particularly Murray Bartlett. Though I hadn’t predicted him to be nominated, I’m thrilled that he’s here. The unlikeability of his character, while a direct result of his terrific performance, may be an added impediment to him facing off against his two costars here. Check out our interviews here and here.

Will Poulter as Billy Cutler, Dopesick (Black Box Warning
This is Poulter’s first Emmy nomination, and I think that he has one of the most sympathetic and endearing roles on his show as a Purdue Pharma salesman who slowly comes to see the problematic nature of the drugs that he’s selling. His submitted episode finds him confronting that, and while he’s not nearly as well-known as the other actors nominated from his show, he does deliver a great breakout turn that could win him this prize.

Seth Rogen as Rand Gauthier, Pam and Tommy (Seattle)
Rogen, a first-time Emmy acting nominee after previous bids for writing and producing and two producing mentions this year, has the distinction of being the only man representing his show solo in a seven-person race that includes only three shows. As the frustrated and vindictive contractor who makes it his life’s mission for his horrible employer to pay for his mistreatment, Rogen is very much himself. I am surprised that he didn’t go with the first episode of the limited series since that paints him in a far more sympathetic light as his actions, however malicious, are driven by a legitimate desire to get justice. He did beat the “Dopesick” crowd at the Hollywood Critics Association Awards, and so a victory here isn’t out of the question.

Peter Sarsgaard as Rick Mountcastle, Dopesick (The People vs. Purdue Pharma)
This is the first Emmy nomination for Sarsgaard, who is the moral center of his show as the leading prosecutorial force trying to take down Purdue Pharma. It’s easy to get behind the mission he’s on, and the series finale provides a particularly powerful showcase as he is finally able to get somewhere and hinder Purdue’s ability to operate unchecked. It’s definitely possible that he could win, but I think Poulter has the edge out of the men nominated from his show. Check out our interview here.

Michael Stuhlbarg as Richard Sackler, Dopesick (The Whistleblower)
Stuhlbarg was previously nominated in this category for “The Looming Tower.” He would have been a good choice for this race last year for a scenery-chewing performance in “Your Honor,” and now he’s here for portraying the ambitious and aggressive Purdue executive set on profits and success above all else. It’s a chilling turn that shows Stuhlbarg at his least emotive, an impressive and off-putting portrayal that I don’t imagine will win voters over despite its quality.

Steve Zahn as Mark Mossbacher, The White Lotus (Mysterious Monkeys)
This is Zahn’s first Emmy nomination, for portraying what may be the least self-aware character on his show. He gets great screentime with a number of his costars as he spirals down a rabbit hole as his entire identity is put into question. It’s not quite as revelatory as Bartlett’s turn, but I do think that Zahn is well-known and likeable and could attract votes from fans of him and the show. Check out our interview here.

Who should win (based on entire season): Bartlett or Lacy
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Bartlett or Poulter
Who will win: I think Bartlett is far ahead here.

Next up: Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

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