We begin our annual “Emmy Confidential” series speaking with an actor who has been a member of the performers peer group for over thirty years. This is someone who has worked in just about every genre of television, has a long history with many of the voters, and knows the ins and outs of the Television Academy like the back of their hand.
Throughout the week Awards Daily spoke with Emmy voters to get a temperature of the Emmy race for our annual “Emmy Confidential” series. One of the actors we spoke with is a longtime member of the Television Academy, in fact they have been an active member for over 30 years! They spend the early years of their career reoccurring on two prominent soap operas and since then they have adapted to a changing industry and has even starred in and produced their own short form streaming show.
As a longtime member of the Television Academy they are well aware of the campaigning that goes on and this year was no different. “There was tons of campaigning, a constant barrage of emails. Nonstop invitations to watch someone in a Zoom call. I mean, like I care to watch someone on a Zoom that I can’t even participate in go on and on about how they became an actor. Like I give a f**k!”
They were however impressed with the more creative ways some networks chose to reach out to voters. “Towards the end Disney tried to capture that magic by holding drive-in events at the Rose Bowl. That was successful because it gave us the opportunity to get out of the house and see other people even if it was at a distance. It was the one type of campaigning that I do believe made a difference. The Mandalorian received a bunch of nominations and they even gave all of the attendees a Baby Yoda!”
While some have praised the 2020 set of nominees for being more diverse this voter actually thought that they could have gone further. “I expected there to be way more diversity this year. Frequently the Television Academy likes to be part of a bigger movement. I thought there would be more diversity to prove how ‘woke’ we are but it just didn’t happen. Yes, there was some, but not to the extent of what we are capable of doing with how many different amazing performances we have to choose from.”
Drama Series: Killing Eve
I’ve watched Succession from the beginning. I’m a friend of Alan Ruck and I am so mad that was was the only one who wasn’t nominated. I felt bad for him. I watched the first season solely because of him.It took me a while to actually enjoy it but I really liked the second season. I went back and forth between this and Killing Eve and in the end I voted for Killing Eve.
I didn’t like this season! I think they had new writers or something because it was awful. The first season was great, the second was okay, but the third was crap. But I like the diversity and I like serial killer shows.
Sadly I do really like Ozark and I might have voted for it but there is no way I am going to reward Netflix.
Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Brian Cox, Succession
Brian Cox has this incredible history as an actor and I hope he wins. He’s been working for decades and it is his time.
I do like Bateman a lot and I might have voted for him if it wasn’t for Netflix.
Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
I voted for Sandra Oh. She’s a nice person and I wanted to go a little outside the box. She still hasn’t won an Emmy. This wasn’t a great year for the show but she is amazing in everything she does.
Jennifer Aniston is good and she’s the darling of the actor world. She had some great scenes and a lot of my friends were shocked I didn’t vote for her. Speaking of The Morning Show I’m shocked that we nominated almost everyone except for Gugu [Mbatha-Raw]. Everyone I talk to is upset about that. She was the best performance on that show.
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Mark Duplass, The Morning Show
There was something about the way he portrayed his character that I was drawn to. Right before voting I stumbled on some movie from 15 years ago and his acting was night and day. I see a radical difference in his acting ability over the years and he ended up delivering a great performance. This is such a different role than what I am used to with him. With Crudup there was nothing new, I’ve seen him do that plenty of times.
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve
I went with Fiona Shaw because I decided to go for Killing Eve straight down the ballot. Also we as voters, myself included, have a thing for British things.
I liked Meryl Streep too but the second season of Big Little Lies wasn’t as strong as the first.
Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian
I voted for Giancarlo Esposito and everyone I know voted for him too. I like him a lot and I think he’s a great actor. I like rewarding actors who have been around a long time and still haven’t won. He deserves recogition.
Overall I was surprised to see a show like The Mandalorian nominated. I didn’t vote for it in the preliminaries but it is exciting to see it here. Good on Disney for trying.
Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away with Murder
This was one of the toughest categories and in the end I went with Cicely Tyson. She’s old, she’s an incredible actress, and I’m aware of the final scene that wasn’t included in the screener. It was such a great final scene for the episode and I hope enough people saw it. I’d really like to see her finally win for this role. I’ve voted for her almost every year and I want to honor her.
I like Cherry Jones and she’s always so good. On Succession she came in and did a damn good job but she always does and she’s won before. She was definitely my second choice.
Comedy Series: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Now that Veep is out of the way I’m excited to vote for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. It’s a tried and true show. The writing is incredible. I always find myself entertained. I find myself completely immersed in the world and I never feel like I am just watching a TV show.
For the third season I particularly loved that the production actually participated in a real USO Tour. Many, many, years ago I participated in one and it was nice to see them do it.
I’ve seen six or so episodes of Schitt’s Creek to be an informed voter but I just don’t like it. They give nice little gifts to convince voters to pay attention but I don’t get what people find so funny about the show.
The show I loved but wasn’t nominated was Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. I ADORED that show. I voted for the series. I voted for the lead actress. I voted for the love interest. I voted for the dad. I voted for the brother. I voted for the mom.They all should have been nominated.
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Ted Danson, The Good Place
Every year I vote for Anthony Anderson and every year he loses so this year I went with Ted Danson. Bless his heart. I figured if I vote for someone else this could finally be the year that Anthony wins!
I voted for Ted Danson because it is the final year of The Good Place and I thought they did a halfway decent job with it. As an actor I also love Ted and it has been so long since he’s won.
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
I can be a loyal voter. I voted for her for the first season and I am voting for her again. She is so good. There’s a delightful element to her character that constantly gets me to laugh.
I don’t understand why Kristen Bell wasn’t nominated. I find her charming and cute and delightful. They clearly liked the show and nominated the rest of the cast but not her.
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
This was a tossup between William Jackson Harper and Andre Braugher but in the end I voted for Andre. I casually watched the first season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine but quickly gave up. Recently my daughter convinced me to binge the entire series. I’ve watched Andre’s career since Homicide and the contrast in performances is night and day. Here he is able to take these lines that are so silly and so stupid and then he delivers them as if they are the most serious, important thing in the world.
I thought the actor who played Chidi was adorable throughout the final season but I haven’t seen him in anything else. I want to see was else he can do.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
I went with Kate McKinnon. I like her a lot and quite frankly I didn’t care about any of the other nominees.
I’ve voted for Alex Borstein in the past but now she rubs me the wrong way. Last year at an event I told her I was voting for her and she basically said that I didn’t have to and that she didn’t care about the award. I took that to heart. If you don’t want it babe that’s fine.
Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Brad Pitt, Saturday Night Live
This was very much a political statement. I talked all of my friends into voting for him too. Trump will be pissed to see Pitt win for playing Fauci.
Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live
This was another political statement. She’s also a funny actress. Overall this was a category where I wasn’t passionate about any of the choices.
Limited Series: Watchmen
I really enjoyed the first couple episodes of Watchmen. I found the show to be interesting and I really responded to the female heroine. Then it became too bizarre. I stayed with it but liked the first half more.
I hated Mrs. America. I thought it was awful. I remember Schlafly from when I was growing up and I can’t stand her. When it comes to portraying a real person you have to stay true to who they are and Blanchett did not do that. She played her incorrectly and I can’t reward that in an actress and I can’t reward that in a show.
When it came to Little Fires Everywhere I thought the book was better so I couldn’t justify voting for it.
TV Movie: Bad Education
I voted for Bad Education on HBO. It was okay but I also didn’t want to vote for any of the other Netflix nominees.
Lead Actor in a Limited Series/TV Movie: Hugh Jackman, Bad Education
I like Hugh, I found his performance interesting, and I wasn’t passionate about anyone else.
I really don’t understand Normal People. I watched the first couple of episodes and immediately wondered how it got made. It bust be a younger person thing. It grew on my daughter but I found it boring.
Lead Actress in a Limited Series/TV Movie: Regina King, Watchmen
I went with Regina King because she played a strong woman. Yes, we’ve seen her play this type of role before but she is so good at it. The whole show was weird but she kept it grounded and that impressed me.
I considered voting for Kerry Washington because I do think she is a good actress but she had too many ticks that annoyed me. She would pucker up her lips as if she was about to cry and then she wouldn’t. It was a character choice that I did not respond well to.
Supporting Actor in a Limited Series/TV Movie: Jovan Adepo, Watchmen
I wanted to vote for someone from Watchmen but there is no way I was going to vote for Louis Gossett Jr. He and I have history and he’s a complete dick. I found Dr. Manhattan to be a nothing character so by the process of elimination I voted for the man who played the Hooded Justice character.
The only reason Jim Parsons is nominated is because they liked him on The Big Bang Theory. Dylan McDermott is only sometimes good. This is kind of a loser category.
Supporting Actress in a Limited Series/TV Movie: Jean Smart, Watchmen
There are some actors that I will vote for no matter what. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is one. Jean Smart is another. I’ve loved everything she’s ever done, she’s established a long career for decades and I feel a certain kinship with her. Of course I am voting for her again.