As many people out there know about the Golden Globes, they unfortunately choose to forgo having Supporting Actor categories in television broken up into different parts. Therefore, this category has people in comedies facing off against people in dramas, while those in limited series / TV movies are also trying to find a place here. Pretty complicated, right? There are numerous people who are routinely snubbed as a result of this.
With this in mind, the people who do end up getting nominated are even more deserving of this honor than ever, since they beat out more people than we can possibly count. Below, we’ve got our team’s list of five favorites in the Supporting Actor category — if we were members of the Hollywood Foreign Press, this is how we’d vote! Note that the actual nominations will announced on December 12, while the ceremony itself airs on January 8 on NBC.
In addition to sharing our picks, we implore you to vote for your own favorite below! We’ll announce the winners of our reader polls for each category on December 1 at noon Pacific time, with the polls closing the day prior.
Sterling K. Brown, “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story” (NBC) – On paper, Christopher Darden was not the person we were the most interested in seeing translated to the small screen; that changed the moment that we saw Brown’s performance. There was everything from longing to frustration to determination in every move Darden makes during the season, knowing that he is facing a near-impossible task of convicting a celebrity in the backdrop of a myriad of allegations. The fact that he persevered through is remarkable in itself.
Kit Harington, “Game of Thrones” (HBO) – While Harington was better than ever in season 6 when it comes to taking on the dialogue of Jon Snow, we don’t want to ignore what may be one of the strongest physical performances we’ve ever seen. The entire Battle of the Bastards was wonderful and horrifying at the same time as Kit perfectly embodied what it would be like for such a man, thrust into leadership, having to be at the center of such a gory showcase knowing precisely the stakes and what happens if he loses. He saw what lied on the other side, and that created a haunting quality to his performance, as if he was a living ghost wandering about and determining his place back on Earth.
Ed Harris, “Westworld” (HBO) – We don’t want to spoil anything in here for those who are behind on the series, but what Harris does here is a wonderful mixture of power, subtlety at times, and mystery at others. The fact that you are so intent on uncovering the truth behind the Man in Black is a testament to his performance; there may be people all over the country with differing opinions on the character, but Harris plays this in a way that you have equal investment, wondering what’s next and not only if the mystery will be resolved, but also how.
Lou Diamond Phillips, “Longmire” (Netflix) – The power of this part lies within so many different dimensions. Phillips nails the physical aspects of the vigilante Hector, while at the same time balancing out the humanity and at times tenderness of Henry Standing Bear. He’s a man who is able to put on a facade so effective that you, like Walt Longmire, could be friends with him for years and not come to realize his secret hobby. Lou Diamond commits himself 100% to this role, making careful note of everything from his speech patterns to his relationship with the people on the reservation and those who come to harm it. Consistently one of the most underrated performances on TV, and that can be said this year, as well.
Norman Reedus, “The Walking Dead” (AMC) – Like Andrew Lincoln before him, “The Walking Dead” this season offered up an opportunity to remind us just how incredible an actor Reedus can be. “The Cell” looked as though it was a grueling, harrowing experience to film, and you could see that not only in the way that Norman took on the material physically, but also in his voice as he carried through every line. While there were those deep layers of pain and dejection, he was able to flip the switch and still channel hope by refusing to take on the name Negan — further proving what the death of certain characters meant to him. How Reedus can trigger so much emotion, even by saying very little, is a true testament to his understanding of the character, and also the message that he is meant to portray.
Honorable Mentions – Micah Fowler, “Speechless” (ABC), Rick Hoffman, “Suits” (USA), John Litghow, “The Crown” (Netflix), Tobias Menzies, “Outlander” (Starz), Joseph Sikora, “Power” (Starz)
Now, we’re passing this along to you! Vote for your favorite below, and be sure to check out all of the other entries in our Golden Globe article series right away. (Photo: Golden Globes.)