2015 Emmys: Why Robin Lord Taylor, Tobias Menzies, Tom Cavanagh deserve Supporting actor nod

The 2015 Emmy Awards will be held on Fox come September 20, but there are many steps to the process before that. This is the time where campaign season is in full swing, and there will need to be many a ballot submitted before the revealing of the nominees on July 16 bright and early in the morning.

Today, we’re moving to a category that will be yet again competitive, but it’s also one of our favorites because of how many good people tend to get a shot: Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. No matter who gets nominated, there will probably still be at least three or four snubs; therefore, there’s really no way to please everyone. What we are doing here is merely sharing some of our personal favorites for the year (ironically, most of these actors play villains), and just like every other category we have profiled, there is a poll below for you to select your favorite.

The nominees

Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul” (AMC) – Just the episode “Five-0” alone makes him worthy of a spot. Nobody plays both sinister and heartbreaking better than Banks, who was previously nominated for the first eight episodes of “Breaking Bad” season 5. He can be strong and menacing, but can turn on a dime and be funny. We’ve probably impersonated Mike asking for stickers an unhealthy numbers of times.

Tom Cavanagh, “The Flash” (The CW) – To go along with every great hero is a great villain, and just as we feel like Grant Gustin’s performance is extremely underrated (and overlooked mostly due to genre reasons), the same goes for Cavanagh. He’s sensational as a supposed “friend” to Barry Allen early in season 1, but to us his single finest moment is his scene with Cisco (Carlos Valdes) in “Out of Time.” It reminded us that even someone with the “villain” label can still form deep personal connections.

Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones” (HBO) – He’s probably the closest thing that this list has to a perennial nominee, mostly because Dinklage is that great as Tyrion Lannister. He’s smart, shrewd, funny, and also likable. He’s the show’s true underdog given where he began and where he has traveled sense. Who would have imagined that one of the main heroes of the HBO epic would be a man who (spoiler alert for season 4) murdered his own father on the toilet?

Walton Goggins, “Justified” (FX) – This past year was a great one for Goggins all around. Maybe he also gets a nomination for playing Venus Van Dam on “Sons of Anarchy,” and his work as Boyd Crowder is equally remarkable. He’s another complicated man with often-dark tendencies, but Walton was still so great in the part that we never wanted to necessarily see Boyd die. He was compelling as a villain can be to watch over six years.

Robin Lord Taylor, “Gotham” (Fox) – The “season of villains” (at least on this list) continues with a man who we personally consider to be the breakout star of the Batman prequel series. While his name may ironically remind us more of Dick Grayson, Robin’s performance as Oswald Cobblepot was nuanced and gripping to the point that we wouldn’t have quite minded if every episode was strictly about him. It’s rare to have an adversary to the good guys (being the GCPD) actually be somewhat of an underdog at the same time; you know the Penguin is bad news, and yet you cannot help but keep watching.

Tobias Menzies, “Outlander” (Starz) – Now, we turn to a man behind quite possibly the most despicable character of the entire year in Black Jack Randall. There is no underdog story for him; he is brutal, he is physical, and he is a tormentor if there ever was one. Quite frankly, Menzies made this man utterly terrifying. The fact that he can play such a horrible figure, and yet also the very different Frank Randall, within the span of 16 episodes is stunning. The fact that you have come to hate Jack so much is a testament to Menzies’ work.

Honorable mentions – Christopher Eccleston (“The Leftovers”), Joe Morton (“Scandal”), Vincent Kartheiser (“Mad Men”)

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