CarterMatt Awards 2016: Lindsey Morgan, Danai Gurira, Caterina Scorsone, Ming-Na Wen among Underrated Actress picks
Today, we’re wrapping up the Underrated portion of our CarterMatt Awards by focusing on five women who are all fantastic at what they do, but at the same time, don’t necessarily get the love that they deserve elsewhere. They play a wide array of different characters, tackle some humorous moments with joy and commitment, and then are equally willing to dive into some gritty drama. This is a particularly fun category to write out given that we’re highlighting people who deserve so much more love; last year, the winner here was Candice Patton of “The Flash.”
As we’ve said before, the only criteria that we’re going with in making these particular selections is that the nominees cannot have been nominated for a SAG Award, a Golden Globe, or an Emmy within the past year — mostly because that would take the “underrated” label out of the equation. If any of them were nominated in the future, we certainly wouldn’t be mad.
After the nominations are shared, we hope you vote for your own personal favorite in the poll below! As a reminder, voting here is open from now until December 24; you can read more about that, and see other categories for the awards, over at our official landing page.
Underrated Actress – The nominees
Danai Gurira, “The Walking Dead” (AMC) – Think about the Michonne we met seasons ago, and then think about the Michonne we had both in the latter portion of season 6 and the first half of season 7. This is a character with determination, but also vulnerability; she’s powerful, and she’s also not afraid to let someone like Rick Grimes see her heart. How Gurira manages to paint a complete picture here is outstanding, especially in the amount of screen time she has in a large cast. She makes Michonne constantly stand out, even if she just has a line or two in a larger scene.
Sarah Lancashire, “Happy Valley” (Netflix) – It’s a show that more American viewers need to be familiar with in all aspects, whether it be the writing or the performances. Lancashire still stands out above all others with her portrayal of Catherine Cawood, a woman who does her best to fight for justice, but often struggles to do so when surrounded by so much pain and tragedy. She’s a model of perseverance, and the more you see her onscreen, the more you effectively want to root for her to make it to the other side.
Lindsey Morgan, “The 100” (The CW) – You often talk about evolution, and wanting to see someone bring something new to the table. Morgan certainly did that on the most-recent season of The CW drama, playing a character in Raven who effectively was not herself at all for a good chunk of the narrative. Almost everything you could want in a performance was here, whether it be physical strife to emotional vulnerability to the struggle that comes with trying to turn things around when the dust settled (or at least as much as it can in this world). One of the most gripping performances of the year.
Caterina Scorsone, “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) – Speaking of someone who constantly deals with strife, the story of Scorsone’s Amelia to date has been one of the more heartbreaking ones on TV when you consider everything that she’s gone through. Yet, there were times on “Grey’s Anatomy” season 12 and 13 where the character brought us hope, and even at times joy — the distinction on an acting level is tremendous. What’s remarkable about Scorsone as a performer is her ability to take you as a viewer on the journey with her; you feel the highs and lows, and you see the different dimensions of her as a sister, a wife, or a doctor looking to save others even when she struggles to save herself.
Ming-Na Wen, “Agents of SHIELD” (ABC) – These past two seasons have been wonderful for Agent Melinda May in terms of material and performance. We’ve seen her tackle tremendous heartbreak with Andrew, nearly lose her life, continue to be a badass in the field, and show vulnerability with Coulson amidst escalating hopes that the two will end up together. If you add to all of this the cliffhanger from Tuesday’s winter finale, it’s all the more exciting to think of where Ming-Na could take the character next. She’s amazing in the physical scenes, but the same can easily be said for her within the series’ quieter moments.
This is the point where we now turn things over to you! Remember that you can head over here if you’re interested in getting the rest of our categories from this year’s CarterMatt Awards.