As we continue along within the CarterMatt Awards this year, the Top Actress category is one of the ones that we’re the most excited to present. There are so many great performers out there from the past year, and so many of them did fantastic work that generated strong reactions, inspired movements, and at times even moved us to tears. By far, this is the best field of nominees we’ve ever had for this category, and we’re not just saying that in the hyperbolic “must hype this category up” type of way. It’s absolutely true.
Take a look at our five personal picks for the category below, and remember that you can vote for your favorite below as many times as you’d like! Voting will close on December 24, and you can head over here to learn more about when the results are announced and also check out some further nominees in other categories.
Top Actress – The Nominees
Gillian Anderson, “The Fall” (Netflix) – One of the most emotionally-gripping performances of the past year hands down. Even though “The Fall” is a short series compared to the others on the list, Stella Gibson is as real a character as you’re going to find — someone who brings such determination to her work and counter-balances that with such humanity. Given the nature of the beast (or in this case, the literal beast that is Paul Spector), it would be fairly easy for Gibson’s impact to be overshadowed; she never allows it to be so.
Caitriona Balfe, “Outlander” (Starz) – Go watch “Faith” and it’s easy to see the remarkable things that Balfe did in the episode. We’re not trying to limit the scope of her performance to a single episode, but we do think that this hour is undoubtedly the best microcosm of everything that she brought to the table throughout season two that, somehow, was an improvement over season one for us. There were so many different dimensions to Claire; just when you thought you’d seen everything she had to offer, then we saw her in the finale, looking back on her life before being awakened to the possibility that Jamie may still be alive.
Alycia Debnam-Carey, “The 100“ (The CW) – We’ve never put anything within the criteria necessitating that these nominees have to be leads, and the reality of 2016 is that when looking back at it, it’s hard to think of many characters who made as significant an emotional or cultural impact as Debnam-Carey’s Lexa. This was a beautiful, powerful performance that to many people out there really transcended a character on a TV show and stood for something greater. You know that you have a stellar performance when you are able to make the most of every second you are onscreen, and when you have this many people continuing to talk about the impact of your departure so for many months afterwards.
Mariska Hargitay, “Law & Order: SVU” (NBC) – Take a look at her performance in “Terrorized,” or in the final episodes of season 17. Hargitay doesn’t play this role as though she has been Olivia Benson for the past season 17 years; there’s no lethargy here. There’s still an urgency and a spirit of constantly challenging notions of who this character is. It’s almost as though those past 17 years are a blueprint, and she continues to find new additions to make it stronger and all the more complete. Few people command the screen and continue to captivate us like she does — we only wish there were more opportunities to see her over the course of the fall.
Katheryn Winnick, “Vikings” (History) – “Vikings” is easily one of the best shows on TV and while everyone seems to be watching and talking about this show, the big awards shows haven’t given it the love it deserves. This goes doubly for actress Katheryn Winnick who brilliantly plays shield maiden Lagertha with such ease. This is such a layered, strong character that has gone through the pain of losing a child as well as her husband Ragnar and her kingdom to Aslaug. She has been on a journey to regain some stability with her own Earldom and has shown us that there is a place for women in power in this world. Lagertha is a tremendously difficult role that not just any actress could conquer and that’s why we have to celebrate Winnick and what she has accomplished here over the years
Now, we’re turning this over to you for the poll below! Remember, you can head over here to read up further about this year’s awards, and some of the other people you can vote for.