Emmys 2017: Benedict Cumberbatch, Riz Ahmed, Ricky Gervais top Movie / Limited Series actor

Riz Ahmed

Some of the best years for Limited Series / TV Movies are the ones where there is a pretty dynamic range of genres spread across this. Luckily, we did have this over the past year with serious drama, great mystery, and a little bit of comedy thrown in there, as well. Within these projects were of course great performances, far more than one can place within a single Emmy category.

If you were to tell us that we’d have a category this year with Robert De Niro and Geoffrey Rush as potential nominees, you’d almost assume that they were locks. Maybe that is the case with the actual awards, but neither party made our personal CarterMatt ballot for the year. Take a look at our picks for Actor in a Limited Series / TV Movie below, and of course you can share your own thoughts or predictions in the attached poll.

How do you vote? It’s easy. Just pick your favorite of the nominees at the bottom of the article, and you can do so however many times you like — you may need to clear the cache first. (Note that if you are visiting on mobile and do not see the poll, you may need to click to view the non-AMP version of the page.) If your favorite is not on our list, be sure to leave us a comment in the box below with your choice. We still want to hear from you!

The 2017 Emmy nominations will be formally announced on July 13. The results of all of our CarterMatt Emmy polls will be formally revealed on July 12 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific. They will officially close in the minutes leading up to that time.

CarterMatt Picks – Actor in a Limited Series / TV Movie

Riz Ahmed, The Night Of (HBO) – A haunting performance of a man in Naz who found himself completely transformed after being accused of murder. The trial changed him, Rikers Island changed him, and the anti-Muslim sentiment from many in New York changed him. Ahmed’s performance echoed all of this and showcased a painful transformation over time. The Naz in the finale is in stark contrast to the Naz in the premiere, and it’s still unclear if he was the guilty party or not.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Lying Detective (PBS) – This is the episode that PBS is choosing to submit as a TV movie this year; no matter which one they submitted, it would still be clear that Cumberbatch is all sorts of fantastic. He brings the perfect amount of aloof intelligence to the role, but also a wonderful sense of Sherlock’s social ineptitude and just the right amount of soul. Holmes is such a detached character that when he does feel things, they reverberate and become so much more powerful than they would otherwise.

Ricky Gervais, David Brent: Life on the Road (Netflix) – The British version The Office was a formative comedy experience in that we hadn’t been exposed to that particular brand of mockumentary before watching it. Therefore, we were somewhat predisposed to enjoy Live on the Road, and the project delivered on an acting, writing, and directing level. While this is not an Office continuation or revival by any means, Gervais did revisit his David Brent character with as much humor and heart as there was with the character the first time around. The performance was refreshing, sweetly nostalgic but with a modern edge injected into it nonetheless.

Jude Law, The Young Pope (HBO) – Sure, The Young Pope did become a fantastic meme over the past seven or so months, but in the midst of the comedy it can be even to gloss over the fact that Law did give a fantastic performance in the role of Lenny Belardo, a man finding himself constantly caught between worlds old and new as a title character dealing with cultural, geographic, and even spiritual differences. He inhabited the role in a way that was familiar and yet contemporary.

Ewan McGregor, Fargo (FX) – You can’t take it away from a man who played two fantastic roles, and managed to do enough to make each of them award-worthy in their own right. Much like Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black, this isn’t some sort of a gimmick. Instead, it’s a true testament to McGregor’s ability to immerse himself in different people and commit to their nuances, their personality, and the way they communicate to others. The wonderful thing about writing this now is that there is more Fargo story to be told.

John Turturro, The Night Of (HBO) – It’s rare for a limited series to feature two leads who are equally stellar in their own right, but The Night Of did just that. What Turturro did with John Stone was rather brilliant in that he was one part the quirky, underdog defense attorney you wanted to root for. Yet, there was also this Saul Goodman quality where you knew he was out to take people for money, and there was still this sweet, vulnerable side you saw with the cat. John brought every side with equal measure and turned in an extremely memorable performance.

Now, we leave it to you to vote!

Remember that to see some other Emmy categories posted daily (including Outstanding Drama Series), be sure to visit the link here. (Photo: Emmys.)


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