What performers should be nominated for Actor in a Limited Series / TV Movie at the 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards? We are back with another edition of our annual CarterMatt Emmy Preview Series to answer this very question!
This category may not have more potential nominees than any other that is out there, but we do certainly think that it’s one of the most varied. Effectively, you have performers in here who played a character for a good ten episodes of television competing against some who may have played someone for just two hours. This category is about being economical and figuring out the best way in which to use your time. Our wishlist features actors who truly did that and played memorable people, fictional or not, who we will remember for some time to come.
In addition to sharing our dream nominees, at the bottom of this article is a poll for you to vote for your own favorites! We will announce our reader picks on July 11, 2018, one day before the actual Emmy nominations are announced. Hopefully, this is a way to kick off the Emmy campaign period in a fun, super-engaging manner for everyone.
Voting Rules – Vote however many times you like! Voting is open between now and 1:00 p.m. Pacific time on July 11. By voting, you consent to have your vote tabulated in the final result. As a reminder, CarterMatt polls are simply for fun and to help aid in Emmy campaigns. Voting for the Emmys themselves is conducted by members of the Television Academy.
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Actor in a Limited Series / TV Movie – CarterMatt Wishlist
Darren Criss, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX) – You can claim that his appearance on Glee was his breakout role, but playing Andrew Cunanan is the role that revolutionizes him as an actor. He was a dark, disturbed, and tortured man with a difficult past, and the challenge Criss faced here was developing him outward into something connectable. While Cunanan may not be worthy of sympathy, you should see the steps that led to many of his actions. Darren plays that journey wonderfully throughout the limited series, leading of course to the oh-so-fateful end.
Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Melrose (Showtime) – Thanks in part to Sherlock, Cumberbatch has long been a regular in this particular category and for good reason. He’s an outstanding actor capable of great range, and he absolutely needed it for this particular project. Benedict alternates wonderfully between humor and drama as an addict desperate to turn around his life in the midst of great trauma. This may be Cumberbatch’s most layered, complex performance yet — it took great confidence to step into these shoes and take on the intense commitment to this character. It is further testament to the risks he is willing to take as an actor.
Jared Harris, The Terror (AMC) – From start to finish, Harris really embodied everything from determination to delusion to frenzied panic over the course of the show’s run. Francis Crozier was a man faced with an impossible situation after he and the crews of the Erebus and the Terror were trapped while searching for the Northwest Passage. He found himself suddenly in charge after the death of John Franklin, and following that we watched the world around him descend into chaos. Probably the best thing about Harris’ performance is seeing the journey he takes Crozier on from where he was in the opening episodes to where you find him in the finale.
John Legend, Jesus Christ Superstar (NBC) – Out of all of the live musicals NBC has staged, this was one of the most ambitious — a production that needed to pay homage to the original while also appealing to Christians and non-Christians alike. Legend himself brought a lot of power to the title role, both in terms of his ability to channel emotion and in terms of the strength of his vocals. He created a character here that left a tremendous impact in ways that go beyond just the music, which is really what you want for a production like this. After this performance, we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Legend get more acting roles in the future.
Jesse Plemons, Black Mirror (Netflix) – “USS Callister” is absolutely one of the anthology’s most memorable episodes in terms of its sheer number of twists and also its message about self-ownership fighting back against the oppressor in any form. As Robert Daly, Plemons delivers one of his best roles, creating a multi-dimensional character who seeks to create facades in order to hide some of the true awfulness that lies underneath. He is far from a likable character, and the challenge for Jesse as an actor is to keep the development of his character consistent throughout the story. Suffice it to say, he succeeds.