CarterMatt Awards 2018: Stana Katic, Caitriona Balfe, Katheryn Winnick, Aisha Hinds among Top Actress nominees

Top ActressWelcome to the 2018 CarterMatt Awards! This is our seventh annual year-end series where we as a site celebrate some of the best that TV has to offer! Our staff collectively hand-picks nominees across a wide array of different fields, and then leaves it up to you to declare the winner. We’ve had a fun time over the years with these awards and creating some fun debate throughout the month of December. Hopefully, this time around is no exception!

Today we’re discussing Top Actress — this is really just about recognizing the best and brightest from the television world. Unlike the Underrated Actor / Actress categories there’s no real criteria here when it comes to past awards recognition — there’s also no differentiating between leads and supporting characters. These are just the eight performers that the CarterMatt team found particularly mesmerizing throughout 2018 for a myriad of reasons. We hope you love and appreciate these performers just as much as we do.

Voting rules – Vote however often you’d like! If you are having issues with voting, a handy guide can be found later on in this article.

When does voting close? – On Saturday, December 29 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time. The results for this category will be announced shortly after. To check out more categories and nominations for the 2018 CarterMatt Awards, check out the official landing page.

The nominees

Caitriona Balfe, Outlander – How do you manage to exceed expectations when they are already through the roof? Somehow Balfe managed to do it yet again as Claire Fraser in season 4. We already knew her capacity to play a wide scope of emotions as this character; yet, we are seeing a new dimension now as Claire finds a way to move forward with Jamie in North Carolina. There’s more of Claire as a leader, a negotiator, and someone looking to make the world around her as great as possible. We’ve loved seeing her challenge Aunt Jocasta and still relish in the small, quiet moments with Jamie. The sum of all of these parts is a consistently brilliant performance.

Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU – For Mariska, continuing to find new ways to impress as Olivia Benson is an exercise in itself. We’re twenty seasons in and with that, you think you’ve seen almost everything there is to see. Yet, there’s still something awe-inspiring about every time Benson says “I believe you” or heartbreaking when you see Benson react with a crisis involving Noah. She channels empathy and compassion in a way that is completely raw and genuine, yet is able to also tackle the intensity of this role with the utmost of believability.

Aisha Hinds, 911 – We knew that 911 was poised to be one of the biggest breakout series not too long after it first premiered, and it was pretty clear soon after this that Hinds was one of the reasons why. Hen is a wonderful breath of fresh air, someone who have overcome great struggle and heartbreak to end up being both inspirational and also relatable to viewers. She gives the sort of performance that can both make you laugh and cry, and she certainly leaves you wanting more on the other side of every scene.

Stana Katic, Absentia – We know that there have been many frustrations out there among fans who wanted to see Katic on the Emmy or Golden Globe ballot; unfortunately, Absentia was ineligible because of production rules. The good news here is that she (and the series) fit perfectly into the rules for the CarterMatt Awards and we’re thrilled to be able to recognize her tremendous work as the tortured soul that is Emily Byrne. While it was certainly painful to watch at times, this is the most pointed and powerful role of Katic’s career and she was magnetic from start to finish.

Caity Lotz, Legends of Tomorrow – This is a show that easily could have not worked — after all, it’s a time-travel series featuring a mish-mash of different characters from across the DC Comics world. Yet, it excels with humor and creativity and often exudes pure joy. Lotz is the captain as Sara Lance, but she is also the captain of the series itself — she can take on a fight scene with the best of them, but also over the past year was able to inject so much vulnerability into her character as she grew close to Ava and formed a deeper relationship there. While there’s plenty of comedy in just about every episode, Lotz ensures that there is equal parts heart.

Ellen Pompeo, Grey’s Anatomy – There’s been something so fun about Meredith’s arc over the first half of season 15, and obviously her diving into the dating world is a big part of that. Beyond that, though, it’s also the self-assuredness that Pompeo brings to the role. She recognizes that Meredith is at a point where she understands herself and can be true to that while also still leaving the door open to new possibilities and adventures. She can tackle dramatic scenes with the best of them while also still finding a way to make viewers smile seconds later. She’s every bit the draw she first was a decade and a half ago and that’s an incredibly difficult bar for any actor to reach so many seasons in.

Sarah Rafferty, Suits – The first half of Suits season 8 arguably faced a larger challenge than any other batch of episodes. Why? This was a series in transition after the departure of two primary cast members, and that meant the remaining cast had to find a way to both stabilize the ship and also embrace the changes around them. Rafferty did all of this as Donna Paulsen, and there is a sense of art imitating life given that managing and handling changes is one of Donna’s great specialties. What we love most of all about the past year for Donna is that you’ve seen all of the strength you’ve expected, but also something deeper as she examined her relationship with Harvey while also fighting for herself and her place as COO.

Katheryn Winnick, Vikings – Because the History series has been on the air for the past several years, we’ve been given the gift of seeing Winnick completely transform Lagertha from start to finish. We’ve seen her as a warrior, a lover, a mother, a strategist, a Queen, and someone scrambling to stay alive. Lagertha has also faced the loss of great love over the past five seasons in a way that we rarely see on a show and Winnick brought an incredible level of vulnerability to these relationships making each one of them different form the other, but still important in their own rights. Winnick is the constant, as she has found a way to make every line matter and turn this character into someone we can’t stop rooting for.

Now, we turn this over to you

Happy voting! As we mentioned, be sure to head over to the link here to check out our landing page with other categories.

I can’t see the poll; what do I do? – If you are on mobile, scroll to the bottom of the page and click to view the non-AMP version. If that does not work, give the poll a moment to load! On some mobile browsers, it may take a moment to show up. If you are still having trouble, try switching to a different device.

How can I vote more than once? – If you are having trouble casting multiple votes, try switching your browser, your device, or visiting the page under private browsing or incognito mode. There should be many handy guides online explaining how to do so if you are interested.


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