Emmys 2019: Sophie Skelton, Candice Patton, Sarah Rafferty, Rhea Seehorn among Supporting Actress – Drama Picks

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Welcome to CarterMatt’s 2019 Emmy Preview series! This is an annual tradition that we’ve done on the site since 2013, which revolves around us highlighting some of the best from the TV world. These choices were voted on by our staff, and they represent what the ideal Emmy nominations would be for each category. To go along with that, we then ask you which one of our choices you most want to see recognized with a nomination. It’s strictly for fun, but it’s one of our favorite polls to run and it’s a great way to get the word out there about shows and performers during this key campaign window.

Here today, we are talking all about potential nominees for the Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category. Obviously, the amount of contenders here is totally insane. You have hundreds across a number of different shows, so trying to single out worthy ones from broadcast cable, and streaming series was certainly a challenge. The seven performers we’ve specifically chosen, though, inject so many layers into what they do that they’re undeniable. They may be supporting in terms of status, but they deliver every bit the did the power and performance of a lead. You want to see more of them.

Below, you can see our choices for this category — following the description of our “nominees,” you can find the poll to vote for your favorite. (We’re also including some other popular contenders within that poll to widen the field — Susan Kelechi Watson from This Is Us and then Lena Headey and Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones.)

Voting Rules – Voting will remain open until Monday, July 15 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time, which is the day before the official nominations are announced. The length of the poll coincides with both Emmy campaigns and lead-up to the official nominations being announced. You can vote however often you’d like; for more technical information if you’re having issues, check out the bottom of this article.

Meredith Eaton, MacGyver – We’ve long felt as though Eaton’s arrival midway through season 1 was one of the best things to happen to the CBS series, but that was cemented further by what she brought to the Ethan storyline this season. It allowed Meredith to shake up any perceptions of Matty and allow in a more vulnerable side that people rarely see. These episodes were a reminder of how tough she is, but also how, despite her almost-superhuman Phoenix Foundation status, she still suffers like anyone else. The right combination of power and subtlety carried this over the top.

Julia Garner, Ozark – Ruth is in one way a total scammer as a character, but also someone with a heart of gold for the people she cares about — namely, Wyatt. Unfortunately, with her father out of prison, her life’s become all the more difficult and she found herself in an incredibly tough spot throughout season 2. What makes this performance so challenging is that Garner has to constantly reconcile some of what Ruth does with the person she still is — there’s so much nuance and layers to someone who, really, should’ve never been in this spot at all.

Camilla Luddington, Grey’s Anatomy– The second half of this season was dark, devastating, but consistently exceptional for Luddington as she took on Jo through one of the most trying positions of her life. She was forced to confront a part of her past courtesy of her mother that she never knew existed, and in the aftermath of it, this meant constantly balancing a sense of anger, devastation, and a desire to just sink into a hole. It was about restraint in one moment and extremes the next, and pound for pound the strongest performance we’ve seen from Camilla to date.

Candice Patton, The Flash – Think about the acting challenge that lied before Patton this season — Iris learned that her daughter Nora had traveled from the future to the present, but also that she had a rift with her future self. Candice started off this season playing a character who was torn up over something outside of her control, and you could see Iris’ hurt in every single word. Yet, this season was also a great test of the character’s ferocity and capacity to love. Sure, Iris continues to be a hero, but this perhaps was her most human season as she was able to take on issues that, in a normal world, she probably wouldn’t have for many more years.

Sarah Rafferty, Suits – What’s consistently made Rafferty so outstanding as Donna is the complete command she has over the words — she understands the character’s confidence, but also some of what she still struggles with and how she relates to the other characters. She’s in some ways a guide full of sage wisdom, but she also navigates her own vulnerabilities while choosing the times to let people in. The Harvey moment at the end of season 8 was a long time coming, but it was earned thanks mostly to the wonderful performances and choices leading up to it that made us root for Donna so darn much.

Rhea Seehorn, Better Call Saul – How Seehorn hasn’t been recognized more by the Emmys for playing Kim Wexler is truly baffling, especially since we are talking about someone who is so fully-formed and complicated. She wants the best for her future, but also struggles with her relationship with Jimmy, a guy who can at times impede it from happening. She’s seen the best in him and experienced the worst, and for Kim, much of season 4 was about carving her own path and recognizing that she and Jimmy could be moving down different ones. She’s finding her future, but also seeing issues in the present bubble to the surface.

Sophie Skelton, Outlander – There were happy moments aplenty for Brianna this season, from her seeing Jamie for the first time to her first seeing Roger in the past. Then, there was one of the most horrific moments of the entire series between her and Stephen Bonnet. What Skelton did through season 4 was bring the utmost truth to these moments, both good and bad, and show the toughness and resilience of this character. She brought us joy in the closing seconds of season 4, but so much of the payoff was due to the pain and the tears leading up to. Skelton cemented her rising-star status all season long.

Photo: AMC

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