CarterMatt Awards 2019: Stephen Amell, Bob Morley, Richard Rankin, Alex O’Loughlin among Underrated Actor nominees
Welcome to the 2019 CarterMatt Awards! This is our year-end tradition (eight years strong!) where we as a site celebrate some of the best that TV has to offer! Our staff joins forces to hand-pick nominees across a wide array of different fields, and then leaves it up to you to declare the winner. This has always been one of our favorite times of the year, as we get a chance to celebrate TV while looking back at the individual elements that make it great.
Today we’re discussing Underrated Actor — a category that we’ve done for many years and one we really love. The reality in the television world is quite simple — there are hundreds of shows and with that, hundreds of leading/supporting actors. There are probably around 50-60 worthy of awards recognition every year, but only a small fraction get nominations in between the Emmys, the Golden Globes, and the SAG Awards. This is a category designed to support the actors who do great work and don’t always get the love for it that they deserve. The only criteria is this: These nominees cannot have received an Emmy or Golden Globe nomination in the past year.
Voting rules – You can vote for this award however often you want until the closing of the voting window — all polls close at 12:00 p.m. Pacific time (3:00 p.m. Eastern) on Tuesday, December 31. For more technical information on voting, including how to vote multiple times, read the bottom of this article; meanwhile, visit our CarterMatt Awards Landing Page for all of the 2019 categories, plus a schedule as to when new polls will be posted.
Now, let’s get to sharing the Underrated Actor nominees…
Stephen Amell, Arrow – It’s the final season, and no one actor has meant more to the entire Arrowverse than the man responsible for getting it on the map. Without Amell’s commitment to Oliver Queen, there’s no way we’re in an era of Crisis on Infinite Earths where we are so invested in all of the characters and their journeys. Oliver is the north star of this universe, both in terms of his bravery and heartache.
Cas Anvar, The Expanse – Alex Kamal is the pilot for the Roci, but also much of the newly-minted Amazon series’ beating heart. Anvar is able to mold together these wonderful moments of comic relief with a backstory that can at times be dark and painful. While he’s far from a perfect human being, Alex represents an element of hope in this universe, someone who keeps pushing forward in the hardest of times and reminds us all of what’s it’s like to be part of a family.
Alex O’Loughlin, Hawaii Five-0 – Watch the big episode earlier this season, written and directed by O’Loughlin, and try to argue his place on this list. This was a tour de force from him that shows the full extent of his work. Sure, Alex can make us laugh as Steve McGarrett, and also leave us in awe of his action-hero skills. Yet, it’s his moments of vulnerability that make him stand out amongst the field of crime-procedural stars.
Bob Morley, The 100 – What a past season this was for Morley, as we saw the continued transformation of Bellamy into someone who understood even further the power of his choices and what it means to still be standing. His frailty has long been his greatest strength, mostly as connective tissue to us as a viewer. We want to believe that these characters, despite their extraordinary circumstances, are still human. Morley provides that year in and year out.
Eric Christian Olsen, NCIS: Los Angeles – The 250th episode was co-written by Olsen, but he deserves just as much credit for his acting. Watch the scenes with him and Daniela Ruah — you’ll see a lot of love between Deeks and Kensi, but also so much vulnerability and a willingness to take on challenges and urgency. This is such a nuanced role, one that could have just been deemed comic relief in lesser hands.
Richard Rankin, Outlander – The final episodes of season 4 (airing earlier this year) were some of Rankin’s best ever as a performer. The physical commitment to Roger’s suffering was evident, as was Richard’s ability to show the psychological damage the journey had on his character’s soul. This was no longer the same man who traveled through the stones; he wanted to understand the outside world and the feelings in his heart, but at the same time keep his head above water.
Jesse Spencer, Chicago Fire – Spencer’s a master of subtlety as Matthew Casey — he doesn’t always wear his heart on his sleeve (it’s hard to as a captain), but when he does, you definitely feel it. You get the sense of the size of his heart and also how conflicted he can feel. Just watching Spencer alongside Monica Raymund again in the fall finale is a perfect example of that.
Hisham Tawfiq, The Blacklist – Finally, we turn to the man who does the most with the smallest amount of material. There are times when Tawfiq says only a few words per episode as Dembe Zuma; yet, you feel every single emotion he feels. There is so much wisdom and power within his eyes, and when he gets to challenge Raymond Reddington on his beliefs, the resulting actions are always a thing of beauty.
Now, it’s time to vote!
Check out the poll below, and be sure to visit our landing page for more categories.
I can’t see the poll on an individual category page; 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.
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Results are now closed. View the winners here!