There is no category that we had a harder time deciding on this year in the CarterMatt Best of 2013 awards series than Best Dramatic Actor. We managed to choose four men and four women, but we could have very well chosen ten of each and there still would have been snubs. So before we share our own nominees, let’s send a toast to Demian Bichir, Kerry Washington, Thomas Sadoski, Josh Charles, Gwendoline Christie, Aaron Paul, Matthew Rhys, and many more. These are some of many people that we loved this year, but we just didn’t have a place for them above our top choices.
But isn’t it a great thing to have so many wonderful people to choose from? This is all proof of the great TV renaissance that is happening right now, and we really should celebrate that.
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” – Just as the sky is blue and grass is green, Cranston is nearly a lock to win most of the awards he is up for this year as Walter White. It’s the greatest character arguably of the past several years in all television, and it was all based on the simple premise of a man turning to a life of crime in order to make sure his family was taken care of when he died of cancer. It’s a common TV role that somehow turned into so much more thanks to smart writing and this incredible performance.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, “Game of Thrones” – Jaime Lannister was for the first two seasons, the official d-bag of Westeros. (Joffrey was more of the rich bully at school.) But somehow, Coster-Waldau made him instantly relatable in just a matter of a few short episodes early on during season 3. We recommend that from now on, he should just travel with Gwendoline Christie everywhere.
Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad” – It’s not often that we feel two people from the same show are strong enough to include on a limited list, but that is just how good the final season of “Breaking Bad” was. Gunn had the near-impossible job of playing the yin to Walter Whites yang, and some fans hated her for her attitude towards him. But we felt heartbroken for Skyler. She was a woman who could have almost nothing, and we still sit back here sad at the thought that for her, victory meant possibly not being charged with horrible crimes and living in a tiny dank apartment with little money.
Freddie Highmore, “Bates Motel” – Still, the most underrated performer of 2013 in our book, and it starts with something that every actor should learn: How to speak with an accent. He has the best American actor for any British performer we’ve ever seen at his age. Add to that the level of terror and general creepiness he brings to Norman Bates, and you have a bona fide winner here in a man who somehow continues to find a way to impress us.
Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black” – Until she got a nomination for a Golden Globe today, we were going to start openly mocking all TV awards shows for pretending like BBC America isn’t an actual network. No shows relies as heavily on one actor as this one does, and somehow she still seems unfazed by it. She makes playing countless clones effortless, even when we know it has to at times feel impossible. If that is not a testament to a job well done, we don’t know what is.
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men” – The tragedy that is “Mad Men” season 6 is that in the middle of snubbing it, everyone has somehow managed to forget that Elisabeth gave arguably the best performance of her entire run. Peggy Olsen continues to be almost the mirror of Don Draper, as she started with almost nothing, and through her hard work, she has ascended to basically his job. Meanwhile, his fall from grace is well-documented.
Michael Sheen, “Masters of Sex” – Almost the moment that we learned that Michael Sheen was attached to play Dr. William Masters in a new series on Showtime, we knew that this was going to be great and so far we haven’t been disappointed. He’s a Welsh actor who has also refined an American accent like Freddie Highmore, but beyond that he plays Bill with such a bizarre mixture of brilliance and frustration. His brain just doesn’t work like everyone else’s does, and the fact that it is so easy to be angry with this guy is a sign that Sheen is doing everything right.
Maggie Siff, “Sons of Anarchy” – It’s a real shame that Golden Globe voting happened long before the “Sons of Anarchy” finale. Maggie is probably going to be on the short end of the awards stick thanks mostly to just poor timing, and that’s just unfair for the wonderful work that she has been doing as Tara for so long. She was the sole glimmer of light in what has become an increasingly dark world, and with her gone Jax Teller could be free to embrace his inner darkness.
Who did you think gave the best performance of the year? Share your pick in the poll below! Our results will be revealed on Friday, December 20, which is precisely one week from tomorrow.
Also, click here to see the full list of other categories that you can vote for.