The award for Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie has ended up being quite the race these past few years. Having Limited Series and Television Movie actors in the same category sounds like it would yield all kinds of performances, but with less and less television movies each year (in comparison to how many limited series we get every year), there’s usually only one or two actors that break in from tv movies. Last year also included two actors from the recorded stage production of Hamilton, while this year won’t have any like that.
This year’s frontrunner and biggest lock is Michael Keaton. Keaton delivered an incredible performance in Hulu’s Dopesick and has already taken home awards for his performance from the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globes and Critics Choice Association. To put it lightly, Keaton is the one to beat in this category and, as of now, will probably be taking home the award. This doesn’t mean there’s a lack of competition. Recent Oscar-nominee Andrew Garfield also seeks to join the list of nominated actors for his performance in Under the Banner of Heaven. Garfield could end up being Keaton’s biggest competition, but he’s got an uphill battle to climb to get there. Ben Foster could end up being the lone competitor from a television movie, but there’s a very good chance that he’ll receive his first Emmy nom for the HBO film The Survivor.
Oscar Isaac seems poised to also receive his first Emmy nom this year for HBO’s limited series adaptation of Scenes from a Marriage. Isaac and his co-star, Jessica Chastain, received much praise for their realistic performances as a married couple in dissolution, so he will likely be in the line-up when Emmy noms are announced in July. Colin Firth hasn’t been nominated for an Emmy since 2001 for his performance in Conspiracy, but looks to make a triumphant return this year for his role in The Staircase. Paul Bettany, who just received his first Emmy nom last year for WandaVision, is in a great position to receive his second this year for his performance opposite Claire Foy in Prime Video’s A Very British Scandal, but he’ll be facing steep competition to get there. Sebastian Stan is also in the running for his portrayal of Tommy Lee in Hulu’s Pam and Tommy. Samuel L. Jackson could also receive his first acting Emmy nom this year for his role in AppleTV+’s The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.
Here are my predictions for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie.
- Michael Keaton – Dopesick (Hulu)
- Andrew Garfield – Under the Banner of Heaven (FX)
- Oscar Isaac – Scenes from a Marriage (HBO)
- Ben Foster – The Survivor (HBO)
- Colin Firth – The Staircase (HBO Max)
- Sebastian Stan – Pam and Tommy (Hulu)
Look Out For: Himesh Patel – Station Eleven (HBO Max); Samuel L. Jackson – The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey (AppleTV+); Paul Bettany – A Very British Scandal (Prime Video); Jared Leto – WeCrashed (Hulu)
Photo courtesy of HBO Max