The four hardest categories to predict in every Emmy cycle are the Drama and Comedy Guest Actor and Actress nominees. It’s difficult to anticipate if the Academy will name-check or really look through the submissions for those who stood out.
Last year, Bradley Whitford and Cherry Jones were victorious for The Handmaid’s Tale. Whitford, will compete this year for Drama Supporting Actor as he appeared in too many episodes. The rules stipulate that in order to qualify for guest a performer must appear in one episode less than half of the season. Also, in a tough spot is Cherry Jones who will again compete for Handmaid’s and Succession. This puts her in a tough spot as the rules only allow a performer to receive one nomination per category meaning Jones may cancel herself out. Handmaid’s could fill up multiple as many previous series regulars will compete. And then there’s This Is Us which could also occupy several spots but the series is on the bubble after being snubbed for a Drama Ensemble nomination at the SAG Awards.
Best Drama Guest Actor:
• Charles Dance, The Crown
• James Cromwell, Succession
• Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us
• Andrew Scott, Black Mirror
• Dean Norris, Better Call Saul
• O-T Fagbenle, The Handmaid’s Tale
Cephas Jones is a previous winner (2018) and has been nominated for each of the previous three seasons. Cromwell and Scott were shockingly snubbed at last year’s Emmys but redemption appears to be right around the corner. Fagbenle, could benefit from not having to compete in Supporting. Norris has an Emmy I.O.U. after being snubbed for the final season of Breaking Bad but things should go his way this time round. And Dance in his first big role since Game of Thrones could be the frontrunner to win.
Most Likely to Surprise (outside of This Is Us or The Handmaid’s Tale): Jason Bateman (The Outsider), Damon Herriman (as Charles Manson, Mindhunter), Martin Short (The Morning Show), Sean Delaney (Killing Eve) or Alexander Skarsgard (On Becoming a God in Central Florida).
The This Is US paradox: Gerald McRaney, Michael Angarano, Omar Epps or Tim Matheson
The Handmaid’s Tale conundrum: Christopher Meloni or Max Minghella
Best Drama Guest Actress:
• Cherry Jones, Succession
• Phylicia Rashad, This Is Us
• Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale
• Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away with Murder
• Jane Lapotaire, The Crown
• Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black
Tyson and Cox are each hoping that for the final season of their respective series it will end with an Emmy. Lapotaire made a lasting impression as Sister-formerly Princess Alice, Prince Philip’s dying mother. And Rashad is hoping to get revenge on Jones after her surprising loss last year.
Most Likely to Surprise (outside of This Is Us or The Handmaid’s Tale): Harriet Walter (Succession), Mindy Kaling (The Morning Show) or Mary Steenburgen (On Becoming a God in Central Florida).
The This Is US paradox: Pamela Adlon, Elizabeth Perkins or Jennifer Morrison,
The Handmaid’s Tale conundrum: Cherry Jones, Julie Dretzin or Clea Duvall