Road to the Emmys: Best Actor in a Drama
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There’s six nominees for the Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama, but there is one clear frontrunner. Will things break his way again, or is there an upset in the making? Let’s take a look:
Hugh Bonneville – Downton Abbey
Bonneville has been on fire lately, not only for his role as Robert Crawley in Downton Abbey, but also for his starring role in the hit British comedy Twenty Twelve about the London Olympic Games. Still, Bonneville’s star is much brighter in Britain than in the US, and he doesn’t have the most celebrated performance on his own show. Additionally Bonneville lost for this role last year in the miniseries category to Idris Elba for Luther, so Emmy voters would require a major change of heart for an upset here.
Steve Buscemi – Boardwalk Empire
A longtime Hollywood favorite, Buscemi continues to win accolades for his first major starring role. Still, Buscemi was viewed by many as a frontrunner last year, having already won the Golden Globe and the SAG, and with Bryan Cranston out of the picture. Yet Emmy voters went with Kyle Chandler for Friday Night Lights instead. Buscemi repeated as the SAG winner, but lost the Golden Globe, and now he has to go up against Cranston. Also working against him is the general belief that Boardwalk Empire took a baby step back in its second season, and the show didn’t win a significant Emmy in its first season.
Bryan Cranston – Breaking Bad
The obvious frontrunner, Cranston won this award three times in a row before Breaking Bad missed the Emmy window last year. His Walter White role is one of the most critically acclaimed in the history of television, and the show’s ratings continue to see a steady increase. Most have noticed zero dropoff in the show’s quality or in Cranston’s performance, so it’s hard to see anyone else winning this award. If Cranston wins, he’ll join Dennis Franz of NYPD as the only four-time winner of this award.
Michael C. Hall – Dexter
A few years ago, Hall was thought to have an excellent chance to win his first Emmy. But despite winning both a Golden Globe and a SAG in 2010, while recovering from cancer, Hall couldn’t break through and take home an Emmy statuette. Now with Dexter in noticeable decline, and the show not even nominated for Best Drama Series, Hall appears to have little chance of winning.
Jon Hamm – Mad Men
Despite having one of the most celebrated roles in the history of television, it seems like Hamm will never win an Emmy. He lost to Cranston in Mad Men’s first three seasons, and then fell to Chandler last year when there appeared to be an opening. It’s hard to believe that Hamm only has one Golden Globe to show for Donald Draper, especially since the show has continued to be excellent. But most people who watch both Mad Men and Breaking Bad give that extra edge to Cranston, and it appears that will be the case again.
Damian Lewis – Homeland
If there is a sleeper in this category, it would appear to be here. While Homeland was supposed to be all about Claire Danes – and she may very well win her Emmy on Sunday – Lewis proved to be an equally powerful force on the show, playing Nicholas Brody. The British actor was phenomenal playing the emotionally torn ex-sergeant, and he left viewers guessing where his real loyalties lay right up until the season’s final episode. This is his first Emmy nomination, so it remains to be seen how the Academy will treat him.
The Pick: If you’re in an Emmy pool, and you feeling like taking a huge risk, then go with Lewis. But the smart money is on Cranston.