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Emmy Actors - Who Would You Vote For?

Though we've been reviewing various Emmy categories our team isn't nearly big enough to cover everything and who should suffer. Why the men of course since they just aren't as exciting as the actresses. But let's not just ignore them all together. That would be rude!

Who would you vote for in the male drama acting categories? Make a case for them in the comments. Let's discuss after the jump...


  • Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, The Night Of
  • Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies
  • Ewan McGregor, Fargo
  • Geoffrey Rush, Genius
  • John Turturro, The Night Of

I'm 100% a Riz Ahmed voter but are you? 


  • Sterling K Brown, This is Us
  • Anthony Hopkins, Westworld
  • Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
  • Matthew Rhys, The Americans
  • Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
  • Kevin Spacey House of Cards
  • Milo Ventimiglia, This is Us

Tough call. Would love for Matthew Rhys to finally be honored for The Americans but on the other hand... Sterling K Brown is so great on This Is Us. Your call!


  • Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
  • Ron Cephas Jones, This is Us
  • David Harbour, Stranger Things
  • Michael Kelly, House of Cards
  • John Lithgow, The Crown
  • Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
  • Jeffrey Wright, Westworld

I'd have to abstain from this as I haven't seen enough of them. But from those I've seen I'd be torn between Ron Cephas Jones and David Harbour both of whom I loved on their shows.

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Reader Comments (26)

Agree with Nathaniel on all three.

Riz, Sterling, and Ron are my picks for each category. Sterling is the only one I think will win though. McGregor and Lithgow are the most likely to win in the other ones.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJess

I really want McGregor to win so we could have our beloved Moulin Rouge couple together as Emmy winners... We all know Kidman is gonna win, right?

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMario

It'd be very hard to pick among Riz, Ewan and John in that first category. In fact, I still don't know.

If all else was equal, I'd probably vote for Sterling over Matthew in the next category BUT Sterling is already an Emmy winner and his show will last awhile (meantime The Americans will end next season). So my actual vote this year is for Matthew.

Ron gets my vote for the final category, but I do think there's no bad choice here.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Riz is the clear winner in his category of the ones I've seen (all but Genius))

Have not seen enough of the second category (such different shows!) but Rhys and Odenkirk are both exceptional in their respective shows.

Of the three I've seen in supporting, I'd rank them as: Wright (who just got more and more compelling as the show went along), Banks and Harbour

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHuh

I have a sinking feeling that Lange will prevail over Kidman...which may prompt me to throw a brick through my tv.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Lead Movie or Mini: John Turturro
Lead Drama: Matthew Rhys
Supporting Drama: Ron Cephas Jones

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

I haven't watched enough to have an honest vote but I loved Riz Ahmed's quiet, soulful work. And while I can't comment on his performance, because I never watched Fargo, it would be nice to see the talented and dashing Ewan McGregor finally an award for something.

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

Riz, Rhys, Kelly

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

Riz Ahmed, Sterling K. Brown, and either David Harbour or Jeffrey Wright.

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Surely reese will triumph over Kidman .... she was so much more colourful then kidman

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGizmo

If this was under the tape submission / blue panel system, Ewan McGregor would win easily. Dual characters = Emmy. Even The Bionic Woman won a lead actress Emmy with an evil twin tape, that's saying something. Now under the one member, one vote, no need to watch anything system, in which Margo Martindale won for a minute and half scene drinking coffee in a diner, it becomes a game of who's popular or has widespread respect among Academy voters x who's got a rabid fanbase. I would not be surprised to see Benedict Cumberbatch, who has both, win. He would also be the least deserving of the nominees, give or take one's mileage on DeNiro's Bernie Madoff.

Also, under the old tapes system having a costar nominated increased the odds of one of them winning, as panel voters would watch multiple episodes of the same people and usually come to an agreement on who's best (cue in three episodes of Desperate Housewives and notice that Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross were a bit one note, but Felicity Huffman, wow, so much range! ~ that kind of thing). Judging by last year (we still need more precedents to really assess this), it seems that multiple nominees from the same show lead to vote splitting, unless one of them towers over the others (say Sterling K Brown x Travolta in People vs OJ). So if that trends holds true, it should be between Ewan and Cumberbatch, with Ahmed and Turturo cancelling each other out and with DeNiro and Rush splitting the beloved veteran name check votes.

This lead race will be a great barometer. Brown was the odds on favorite going into nomination morning, when the show overperformed in the acting races and Milo Ventimiglia got in. If Odenkirk or Rhys win, then vote splitting really is a thing to be dealt with under the new system. The show already shot itself on the foot on nominations by putting forth way too many writing and directing submissions, it will be interesting to see if the multiple acting noms cost them the wins too. I expect Hopkins and Spacey to cancel each other out on the big Oscar winner name check front and Schreiber always strikes me as a filler nom (maybe it's a blindside coz Ray Donovan barely ever registers with me, only the Emmys remind me that it exists).

For supporting it should be Lithgow. He strikes me as the type who win under any voting system. Two time emmy winner and both wins supercelebrated (lead comedy for loveable goofy alien patriarch in 3rd Rock from.the Sun and guest drama for evil psychopath villain in Dexter), beloved veteran character actor of film, tv and stage, donning an accent, playing an iconic historical figure, in a British royalty prestige show. And to cap it off, the performance is genius. Maybe Jeffrey Wright is a spoiler, but I'll be surprised if it's not Lithgow.

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Sandiego

I've not watched any of the shows but based on the pictures - Riz Ahmed gets my vote. Purely cosmetic of course!

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Lewis

Riz and Rhys. After that, I don't know that I care. None of those supporting actors really blow me away on any of the shows.

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

Riz Ahmed. Sterling K Brown. John Lithgow. Easy.

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterV.

Carmen -- i already miss the old tape system because I really believe (and believe this about Oscar too) that you should be required to watch all the nominees before having a vote. I know people say that's too much, but, nope. Wins can be so much more surprising IF people are actually watching.

August 22, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I haven't seen all of them. But it's hard to believe anyone was better than Riz. Still pissed he wasn't nominated for Nightcrawler.

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I haven't seen enough of the nominees but please oh please don't let Hopkins win. Wright, on the other hand, is severely under-awarded for his level of talent and was really great on Westworld.

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Did I miss something? How is the voting done now? The Emmy rules and rule changes seem to be so arbitrary that I can't keep up.

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

I don't recall Benedict Cumberbatch's performance in "The Night Of".

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbcarter3

Riz Ahmed is my religion.

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I don't see how John Lithgow loses this and deservedly so. The performance is just THAT good and while they've made a big deal about it being counter-intuitive casting (Lithgow looks nothing like Churchill, plus he's American), the performance he delivers warrants this win. I would also give a shout out to Ron Cephas Jones (he breaks my heart on This Is Us), but I'm still pulling for Lithgow, since I'm also pulling for The Crown (I seem to be in the minority, but I love that show and it's amazing how much drama is mined out of the story of Elizabeth II). Now, if Michael McKean had been nominated for Better Call Saul (which he should have been, hands down, biggest snub of the year)...

In the Lead category, I'm torn between Brown, Odenkirk and Rhys. I'm always pulling for Rhys because I adore The Americans (even if the fifth season was weaker), but I often forget just how good Odenkirk is on Better Call Saul, since he built a compelling character out of a figure that was mostly just comic relief on Breaking Bad (and one of my least favorite aspects of that show, which makes this an even bigger achievement that Jimmy McGill is so compelling) and Brown is the beating heart of This Is Us (him and Cephas Jones). There's so much about that show I have issues with, but when it turns to Randall and William (that family in general, Susan Kelechi Watson is also divine), I understand why it's a nominee for Drama Series (and while I like Milo Ventimiglia in this, he's not on the level of Sterling K. Brown, plus he's always going to be Jess to me).

Can't comment on the Miniseries categories since I haven't seen enough. Pulling for Alfred Molina in Supporting (he was that show's most consistent strength)...

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

Nat - Agreed! Miss the crazy fun of the panel syatem!

Troy H. - Emmy voting used to be done by panels. Not all Academy members voted for every category. They would watch all submitted episodes, and based on that select winners. No one could blind vote. This system allowed for some unexpected wins (like the first Bryan Cranston/Breaking Bad win for Best Actor, that really helped put that show on the map).

Then it shifted for a ranked ballot and a trust system. The Academy members would be given streamimg links, were free to vote for any category they wanted to, so lomg as they checked a disclaimer box that attests they watched the episodes submitted (spoiler alert: they didn't). This system allowed for more prestigious nominees to prevail and essentially made it into a consensus choice. Two spectcular wins happened under this system, though: Viola Davis breaking the Drama Lead Actress glass ceiling for black actresses and delivering that electrifying Harriet Tubman speech, and Jon Hamm finally getting his due for Mad Men.

Last year they did away with the rankings, but still a trust system. Anyone votes so long as they check the box that says they've seen the streams, but they only pick one of the nominees, which is better for passion vote choices, which is why we got Tatiana Maslany and Ben Mendehlson finally as winners. Unfortunately, it also favors name checking and blindvoting.

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Sandiego

Robert DeNiro.

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

I say Riz Ahmed wins if blind-voting doesn't come into play. He has the buzz and the performance is actually pretty transformative. Plus it would be a great way to reward the show. IF blind-voting comes into play, DeNiro or Benedict. Ugh.

Sterling K. Brown has this on lock in Drama Actor. Or at least it feels that way.

They might as well give John Lithgow's award out before the show even starts. It feels anti-climatic at this point.

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercw

Riz Ahmed, cause he`s consistently terrific and The Night Of is thrilling and immersive, although simply love Ewan in virtually anything.

Milo Ventimiglia, just because everyone is taking him for granted and he`s so good in This is Us , which is beautiful, simple and heart warming. (though I would not be upset if Matthew Rhys gets some Emmy love)

My sense says John Lithgow, who is stellar in The Crown, my heart says Mandy Patinkin, because Homeland is one of my favorite shows of all time and he is just phenomenal and the perfect match for the astonishing Claire Danes

August 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEder Arcas

Ewan MacGregor needs to start winning something and his dual performance is brilliant so he gets my vote although I think De Niro will take this one and Benedict's nom is for Sherlock not The Night Of lol.
I'd vote for Kevin Spacey. Have always loved FU and just too many This is Us guys.
I am definitely Mandy Patinkin's team! He is Homeland's best part and I'm actually surprised he is nominated this year. John Lithgow might take this one home alas.
Why only three? Do the other guys too!

August 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

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