Emmys Countdown: A Chat About Best Actress

In the lead-up to the announcement on Emmy nominations on July 10, Celebuzz will be looking at the past year in outstanding television and analyzing what will be recognized and what, what should be recognized and what should not. Today, Robert Kessler and Kendall Fisher discuss the Best Actress categories.

Robert Kessler: We gather today to talk about the best actress categories, which are my favorite so I’m excited. Let’s start on the dramatic side of things

Kendall Fisher: Perfect! Let’s do it.

RK: What’s interesting, at least to me, about this category this year is that no one seems like a totally sure bet for a nomination. There are lots of great performances and I think any six could end up nominated. I would say, though, that Robin Wright is probably as close as it gets for a remarkable performance on an otherwise shaky-at-best show.

KF: I am so glad you say that… I personally am rooting for Robin Wright.

RK: Her Claire Underwood (who happens to be from the same Dallas suburb that I’m from—HP represent) is the only reason i’ve stuck with that show for two seasons and the second season was an excellent showcase for her.

KF: Claire is one of the most incredible characters to watch—you really never know what to expect. I wanted so much more from her after the first season and really glad we got to see that in the second.

RK: Other performers who I think will surely be nominated are Julianna Margulies and Elisabeth Moss.

KF: 100%… As with Claire Danes I think, too.

RK: This is the first year I feel like she’s not a total shoe-in, as Homeland starts to lose some steam, but yes I’d agree that she’ll probably get nominated.

KF: I’m hoping she’s not. I think there are several other women who deserve it more this year.

RK: Like who?

KF: What about newcomer Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black?

RK: There was a lot of outrage last year when she was nominated, that’s for sure. And she’s doing impressive work
over there on BBC America so I’d love to see her get a nod. I think this second season got a little more attention than the first but it still feels like it’s one of those things that’s really only popular on the internet, you know, and I’m afraid that not too many Academy voters are paying attention.

KF: Unfortunately!

KF: But we absolutely have to talk about Kerry Washington. I know she’s one of your faves.

RK: She is. And while Scandal was kind of a mess this season, her performance was consistent and I think she’s a good bet for another nomination.

KF: Whether or not she takes home the Emmy… eh. I’m not too sure on that.

RK: This year I’m really rooting for Lizzy Caplan, Keri Russell and Nicole Beharie who were all excellent in Masters of Sex, The Americans, and Sleepy Hollow, respectively. Plus how great would it be to see Felicity and Janis Ian nominated as dramatic actresses?

KF: HAHAHA right?! Of those three, who is your favorite?

RK: It’s tough to choose, I think my favorite performance is Lizzy Caplan’s, but I’d bet that Keri Russell has a better shot at a nomination.

KF: I’ve been looking into some Emmy predictions and Keri Russell appears to be favored. Lizzy Caplan is underrated though for sure.

RK: Nicole Beharie probably won’t be nominated and that’s too bad because it’s no easy feat making a show about Ichabod Crane coming back to life and battling the forces of evil with a modern day police detective not only fun but compelling, but she does it.

KF: Agreed. Why don’t you think she’ll see a nomination? How do you think the Academy will look at it?

RK: I’m just not sure they’ll take the show seriously. Plus the season ended last fall, so it’s not really fresh in anyone’s mind.

KF: Very true.

RK: But watch Sleepy Hollow on Fox, Monday nights at 9:00 this fall! (Fox can i have my money now?)

KF: We haven’t really tapped into Vera Farmiga for Bates Motel yet. Thoughts?

KF: Oh, yeah, that show. I mean she was nominated last year, but yikes. I don’t think it’s gonna happen again. What about you?

KF: Yeah… Not my type of show. But she is the “dark horse” (thanks Katy Perry) which can be difficult to play. She’s magnetic in the role too, but again… That show.

RK: She’s also Vera freaking Farmiga. She’s got an Academy Award nomination for god’s sake and we all know how the Emmy voters love movie stars. So who knows what’ll happen.

KF: I think she’ll get a nod.

RK: Anyone else?

KF: I think that’s it! How about you?

RK: Let’s move on to comedy, which is a whole other story. Julia Louis-Dreyfus owns this category and the third season of Veep was the best yet. She’s not only a lock for a nomination, but she’s a lock to win. Sorry everyone else, thanks for playing.

KF: Total shoo-in. Poor Amy Poehler.

RK: But! These are the nominations we’re talking about, so who else makes the cut?


RK: Amy Poehler and Taylor Schilling for sure I’d say.

KF: Will Lena Dunham make the cut again?

RK: I just don’t know. Girls is probably my second favorite show on television and I think the third season was the best yet, so I’d love to see it happen. But this is a tough category this year.

KF: Agreed. I think there are a lot of strong actresses in this category this year.

RK: Of course there’s Edie Falco. And then there are a bunch of newcomers. There’s Anna Faris, whose co-star Allison Janney is likely going to win the supporting actress category.

KF: I love Anna Faris.

RK: There’s also Wendi McLendon-Covey, who has turned The Goldbergs into one of the best new shows of last year.

KF: Exactly. I’d say the best thing since Modern Family, right?

RK: Don’t even get me started on Modern Family.


RK: But, yes, The Goldbergs is lovely and sweet and Wendi McLendon-Covey plays the shit out of Beverly Goldberg.

KF: In all honesty, I think Wendi is the funniest newcomer of the bunch.

RK: Who else can you see getting a nomination?

KF: Emmy Rossum for Shameless?

RK: It’s possible!

KF: I have my fingers crossed for Amy Poehler and Taylor Schilling even though Julia is destined to take it home again.

RK: I’ve got some personal pet projects. I know these will probably never happen but good god I wish they would. First of all there’s Abbi Jacobsen and Ilana Glazer of Broad City which is HANDS DOWN THE BEST SHOW CURRENTLY ON TELEVISION NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

KF: I take it this is your first favorite show?

RK: Yes absolutely. The chance they both get nominated is practically 0 so I’d say Ilana Glazer has a slightly better chance. Additionally, I’d love to see either Lennon Parham or Jessica St. Clair from Playing House nominated.

KF: How do you think they rank next to Ilana and Abbi?

RK: Don’t make me say it. (Not quite as good.)

KF: I’m sorry i made you say it.

KF: What about returners like Zooey Deschanel, Mindy Kaling, and Melissa McCarthy?

RK: I don’t really see any of the three getting nominated. This season of New Girl was ROUGH and I never quite like The Mindy Project as much as I want to.

KF: I was just about to say… Even though I find myself always watching New Girl, it’s been a rough one.

RK: Melissa McCarthy’s Emmy win was less for Mike and Molly than it was for Bridesmaids anyway.

KF: Hahaha. They love the movie stars!

RK: Before we go I just want to toss out two more names: Laurie Metcalf (Getting On) and Emily Mortimer (Doll and Em). While I doubt either will happen, both gave excellent performances in under-watched shows.

KF: I haven’t watched them but I’ve heard a bit about Laurie Metcalf here and there. As far as the Academy is concerned… I think the more popular the show, the better, unfortunately for these two.

RK: I think you’re right.


Robert Kessler

Julianna Margulie, The Good Wife
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Kerri Russell, The Americans

Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Lena Dunham, Girls
Ilana Glazer, Broad City
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie

Kendall Fisher

Robin Wright, House of Cards
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Claire Danes, Homeland
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black
Wendi McLendon-Covey, The Goldbergs
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Lena Dunham, Girls