Emmy Category Analysis: Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Blog

By Abe Friedtanzer

Billy Crudup is the only actor not to compete with a costar

This category seems pretty neat in terms of distribution: 8 slots, 4 shows. 4 nominees returning from 2 years ago and 4 actors from the new series. The only actor representing his solo show is also the only one to have won before – Billy Crudup. There’s no definite favorite this time around, which is pretty exciting. (Diversifying the number of series represented by nominations would surely help make it even more) Brief descriptions of the nominees and analysis after the show…

Kieran Culkin in Succession


Christopher Walken and John Turturro in Severance

Analysis: I had hoped for the enthusiasm for Breakup could have led to the inclusion of Zach Cherry (Dylan) or Tramell Tillman (Milchick). Walken is obviously a much bigger name, and while I wouldn’t have voted for him over the other two, it’s hard to deny the brilliance of his performance, despite the very limited screen time. Turturro is excellent, and it would be a very fun victory. Walken has one previous nomination, from 1991, while Turturro has two – he prevailed for playing Monk’s brother on Monk in 2004 and increased again in 2017 to The Night Of. I don’t see Crudup repeating himself, since his show is down eight nods for season one through three this year, all for the game, and he didn’t have quite the same material, especially in his episode submitted.

Matthew Macfadyen and Nicholas Braun successively

That brings us to what I would say are the two liveliest shows of the season: Succession and Breakup. I know some TFE members love Braun but I personally think this was the strongest season for Culkin. Macfadyen is still great too. It’s hard to pick a favorite, which I think is a problem Emmy voters will also have with shows they’ve nominated multiple times in all categories.

On squid game, however, Young-soo’s Player 1 is so endearing that it’s easy to pick him off over Hae-soo’s Player 218, a very strong but unlovable performance. Looking at other awards bodies, Culkin beat Braun, Crudup, and Macfadyen at the Critics’ Choice Awards, Culkin and Macfadyen lost to a lead actor (Lee Jung-jae) at SAG, and Culkin and Crudup both lost to Young-soo at the Golden Globes. I am more confident about Succession pick up the Emmy trophy (drama series) but I think here in Supporting Actor it’s Young-soo from Squid Game who wins.

Oh Young-soo with Lee Jung-jae in Squid Gae

will win: Oh Young-Soo – Squid Game
should win: John Turturro – Severance pay
disclose: Kieran Culkin – Estate

Who do you think will win and who are you rooting for?