Last Year’s Winner: Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Still Eligible: Yes.
Hot Streak: There hasn’t been a repeat winner in this category since Anna Gunn won in 2013 and 2014 for “Breaking Bad.” Before that, the last back-to-back winner was Blythe Danner for “Huff” in 2005 and 2006.
Fun Fact: For the past four years, at least one show has snagged two nominations in this category. But only one series took home the Emmy (Dowd for “The Handmaid’s Tale”).
Ann Dowd is making quite a case for another Emmy. The actress behind Aunt Lydia on Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” remains an unforgettable force in Season 2, and Dowd’s deepening of the character is second to none on television.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of competitors. Thandie Newton is rolling through the second season of “Westworld,” grappling with complex issues of identity as the one woman wrecking ball, Maeve. Lena Headey is one of many “Game of Thrones” contenders; though Emilia Clarke is now in the Lead Actress category, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner are looking for their second and first nominations, respectively.
In their way is a pair of beloved “This Is Us” stars, Chrissy Metz and Susan Kelechi Watson. Metz was nominated in 2017 and arguably had an even stronger second season (along with Kelechi’s underrated turn). Millie Bobby Brown got her own episode and more in “Stranger Things 2,” while Vanessa Kirby got the same opportunities in “The Crown” Season 2 — and blew people away.
Meanwhile, Margo Martindale has won three Emmys overall and two for “The Americans,” but she’s never been nominated as a supporting actress for playing KGB handler Claudia. That could change in the final season. Constance Zimmer is looking to return to the Emmys for “UnREAL” after a year off for Season 2, and Aubrey Plaza (“Legion”), Maggie Siff (“Billions”), and Holly Taylor (“The Americans”) remain deserving dark horses with growing fan bases.
Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (listed in alphabetical order), which will be updated throughout the season. Make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz and highlights from the 2018 race, and read predictions in the rest of the categories, as well.
- Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
- Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
- Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”
- Vanessa Kirby, “The Crown”
- Chrissy Metz, “This Is Us”
- Thandie Newton, “Westworld”
Spoilers: Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”; Alexis Bledel, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Margo Martindale, “The Americans”; Yvonne Strahovski, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Susan Kelechi Watson, “This Is Us”; Maisie Williams, “Game of Thrones”
In a Perfect World: Aubrey Plaza, “Legion”; Maggie Siff, “Billions”; Holly Taylor, “The Americans”; Constance Zimmer, “UnREAL”