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by Peter Knegt and Ben Travers
April 7, 2014 4:15 PM
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2014 Emmy Predictions: Best Drama Actor

"True Detective"

Indiewire will provide regular updates of our predictions through August 25th, when the winners will be announced. 

It seems like a Walter White vs. Rust Cohle showdown is imminent, but I'm sure many felt the race was down to one or two candidates last year when Jeff Daniels swooped in and stole (rightly won) the Outstanding Drama Actor award. He's back again in 2014, looking to repeat his upset streak against even more formidable competition. Kevin Spacey can't be ignored, and Woody Harrelson is a beloved honoree with a heckuva performance behind him. Jon Hamm is hoping some "Mad Men" fans from the first four seasons turn out to award him for the first half of his last year as Don Draper. 

READ MORE: Emmys: 2014's Tightest Races Find 'True Detective' Squaring Off Against 'Breaking Bad'

Below are predictions for best drama actor from both Indiewire Awards Editor Peter Knegt and Assistant TV Editor Ben Travers. Check out predictions in all the categories here.

The nominees:
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Jeff Daniels, "The Newsroom"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Woody Harrelson, "True Detective"
Matthew McConaughey, "True Detective"
Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards"

Ben's Predictions:
Will win: Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Could win: Matthew McConaughey, "True Detective"
Should win: Matthew McConaughey, "True Detective"
Shoulda been here: Mads Mikkelsen, "Hannibal"


  • alex | July 16, 2014 6:05 PMReply

    I dont see how Bryan Cranston cant win! He was amzing in Ozymandias and that phone call to Skyler should clinch it!

  • Dominix | July 14, 2014 8:02 PMReply

    I loved Matthew Mcconaughey as Rust, but this was Bryan Cranston's strongest season so far. He truly is the best actor on television. Matthew Mcconaughey is a very, VERY close second.

  • John | July 11, 2014 12:19 PMReply

    No one but master bryan cranston

  • John | July 11, 2014 12:10 PMReply

    Just bryan cranston

  • John | July 11, 2014 12:10 PMReply

    Just bryan cranston

  • RAOUT | July 8, 2014 4:15 PMReply

    My predictions:

    1. Matthew McCartney (True Detective)
    2. Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
    3. Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
    4. Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
    5. Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
    6. James Spader (The Blacklist)

    I Would like to see Henry Czerny (Revenge) in the list for his outstanding performance in "Impetus". Amazing!

  • Adler | July 5, 2014 12:17 PMReply

    My predictions for nominees (in no particular order):
    Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
    Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
    Woody Harrelson, True Detective
    Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
    Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
    James Spader, The Blacklist

    Who will win: Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)
    Who could win: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
    Who should win: Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)
    Who should be here: Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) and Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel)

  • PHILIPPE AUGUSTO | June 23, 2014 1:32 AMReply

    Philippe's predictions:
    1. Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
    2. Matthew Rhys, The Americans
    3. Michael Sheen, Masters of Sex
    4. Jon Hamm, Mad Men
    5. Damian Lewis, Homeland
    6. Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

    Matthew McConaughey, True Detective

    In a Perfect World
    Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead

  • Ablity | May 27, 2014 11:08 PMReply

    Mads Mikkelsen is great as Hannibal, but nothing jumps off the page and screams Emmy for me. People are overrating his performances. In fact, the best performance of the season on Hannibal was the lawyer (from early on in the season), and Pitt, and Esparza...those three men put on the best performances I think.

    In any case, to not give the award to Matthew McConaughey would be to not recognize the best TV performance since Walter White came on the scene.

  • Luan | May 26, 2014 5:12 AMReply

    Billy Bob Thornton - Fargo...

  • ne | May 24, 2014 10:33 AMReply

    Mads Mikkelsen deserves every award for his performance in Hannibal. So it would be the biggest snub if at least he does not get nominated

  • Liam | May 20, 2014 2:51 AMReply

    Bryan Cranston for the win. If you doubt it, go see Ozymandias.

  • dmso | May 11, 2014 5:41 AMReply

    Damian Lewis was barely in HOMELAND, which wasn't particularly good last season anyway.

  • BBfortheSweep | May 8, 2014 12:48 AMReply

    Ben has Bryan Cranston all the way down at THREE?! Are you kidding me?? Has he even watched Ozymandias??

  • miranda | May 5, 2014 10:10 AMReply

    I don't think I can bear another Emmy year where I pin all my hopes and dreams onto nominations for Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell, only to have them cruelly unjustly crushed.

  • Joanne | May 5, 2014 1:13 AMReply

    How can James Spader NOT be nominated? His performance as Reddington (Blacklist) is one of the best acting jobs seen on television in years.

  • Melissa | June 10, 2014 8:13 PM

    That's the first thing that jumped out at me too. Ben?!...Why is James Spader not on your list? His performance as Red carries the entire show. Fantastic performance throughout the entire season, but when he told the 'lionfish story' to Lizzie while on his knees, I was completely mesmerized. Freaking beautiful.

  • The Great Alex | May 23, 2014 2:46 PM


  • Max | April 8, 2014 10:31 PMReply

    I think HBO might bump Woody Harrelson down to supporting to give him a better chance at a nomination and maybe even a win.

  • Howie | April 7, 2014 11:44 PMReply

    Josh Charles has to AT LEAST earn a nomination, right? RIGHT????

  • Miranda | May 5, 2014 10:08 AM

    Josh Charles is submitting as a Supporting actor, and if Showtime knows what's what they will also submit Damian Lewis as Supporting. But as a former Lead actor winner it's where he will stay, regardless of the fact that Mandy Patinkin was the real male lead this season of Homeland.

  • Akash Vijay | April 30, 2014 3:30 PM

    He deserves it but I really don't feel he can get in this year. The competition is too strong.
    At the moment Bryan Cranston, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, Woody Harrelson all look like locks to get in.
    Jon Hamm, Damian Lewis, Jeff Daniels, Michael Sheen and James Spader are all fighting for those last 2 spots.
    At the moment James Spader and Jon Hamm look like the favorites to get in.

  • jdawg | April 7, 2014 4:37 PMReply

    is true detective a series or a miniseries?

  • Nick | April 8, 2014 10:19 AM

    It entered as a drama series, which makes me worried for Breaking Bad, even though I think Breaking Bad deserves the wins across the board