Last Year’s Winner: Dame Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
Still Eligible: No.
Hot Streak: After nabbing one nomination in 2013 (Emilia Clarke) and 2014 (Lena Headey), “Game of Thrones” expanded in subsequent years to two nominations in 2015 and three in 2016 (when Maisie Williams snagged her first nod).
Fun Fact: Only two actresses have won this category more than twice: Ellen Corby for “The Waltons” (three times) and Nancy Marchand for “Lou Grant” (four times).
Let’s be clear: Ann Dowd deserves all the awards. The captivating and endearing star of “The Handmaid’s Tale” made Aunt Lydia a presence from the second Dowd walked on screen. That being said, her competition in this category consists of nothing but beloved and respected peers. OK, so maybe Millie Bobby Brown is a little young to be considered as beloved and as respected, but the fervor surrounding the “Stranger Things” star over the past year more than makes up for her freshman status.
Can she compete with veteran faces like Uzo Aduba? Time will tell. The “Orange is the New Black” actress already has two Emmys to her name for the series, including one when the Netflix series was considered a comedy and then the other after it switched to drama. She missed out on a nomination last year, but when she’s in the mix, she tends to win.
And yet three first-time nominees might be the biggest threats to Dowd’s crown. Chrissy Metz is riding the “This Is Us” tidal wave, and Thandie Newton might just be the fan favorite of “Westworld” — that’s saying something given the cast. Depending on which show the TV Academy feels more strongly about, either could inch out a win. Or it very well could be surprise nominee Samira Wiley, assuming voters spark to the plight of Moira more than Aunt Lydia’s totalitarian domination.
Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (in alphabetical order), which will be updated throughout the awards season. Make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz and highlights from the 2017 race, and read the rest of the predictions in all categories, as well.
- Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”
- Millie Bobbie Brown, “Stranger Things”
- Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
- Chrissy Metz, “This Is Us”
- Thandie Newton, “Westworld”
- Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Will Win: Thandie Newton, “Westworld”
Could Win: Chrissy Metz, “This Is Us”
Should Win: Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”