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Emmy Predictions 2018: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Ann Dowd looks to repeat, but it's a crowded category with plenty of possible surprises. [Updated September 10 — Final Predictions]

THE HANDMAID'S TALE -- "Postpartum" -- Episode 212 -- Offred is sent to a familiar place. Nick is rocked by Gileadís brutal response to a crime. Emily is assigned to a mysterious new house. Offred (Elisabeth Moss) and Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd), shown. (Photo by: George Kraychyk/Hulu)

“The Handmaid’s Tale.”

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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. Of course, she’s not the only winner returning to the race; after scoring an Emmy as a guest actress in 2017, Alexis Bledel movedto the supporting category and got in. That makes two trophy holders in the race… and yet, many critics are even more excited about Yvonne Strahovski, who earned her surprise first nomination after a hailed turn in Season 2. Perhaps it’s her turn to represent the handmaids.

These three will have to do battle with a slew of worthy winners. Millie Bobby Brown is back for her second run at Emmy, and she even got her own episode to help the campaign (that is, if it doesn’t hurt her). Lena Headey has yet to win for “Game of Thrones,” but perhaps her fourth nomination is enough waiting (or, she could be stuck in the losers’ circle until the final season drops). Vanessa Kirby is hoping her last supporting performance in “The Crown” — and first nomination — will earn her a trophy. After all, she was a painful snub for Season 1, and her highlighted hour in Season 2 is unforgettable.

Then there’s Thandie Newton. The “Westworld” star made a mark in her first season, and her character went on quite a journey in Season 2. Whether you loved Maeve’s revolution or were confused by it, there’s no denying what Newton brought to the table. She remains a force, and she could be rewarded for it at the Emmys.

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.

Predicted Nominees: 

  1. Alexis Bledel, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  2. Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
  3. Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  4. Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”
  5. Vanessa Kirby, “The Crown”
  6. Thandie Newton, “Westworld”
  7. Yvonne Strahovski, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Will Win: Yvonne Strahovski, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Could Win:
Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Should Win:
Vanessa Kirby, “The Crown”

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