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Anonymous Emmy Ballot: Actress Finds ‘Atlanta’ Unsettling, Says Stephen Colbert Has ‘Elevated the Game’

Also: Tatiana Maslany deserves more love for her multiple roles, and it's time to recognize Kenan Thompson.

Zazie Beetz and Donald Glover, "Atlanta"

Zazie Beetz and Donald Glover, “Atlanta”


This year’s Primetime Emmy campaign moves into its next stage on Monday, as voting begins to select this year’s winners. This year’s race may be a bit of a nailbiter, as both the outstanding drama and comedy Emmy awards are in play. In the drama race, two-time winner “Game of Thrones” is back, after sitting last year out — which means it will face 2017’s winner, “The Handmaid’s Tale.” And in comedy, incumbent winner “Veep” is out of the race this year, which means frontrunners “Atlanta” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” will duke it out for the top prize.

IndieWire reached out to creatives across the industry this year to share their own Emmy ballots, anonymously, and explain why they made their choices. Performers, writers, producers, publicists, executives, and craftspeople from across the industry offered up their answers, and IndieWire will post some of those ballots in the coming days. First up, an actress well-known in the industry offered her take on this year’s Emmy race, and her reason behind each pick. The actress told IndieWire she found it pretty easy to fill out this year’s ballot, because “so many [people] did great work this year!” Read on below:

“Game of Thrones”


Outstanding Drama Series

The Americans
The Crown
☑ Game Of Thrones
The Handmaid’s Tale
Stranger Things
This Is Us

Nothing better.

Outstanding Comedy Series

☑ Atlanta
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Inventive. Funny. Unsettling. Gold.

Outstanding Limited Series

The Alienist
The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
☑ Genius: Picasso
Patrick Melrose

Loved it!

Outstanding Television Movie

Fahrenheit 451
☑ Flint
The Tale
USS Callister (Black Mirror)

It’s beyond shameful that they still are without clean water.

Tatiana Maslany and Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black"

Tatiana Maslany and Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black”

BBC America

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Claire Foy/The Crown
☑ Tatiana Maslany/Orphan Black
Elisabeth Moss/The Handmaid’s Tale
Sandra Oh/Killing Eve
Keri Russell/The Americans
Evan Rachel Wood/Westworld

She plays 587 characters on the show. Each is unique. She is a MASTER!

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman/Ozark
☑ Sterling K. Brown/This Is Us
Ed Harris/Westworld
Matthew Rhys/The Americans
Milo Ventimiglia/This Is Us
Jeffrey Wright/Westworld

Every choice and moment is GOLD!

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Pamela Adlon/Better Things
Rachel Brosnahan/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Allison Janney/Mom
Issa Rae/Insecure
☑ Tracee Ellis Ross/black-ish
Lily Tomlin/Grace And Frankie

She is unsung. It’s her time.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson/black-ish
Ted Danson/The Good Place
Larry David/Curb Your Enthusiasm
☑ Donald Glover/Atlanta
Bill Hader/Barry
William H. Macy/Shameless

He is GENIUS in every endeavor he touches. I stan for Donald.

Lead Actress in a Limited Series/Movie

Jessica Biel/The Sinner
Laura Dern/The Tale
Michelle Dockery/Godless
Edie Falco/Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
☑ Regina King/Seven Seconds
Sarah Paulson/American Horror Story: Cult

She can make magic on camera and behind it…and has for years.

Lead Actor in a Limited Series/Movie

Antonio Banderas/Genius: Picasso
Darren Criss/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Benedict Cumberbatch/Patrick Melrose
Jeff Daniels/The Looming Tower
☑ John Legend/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Jesse Plemons/USS Callister (Black Mirror)

I enjoyed him in this role. That’s more than enough for me.

Westworld Season 2 Maeve Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton, “Westworld”


Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Alexis Bledel/The Handmaid’s Tale
Millie Bobby Brown/Stranger Things
Ann Dowd/The Handmaid’s Tale
Lena Headey/Game Of Thrones
Vanessa Kirby/The Crown
☑ Thandie Newton/Westworld
Yvonne Strahovski/The Handmaid’s Tale

Brilliant work always!

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau/Game Of Thrones
Peter Dinklage/Game Of Thrones
Joseph Fiennes/The Handmaid’s Tale
☑ David Harbour/Stranger Things
Mandy Patinkin/Homeland
Matt Smith/The Crown

He is the beating heart of “Stranger Things.”

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

☑ Zazie Beetz/Atlanta
Alex Borstein/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Aidy Bryant/Saturday Night Live
Betty Gilpin/GLOW
Leslie Jones/Saturday Night Live
Kate McKinnon/Saturday Night Live
Laurie Metcalf/Roseanne
Megan Mullally/Will & Grace

It’s not easy to shine in such a quiet role. She does.

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Louie Anderson/Baskets
Alec Baldwin/Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess/Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Brian Tyree Henry/Atlanta
Tony Shalhoub/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
☑ Kenan Thompson/Saturday Night Live
Henry Winkler/Barry

Unsung. Overdue.

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Sara Bareilles/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Penélope Cruz/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Judith Light/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
☑ Adina Porter/American Horror Story: Cult
Merritt Wever/Godless
Letitia Wright/Black Museum (Black Mirror)

Never a false note. Adina is GOALS!

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Jeff Daniels/Godless
☑ Brandon Victor Dixon/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
John Leguizamo/Waco
Ricky Martin/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Edgar Ramírez/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Michael Stuhlbarg/The Looming Tower
Finn Wittrock/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

He is a star. He stole the show from the first note.

Outstanding Reality/Competition Program

The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
Project Runway
☑ RuPaul’s Drag Race
Top Chef
The Voice

It’s a joy to watch.

Outstanding Structured Reality Program

Antiques Roadshow
Fixer Upper
Lip Sync Battle
Queer Eye
Shark Tank
☑ Who Do You Think You Are?

Love it!

Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program

Born This Way
Deadliest Catch
Naked And Afraid
RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked
☑ United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell

Conversations we need to have.

W. Kamau Bell, host of “United Shades of America” on CNN.


Host for a Reality or Reality/Competition Program

☑ W. Kamau Bell/United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell
Ellen Degeneres/Ellen’s Game Of Games
RuPaul/RuPaul’s Drag Race
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn/Project Runway
Jane Lynch/Hollywood Game Night

He can talk to anyone about anything.

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late Late Show With James Corden
☑ The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

He has elevated the game.

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

At Home With Amy Sedaris
Drunk History
I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman
☑ Saturday Night Live
Tracey Ullman’s Show

The gold standard.

Outstanding Variety Special (Live)

The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards
60th Annual Grammy Awards
☑ Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Night Of Too Many Stars: America Unites For Autism Programs
The Oscars


Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)

☑ Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special
Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2018
Dave Chappelle: Equanimity
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Presents: The Great American* Puerto Rico (*It’s Complicated)
Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life

No one does it better…EVER!

Outstanding Informational Series or Special

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
☑ Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman
StarTalk With Neil deGrasse Tyson

She is changing lives. So brave.

[Production assistance by Liz Shannon Miller.]

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