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Anonymous Emmy Ballot: Editor Relates to Issa Rae’s ‘Imperfect’ Character and Roots for Bill Hader’s Killer

Also: "The Crown's" Matt Smith earns high marks for exuding both feminine and masculine qualities, while "Westworld's" Thandie Newton is the "badass you'd want on your side."

Issa Rae, “Insecure”


Voting continues this week and next for the 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards, and campaigning is back in earnest. More panels are on tap throughout the next two weeks, to sway undecided voters, and even more stunts are in the works: “Stranger Things” star David Harbour, for example, is toplining an event for the show this Saturday at the Hollywood Forever cemetery.

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.

In this edition, an editor gives their take on this year’s Emmy race, and her reason behind each pick. It’s clear this person likes complicated characters that you hate to love and love to hate. Read on below:

THE HANDMAID'S TALE -- "The Word" -- Episode 213 -- Serena and the other Wives strive to make change. Emily learns more about her new Commander. Offred faces a difficult decision. Offred (Elisabeth Moss) and Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski), shown. (Photo by: George Kraychyk/Hulu)

“The Handmaid’s Tale.”


Outstanding Drama Series

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

Because it cuts close to home and yet it’s so well done, you can’t not watch.

Outstanding Comedy Series

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

It’s a well-written series that found the perfect balance between drama and comedy.

Outstanding Limited Series

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

For a story where we know the ending, they found a smart and engaging way to tell it.

Outstanding Television Movie

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

I didn’t know the story and found myself riveted the entire time.

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

Because it takes tremendous talent to be able to play so many characters and be able to portray each and every one of them in distinct ways. Not a lot of actors are able to do that.

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

He’s able to portray emotions with subtle facial expressions and without words.

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

Issa is able to play the role of a girl you can relate to. She’s able to carry off being an imperfect person who makes mistakes but do it in a way that keeps you on her side, even though you know she’s about to do something wrong.

Barry Season 1 Episode 7 Bill Hader

BIll Hader, “Barry”

John P. Johnson/HBO

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

Because he plays this miserable assassin and does it in a way that makes you laugh and root for him. Even though he kills people.

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

Regina King has a way of bringing intensity to the roles she plays and she has incredible range from drama to comedy. She embodies the characters she plays so you don’t see Regina.

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)

He was complicated, stubborn, and you rooted for him the entire time. He played this character who wasn’t that likable and brought depth to it so you were behind him all the way.

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

She was able to balance being a tough Madam with being a loving mom in search of her daughter, and being a badass you’d want on your side if you were in a gun fight or sword fight.

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 brings a feminine and masculine quality to this role that is very interesting. Most actors are one or the other. He is able to deliver both.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 1738 "Natalie Portman" -- Pictured: Leslie Jones during the opening monologue in Studio 8H on Saturday, February 3, 2018 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)

Leslie Jones, “Saturday Night Live”

Will Heath/NBC

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

Because she’s hilarious no matter how you slice it.

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

Because he portrays Trump so well and is able to bring a little levity to such a depressing political climate.

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)

She embodied the role brilliantly. Judith Light and Penelope Cruz were both ok but I kept seeing Judith Light and Penelope Cruz rather than the people they were portraying.

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

Because he transformed into Versace.

Outstanding Reality/Competition Program

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

I still love seeing up-and-coming chefs go for their American dream.

Outstanding Structured Reality Program

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

It’s interesting to see the inventions and the lessons the Sharks give on why they choose to invest in what they do is pretty interesting.

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

There should be more shows like this! Kamau Bell pushes the envelope and asks the hard questions.

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

Kamau Bell has put himself out there in order to dig into each story, each community and some of them are more harsh than others but he does a great job in his version of investigative journalism.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Season 5 HBO

“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”

Eric Liebowitz/HBO

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

It’s funny, educational, and simply put, well executed.

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

Genius format on making people laugh while learning a bit of history.

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

Didn’t see the other shows.

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

It was well done and funny!

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

Anthony Bourdain introduced us to other parts of the world, different foods, cultures and he did it with swagger!

[Production assistance by Liz Shannon Miller.]

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