2023 Emmys Predictions: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie

The Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie contenders include several stars that Emmy voters have history with.
A woman with short, wavy blond hair wearing a navy blue dress and cover gazes at her reflection in the mirror; still of Elizabeth Olsen from "Love & Death"
"Love & Death"

We will update this article throughout the season, along with all our predictions, so make sure to keep checking IndieWire for the latest news from the 2023 Emmys race. The nomination round of voting takes place from June 15 to June 26, with the official Emmy nominations announced Wednesday, July 12. The Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be presented over two consecutive nights on Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10, with an edited presentation of the ceremonies to be broadcast on FXX at a later date. Finally, the 75th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards take place on Monday, September 18, and air live on FOX at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT.

See our previous thoughts on what to expect at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards here.

The State of the Race

The Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie contenders seem to have generated much more conversation than their male counterparts. Even a more niche project like “Swarm” had a greater cultural impact than HBO’s big budget period piece “White House Plumbers.”

Though its viewership has not been something Showtime has rushed to boast about in press releases, Jessica Chastain has campaigned hard to make “George and Tammy” top of mind in this category, first leading to her to a somewhat surprising win at this year’s SAG Awards (the show had only been out a couple months and she was against last year’s Emmy winner Amanda Seyfried), and now to likely her first ever Emmy nomination. Being one of this year’s top Tony contenders for her performance in “A Doll’s House” has also helped her awards run, as it puts her on EGOT watch.

In terms of who Chastain is likely to be nominated against, the popular choice would be Ali Wong, who starred on the Netflix hit “Beef.” However, there are still many others who either have more name recognition or a deeper history with the TV Academy that might prove to be more formidable contenders.

For example, “Love and Death” star Elizabeth Olsen was nominated in this category just two years ago for “WandaVision,” where she played a character that’s featured in the second biggest movie of all time. Also Emily Blunt was nominated at this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards for her role in Prime Video western “The English.”

Speaking of the Amazon-run streaming service, Riley Keough (“Daisy Jones and the Six”), Dominique Fishback (“Swarm”), and Rachel Weisz (“Dead Ringers”) all turned in performances that have put Prime Video on the map in this category in a way it’s never been before. It is likely that at least one of those actresses will be nominated. The same goes for Betty Gilpin’s performance in the Peacock series “Mrs. Davis” and Bel Powley’s performance in NatGeo’s “A Small Light,” to a lesser extent.

Current Contenders (In Alphabetical Order):
Emily Blunt, “The English” (Prime Video)
Lizzy Caplan, “Fleishman Is in Trouble” (FX)
Jessica Chastain, “George and Tammy” (Showtime)
Dominique Fishback, “Swarm” (Prime Video)
Jennifer Garner, “The Last Thing He Told Me” (Apple TV+)
Betty Gilpin, “Mrs. Davis” (Peacock)
Kathryn Hahn, “Tiny Beautiful Things” (Hulu)
Riley Keough, “Daisy Jones and the Six” (Prime Video)
Amber Midthunder, “Prey” (Hulu)
Elizabeth Olsen, “Love and Death” (Max)
Bel Powley, “A Small Light” (National Geographic)
Zoe Saldaña, “From Scratch” (Netflix)
Sydney Sweeney, “Reality” (HBO)
Rachel Weisz, “Dead Ringers” (Prime Video)
Ali Wong, “Beef” (Netflix)

More Limited Series and TV Movie Category Predictions:
Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series
Outstanding TV Movie
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie

To see IndieWire’s full set of predictions for the 75th Emmy Awards click here.

Last Year’s Winner: Amanda Seyfried, “The Dropout”
Still Eligible: No.
Hot Streak: Last year was Hulu’s first win in the category. Should an actress like Hahn or Midthunder win, it would continue the streak, and solidify the streaming service as a prime destination for Limited Series projects.
Notable Ineligible Series: Jennifer Coolidge, “The White Lotus: Sicily” (submitted as a Drama Series); Kate Mara, “Class of ’09” (the season will not air in time to be eligible); Juno Temple, “Fargo” (Season 5 was not eligible).

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