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Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

The 2022 Emmys race for Best Actress in a Limited Series is dominated by people who took on roles based on real life women.


Margaret Qualley in “Maid”


Last Year’s Winner: Kate Winslet, “Mare of Easttown”
Still Eligible: No.
Hot Streak: HBO has won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie category for the last two years, with Kate Winslet’s win last year being preceded by “Watchmen” star Regina King, an actress with four Emmys for her performances in Limited Series.
Notable Ineligible Series: Elizabeth Olsen, “Love and Death” (the season will not air in time to be eligible)

This article will be updated throughout the season, along with all our predictions, so make sure to keep checking IndieWire for the latest news from the 2022 Emmys race. The nomination round of voting will take place from June 16 to June 27, with the official Emmy nominations to be announced on Tuesday, July 12. The Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be given out over two consecutive nights on Saturday, September 3 and Sunday, September 4, with an edited presentation on the ceremonies to be broadcast on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 8:00 p.m. ET on FXX. Finally, the 74rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, September 12, and air live on NBC at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT.

There is no way around it, this category will likely be dominated by actresses who played a real life person. Even Margaret Qualley’s character in “Maid” is based on Stephanie Land, the author of the memoir of the same name that the Netflix series is based on.

The pinnacle of this is Showtime’s “The First Lady,” with Gillian Anderson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Viola Davis playing Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, and Michelle Obama, respectively. Even if the show hasn’t gotten stellar reviews, the women have a collective 12 Primetime Emmy nominations and three wins. They are not to be counted out.

Same goes for the two actresses in projects that are not based on a true story. “The Fallout” star Jenna Ortega benefits from her film being a must-see contender in the Outstanding TV Movie category, which may mean more awareness of her performance than the overflow of contenders coming from a limited series. And then, of course, Jessica Chastain just won an Oscar, so she has already recently proven she can win over a voting body.

Current Contenders (In Alphabetical Order):
Amanda Seyfried, “The Dropout” (Hulu)
Anne Hathaway, “WeCrashed” (Apple TV+)
Beanie Feldstein, “Impeachment: American Crime Story” (FX)
Elle Fanning, “The Girl From Plainville” (Hulu)
Gillian Anderson, “The First Lady” (Showtime)
Jessica Biel, “Candy” (Hulu)
Jessica Chastain, “Scenes From a Marriage” (HBO)
Jenna Ortega, “The Fallout” (HBO Max)
Julia Garner, “Inventing Anna” (Netflix)
Julia Roberts, “Gaslit” (Starz)
Lily James, “Pam and Tommy” (Hulu)
Margaret Qualley, “Maid” (Netflix)
Michelle Pfeiffer, “The First Lady” (Showtime)
Renée Zellweger, “The Thing About Pam” (NBC)
Viola Davis, “The First Lady” (Showtime)

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