Back to IndieWire

Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie — Paulson Locks In

The 2022 Emmys race for Best Actress in a Limited Series is almost too close to call, but past winner Sarah Paulson is a predictable upset.

Impeachment: American Crime Story "The Telephone Hour” Episode 4 (Airs Tuesday, September 28) -- Pictured: Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp. CR: Tina Thorpe/FX

“Impeachment: American Crime Story”

Tina Thorpe/FX


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 took place from June 16 to June 27, with the official Emmy nominations 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.

The State of the Race

Buckle up because this may be the closest race of any of the acting categories. There is a case to be made here for each one of the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie nominees to win, except Toni Colette’s too passive role as the victim in “The Staircase.” She is still dependably great, but her character has vastly more impact on the show’s narrative after she dies.

The reason Sarah Paulson seems to be the frontrunner right now, despite “Impeachment: American Crime Story” not being nominated for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series, is because the perennial Emmy nominee and one-time winner has been campaigning hard, even telling IndieWire that her turn as White House whistleblower Linda Tripp is “the work I am the most proud of, to date.” If the TV Academy voted to give her a nomination most prognosticators were not expecting, why not also vote once more for her to win?

Amanda Seyfried would be next in line, and is still very much thought to be destined to win by lots of people paying attention to this year’s Emmys. However, the fact that she is the only actor from “The Dropout” nominated does not indicate that that series has a ton of fans within the TV Academy. “Pam & Tommy” fared better with overall nominations, but the only knock Lily James has against her is from Pamela Anderson herself, who disavowed the project. Add in Julia Garner as the enigmatic Anna Delvey, and we’re seeing three performances that tackle very similar themes of rethinking our perceptions of ambitious women that recently made headline news. Everyone has their preferences, so vote splitting is sure to ensue.

That leaves us with Margaret Qualley, who seemed like she would be the clear winner at the beginning of the year. Not only was “Maid” critically-acclaimed, it broke viewership records at Netflix. Unfortunately, it lost all steam when dozens of other limited series started premiering in the spring, not even garnering Supporting Actress nominations that once seemed like a lock. No one would complain if the young actress did actually receive the Emmy for her role as a single mother trying to start over after escaping an abusive relationship, but the chances of that happening look slim.

Power Rankings:

  1. Sarah Paulson, “Impeachment: American Crime Story” (FX)
  2. Amanda Seyfried, “The Dropout” (Hulu)
  3. Lily James, “Pam and Tommy” (Hulu)
  4. Julia Garner, “Inventing Anna” (Netflix)
  5. Margaret Qualley, “Maid” (Netflix)
  6. Toni Colette, “The Staircase” (HBO Max)

Will Win: Sarah Paulson, “Impeachment: American Crime Story”
Could Win: Amanda Seyfried, “The Dropout”
Should Win: Lily James, “Pam and Tommy” (Hulu)

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Awards and tagged , , , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox