33 Emmy Contenders Answer: Who Deserves an Emmy And Why? (Photos)
Keri Russell, Sam Heughan, Jussie Smollett, Jon Hamm, Anna Faris, Gina Rodriguez among stars who TheWrap put on awards hot seat
Kathy Zerbib | July 15, 2015 @ 9:00 AM
Last Updated: July 15, 2015 @ 10:22 PM
Kris Connor; Andrew Stiles; Dan Busta for TheWrap
Keri Russell ("The Americans")"Oh, Matthew Rhys, for sure. For sure! I mean, he’s so fucking good! I always say, and it’s so true, that there’s that term in cycling when you draft someone. Like, I’m just drafting, man. You get out there and I’m like, 'Thank God I get to work with him today.' He just elevates everything… And he’s also not a tortured person that’s tough to work with. He’s just easy. It’s fun."
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Téa Leoni ("Madam Secretary")"I would really have to push for Tim [Daly] in that one. It’s a bit of a groundbreaking role, but he’s managed to make it work. I wonder if people would be willing, in a way, to accept and be able to rally behind this character, the man alongside a very powerful woman. This is the most modern man we’ve seen. In the wrong hands, it could be rejected and that would be tragic. Tim has made Henry [McCord] graceful and hot."
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Finn Wittrock ("American Horror Story")"There’s a lot of talent all over the cast, but I think Sarah Paulson‘s challenge was greater than anybody’s, having to be two people at once [the conjoined Bette and Dot]. It’s a very hard, laborious, technical, tedious process… and she was a real pro throughout all of it. It literally takes three times as long to film those scenes than any other scenes, and to be able to do that and maintain two separate characters is pretty extraordinary."
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Kristen Schaal ("Last Man on Earth") "Forte, Forte, Forte. It’s definitely [Will] Forte — it’s his show. Everybody’s talented, but definitely Mel Rodriguez. There’s some moments on that show that really caught me off guard. Like, physically when he finds out that Phil is going to kill him, and Melissa [January Jones] knocks on the door and he has potato chips all over his shirt. That moment is so good. That guy is just brimming with so much emotion, and he’s just effortlessly able to convey it. He’s just a great actor — we’re really lucky that we have him."
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Chris Geere ("You’re The Worst")"They all do. They are all fantastic, everyone from the writing staff to the production team. I think a couple of the production team were nominated last year, for different shows that they’ve done. All of us are very grateful to be considered in any light, really. The main one would be the show itself, or [creator] Stephen [Falk]. Because he’s done this whole thing. That would be an incredible achievement for him. Stephen or the show itself."
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Rupert Friend ("Homeland")"Mandy Patinkin. Mandy has extraordinary commitment to his work and working with him raises my game. I think he sets the bar impossibly high and I think he attains it. To me that makes him a champion and it makes him absolutely deserving of all the awards that there are."
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Tatiana Maslany ("Orphan Black")"I think Kathryn Alexandre, my clone double, deserves an award for her incredible, diligent, generous work. She does all the character work, physical, dialect, emotional and yet is never seen on screen. Jordan Gavaris, the physicality and elegance he brings to Felix is so far from himself, it’s astounding. Our amazing writers room deserves an Emmy. John [Fawcett] and Graeme [Manson], our creators. Stephen Lynch and Debra Hansen, who have created the looks for the characters. Our incredible special effects guys at Intelligent Creatures. The list is endless."
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Jonathan Groff ("Looking")"I can think of so many people. But I feel like the unsung hero of “Looking” — who doesn’t get a lot of credit but is so essential to our creative process — is Danny Glicker, our costume designer. Even though we wear contemporary modern-day clothes, he is meticulous about picking out every piece of everybody’s costumes based on the emotional arc of the season and the emotional arc of the character. I’ve sat in Danny Glicker’s costume fittings and wept or laughed and learned so much about my character."
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Dan MacMedan for TheWrap
Sutton Foster ("Younger")"First of all, this whole thing is crazy to me. I think that everybody on the show deserves to be recognized. All the characters are nuanced and complicated when they could be one dimensional characters. They are incredibly nuanced and layered and earnest and deep. I feel like everybody on the show is kicking major ass, it would be amazing if everyone was recognized in that way. I can’t pick — you can’t make me pick!"
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Jane Krakowski ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt")"I really do hope that Ellie and Tituss [Burgess] will be recognized. And I’m going to say [songwriter/composer and Tina Fey’s husband] Jeff Richmond, because I think he has given everyone such musical joy — not only in 'Kimmy' with 'Pinot Noir' as the theme song — but also everything from 'Muffin Top' and 'Werewolf Bar Mitzvah' at '30 Rock.' It’s long-deserved that he be recognized for the musical joys he has given us. I hope the show gets recognized because that means we all get to go!"
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Robin Lord Taylor ("Gotham")"I would say, first of all, Jada Pinkett Smith. She brought so much vivacity and she created this character, which I think should live on in the comics. I think it left such a lasting impression on everybody… I would also say Ben [McKenzie] because he had the hardest job of any of us. He carries the show, he brings us down to a place of reality… Finally, I have to give a huge shout-out to my very good friend, Cory Michael Smith… the stuff that he did this season was just so perfect."
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Andrew Stiles for TheWrap
Anna Chlumsky ("Veep")"Definitely Julia and Tony [Hale]. But, oh gosh, I think Tim Simons’ job is always very award-worthy. ‘Cause they give him some really difficult things to tackle, and he plays it as such a real human being, yet a completely despicable human being. But it’s hard to single people out, because then I could go to Matt [Walsh], who is just brilliant. He’s funny because you believe him. And then there’s Kevin Dunn, the most relaxed and effortless performance. It’s a nice problem to have, that I can’t single anybody out."
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Sam Heughan ("Outlander")"I think everybody does. Caitriona [Balfe] is terrific. She has so much stamina and she carries the show. She has to show up everyday and just give her best. Tobias, equally, he’s an amazing actor. Those last couple of episodes where I really sort of got to go to some interesting places, he was there and we really supported each other and trusted each other. I think trust is the most important thing. If the actors and the director and the crew trust each other and you set up perimeters and boundaries, you give everyone space to do great work. I think we’ve got an amazing costume department, amazing writers, directors — just give us an Emmy for everything."
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Gina Rodriguez ("Jane the Virgin")"Oooh, all of them! Every single one of them. I’ve seen them transform and stretch and thrive this entire season. It was a joy and an honor to be a part of that. To have this relationship with each and every one of them, I couldn’t even pick one, I think they all really worked their buns off and I’m very lucky."
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Jon Hamm ("Mad Men")"For my money, I think the one person who has been really criminally overlooked through the years has been Vincent Kartheiser [Pete Campbell]. His work on the show from the beginning has been really spectacular. He’s created this character that is so easy to dislike but if you really look at the character of Pete, he’s on the right side of a lot of the arguments and you can see the frustration in that character."
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