Lead Actor in a Drama
John Goodman, Damages
A previous version of this post had Paul Wesley here. However, I completely had forgotten of John Goodman’s spectacular performance in season 4 of Damages as the head of a private army company and a Christian man. The difficulty he portrayed between the law, the truth, and justice was impeccable. I don’t know if he’ll enter as lead, but he was the only male lead on the series for season 4.
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
The only actor I’m truly rooting for this year is Jon Hamm because dammit he deserves a win already. For YEARS he has been snubbed. They’ve nominated him but somehow managed to ignore him for the last four years. Well, this year. They better not. Or I’m coming after them.
Hugh Laurie, House
Frequently a nominee but never a winner, it’s Hugh Laurie’s final chance to win an Emmy award for the character and show he’s made a household names for eight years straight.
Damian Lewis, Homeland
All of the awards. Every single one of them. Just like colleague Claire Danes, Damian Lewis absolutely perfected his character on Homeland this season — playing mysterious and jaded without ever feeling dishonest. And to be frank, his performance in the series’ season finale was downright heartbreaking (almost literally, as pulses from people’s hearts who are watching that scene beat faster every single time worldwide).
Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead
As the lead of a show with a cast of strong characters, it’s hard to hold your own. But Andrew Lincoln does so in The Walking Dead, and mastered his character’s descent into political control towards the end of the season.
John Noble, Fringe
John Noble plays quirky mental patient (and genius) Walter Bishop on Fox’s will-never-be-recognized Fringe. Perhaps the best thing about his performance is he plays Walter as an insane man, not just a man with a few quirks, so well — and then he double dips, playing Walternate, his nemesis from Over There. And yes, he submits himself as supporting, but he really shouldn’t. He was the only male lead for several episodes on Fringe when Joshua Jackson’s character took an extremem backseat. Plus, he’s got the presence to back a lead nomination up. And besides, our supporting list was full.
Paul Wesley, The Vampire Diaries, who was mentioned here before.
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