Magazine article Variety

Powerhouse Turns Fill out Limited Series and Movies

Magazine article Variety

Powerhouse Turns Fill out Limited Series and Movies

Article excerpt

IF YOU'RE LOOKING TO land some recognition in the limited series and movie category, it helps to work with Ryan Murphy or Noah Hawley. Eight of the twelve nominees either appeared on Murphy's "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" or "American Horror Story" or on Hawley's "Fargo." It makes sense; they all provide excellent showcases for fantastic actors.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES

Sterling K. Brown (1)

"The People v. O.J. Simpson" (FX)

In contrast to Courtney B. Vance's wonderful scenery chewing depiction of O.J. Simpson defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, Brown's prosecutor Chris Darden is guarded and sometimes unsteady as he internally wrestles over what he believes he is duty-bound to do (i.e., put a murderer away) and if this makes him a traitor to his people. In "Manna From Heaven," Darden breaks and accuses Sarah Paulson's Marcia Clark, his biggest champion and confidant, of playing the race card just as much as the other side. The scene helps solidify Brown's first Emmy nomination.

Hugh Laurie (2)

"The Night Manager" (AMC)

The brilliance of Richard Roper is that the worst man in the world never really lets on how much he trusts you. In episode five of the British spy series, more of the villain's evil plan is revealed to Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston). This baddie (Laurie) can recruit ex-military to blow up a small village. Imagine what he can do to the mole in his operation. After scoring six Emmy nominations for playing the eponymous crotchety doctor on "House, M.D.," it's fun to see Laurie's wicked side take a turn for the worse.

Jesse Plemons (3)

"Fargo" (FX)

Season two earned Plemons his first Emmy Award nomination and the episode "Loplop" is proof that he had to do a heck of a lot more for the role besides perfecting a Minnesotan accent. Plemons' Ed Blumquist fell for a pretty girl, but he probably didn't think Peggy (Kirsten Dunst) would be this much trouble when they got married. By the end of the eighth episode, the kind-hearted butcher with small-town dreams has survived a hanging, been held hostage, arrested, and had a tete-atete with a mob enforcer.

David Schwimmer (4)

"The People v. O.J. Simpson" (FX)

Earning his second Emmy nomination (he has one for "Friends"), Schwimmer plays Robert Kardashian - who, before he would be remembered as the father of reality TV royalty, was O.J. Simpson's best bro. He stood by the Juice's side during the murder trial lawyer despite having doubts about his innocence. In "Conspiracy Theories," those doubts come to a head when a panicked Kardashian investigates a garment bag he's been holding for Simpson, out of fear that it contains the murder weapon.

John Travolta (5)

"The People v. O.J. Simpson" (FX)

Much of the courtroom battle in "The People v. O.J." has less to do with whether the former footballer actually murdered two people than if the egos in suits representing him will ever get along. In "100% Not Guilty," Travolta's Robert Shapiro attempts to stage a coup by forming alliances with everyone who isn't Johnnie Cochran (Courtney B. Vance) and get Simpson (Cuba Gooding Jr.) to take a plea deal. As history has shown us, he failed at both. But veteran charmer Travolta - in a long overdue return to television - did earn his first Emmy nomination for the part.

Bokeem Woodbine (6)

"Fargo" (FX)

In a breakout turn and his first Emmy-nominated role, Woodbine's suave and eloquent Mike Milligan is surely one of TV's most well-read assassins, reciting Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" while offing his foes. …

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