2022 Emmys: Dramatic Actor Ranking

Last year at the Emmys, “The Crown” not only won the Drama Series trophy, but all four Dramatic Acting categories as well, with Olivia Colman and Josh O’Connor taking home the top prizes and Gillian Anderson and Tobias Menzies. winning for their supporting roles.

If you thought that was a little…a lot, good news: ‘The Crown’ won’t be competing this year, as its new season is still months away from its debut – and will go on to dominate afterward. Next yearis Emmys.

In the meantime, there’s plenty to hire that has nothing to do with the monarchy, as you’ll see in our annual Emmys Drama Actor Power Rankings. (And, yes, Yuh-Jung Youn is a queen in her own right.)

15. Jon Huertas, “This Is Us”: First, a note to those who have hung with this show through 106 episodes of tears, trauma, and wholesale Kleenex purchases. I feel your pain, and I just unplugged my Crock-Pot in your honor. Now, when it comes to the Emmys, we know Sterling K. Brown defended co-star Mandy Moore (“She kills the game and deserves recognition”). And who can argue? But how about some long-awaited recognition for Huertas, who finally got a standalone episode in the show’s final days and, with it, made everyone realize they’d taken his character for granted. . It’s not too late to make amends. Justice for Miguel and the brilliant actor who brought him to life!

Carrie Coon plays a newly wealthy social climber in HBO’s “The Gilded Age.”

(Alison Rosa/HBO)

14. Carrie Coon, “The Golden Age”: The realm of dramatic lead actresses is full of contenders starring in shows that are long past their expiration date. (Do not get me started on that “Killing Eve” finale.) Coon offers a seductive alternative, starring in Julian Fellowes’ scintillating new soap opera. Her work as Bertha Russell, the show’s ambitious climber, kept me invested in this unsightly sight, if only to see when she could throw another tea tray across the room.

13. Gary Oldman, “Slow Horses”: Wheezy, flatulent, defiantly indifferent, aggressively apathetic (“I want my people here to do nothing“), Oldman is a comedic delight in this spy saga, miles away from his delicate work in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”. Oldman’s intelligence operative tells his underlings that “working with [them] was the low point of a disappointing career,” an observation that is contrary to his performance in this premier Apple TV+ series.

12. Kelly Reilly, “Yellowstone”: “Yellowstone” earned exactly one Emmy nomination for its first three seasons – production design for a contemporary narrative program. (He lost.) That should change this year, and that change should start with Reilly, the series’ avenging angel, master manipulator and scorer. She’s a fan favorite in a series that’s become too big to ignore.

A woman in a green tracksuit with the number

Jung Ho-yeon as Kang Sae-byeok in “Squid Game”.

(Noh Juhan/Netflix)

11. Jung Ho-yeon, “Squid Game”: You would never have imagined that “Squid Game” marked Jung’s acting debut. She says it was hard to let go of her stubborn character, the gritty Sae-byeok, and if you’ve watched the show, you can probably relate. All these months later, his strength remains firmly anchored in our hearts.

10. Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”: With the first half of the show’s final season having just wrapped, we’ll have to wait until July to see how this acclaimed drama manages the landing. And Odenkirk will probably have to sit idly by, too, because his best shot at (finally) winning the Lead Actor Emmy will come next year when we hear how the saga of Jimmy McGill (aka Saul Goodman, aka Gene Takavic).

9. Kieran Culkin, “Succession”: “Dad. Please.” Two words that came at the end of a season in which Culkin’s Roman chased his father’s love, a pursuit that made him reluctant (for a minute, at least) to join his brothers’ plans. and sisters to betray the old man. If, as Cousin Greg thought, “souls are boring; boo, souls,” the triumph of “Succession” reveals just how damaged and titled these characters still have… eeeeew …feelings. Except Logan. It’s a monster.

An older woman in a green top

Yuh-Jung Youn on the Apple TV+ show “Pachinko”.


8. Yuh-Jung Youn, “Pachinko”: Oscar winner. Multilingual marvel. Master comedian and expert mocker of awards season silliness. She will turn 75 at this year’s Emmys and could become the first South Korean actress to win an Emmy and an Oscar. We don’t deserve it.

7. Adam Scott, “Separation”: Scott’s dual performance – vacant and bewildered office worker by day, grieving widower by night – in this gripping sci-fi thriller marks a career high point, making superb use of his Everyman persona while alluding to the damage under the facade.

6. Julia Garner, “Ozark”: My dream ending for “Ozark” was for Garner’s Ruth Langmore to murder the Byrdes and embark on her own spin-off, preferably a comedy that would allow our favorite unfiltered junkyard to chew on his inferiors (pretty much all the world) and say “Pardon my French”. on a weekly basis. This does not happen. But Ruth walked out on her terms, as did Garner, which for a long time was the only reason for me to watch this repetitive, heavy show.

A woman wearing a zip-up sweatshirt and a blue t-shirt

Melanie Lynskey as Shauna in “Yellowjackets”.

(Kailey Schwerman/Showtime)

5. Melanie Lynskey, “Yellow Vests”: I might as well have put Christina Ricci or Juliette Lewis here – all “yellow vest” women are exemplary – but I will limit my praise (for now) to Lynskey’s work as a lowly, unhappy housewife sheltering secrets and seething anger. It’s a star turn from an actor who’s been working for almost 30 years. When does season 2 start again?

4. Rhea Seehorn, “Better Call Saul”: Let’s not dwell on the past. Seehorn should have an Emmy by now. She should have at least an Emmy nomination now. But that doesn’t matter, because the work ahead of us at this time, the final episodes of “Better Call Saul,” is better than ever – complex, thoughtful, anxiety-provoking. Seehorn even made her episodic directorial debut this season with a stunning hour that eventually paired her in a scene with the great Jonathan Banks. It’s time.

3. Jeremy Strong/Brian Cox, “Succession”: Cox calls Strong’s Method acting a “particularly American disease” which his co-star does “brilliantly”, but “it’s also exhausting”. Strong, meanwhile, doesn’t see himself as a method actor, calling what he does “identity broadcasting.” (We don’t have the space to get into what that means.) Their contrasting approaches (and temperaments) do spark some sparks, so there’s no “right” answer here. Only sustained shine.

A line of men wearing green tracksuits with numbers on them.

Lee Jung-jae (#456) is a man in deadly competition in the Netflix drama “Squid Game.”

(Youngkyu Park / Netflix)

2. Lee Jung-jae, “Squid Game”: Along with co-star Jung, Lee won a top prize earlier this year at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. You can understand the urge to reward these actors – not only for their engaging and empathetic work, but also for the fact that it looks like they’ve been through a plot to deliver it. Or maybe I’m just planning. I wouldn’t open the door this past Halloween to someone wearing a tracksuit.

1. Zendaya, “Euphoria”: No one will be surprised this year when she wins.

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