in , , ,

Before Emmy Gold: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

This month, we’re taking a look at this year’s Emmy nominees and digging into their past work to find hidden gems that you may have overlooked. This year’s Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series nominees vary greatly in their respective bodies of work, but all continue to showcase their immense talent throughout the years. Here we’ll look at a few of their lesser known gems that may have just been overlooked.

Jason Bateman

Nominated For: Ozark

Previous Nominations: Arrested Development, The Outsider, Ozark

Hidden Gem: “Burned,” The Twilight Zone (2003)

Jason Bateman has been a prevalent force in the world of television and film for decades. He’s done a wide range of comedic work from his work on Arrested Development as Michael Bluth, or in films like Juno, Game Night and Bad Words. He has also exceeded expectations in more dramatic works, such as the film The Gift as well as in the series Ozark, for which he has received numerous Emmy nominations for over the past few years. One particular hidden gem from his career, however, is an episode from the second revival of The Twilight Zone titled “Burned.” In the episode, Bateman plays an agoraphobic realtor who sanctions the arson of a home so that he can collect the insurance money. Two children are caught in the blaze of the house and the hired arsonist demands payment, to which Bateman’s character refuses. The arsonist begins an attack on the house of Bateman’s character, slowly causing the temperature in his home to exponentially rise.

Brian Cox

Nominated For: Succession

Previous Nominations: Nuremberg, Frasier, Succession

Hidden Gem: Manhunter (1986)

With the longest career of all the nominees behind him, Brian Cox has certainly made a massive name for himself in the world of television and film. With over 230 acting credits alone on IMDb, it’s fair to say that Brian Cox is one of the true titans of the industry. Long before his run as Logan Roy in HBO’s Succession, Cox, in less of a true “hidden” gem but more of an underappreciated film role, played the role of Dr. Lecktor in Michael Mann’s Manhunter, essentially originating the role of Hannibal Lector on screen before Anthony Hopkins’ titanic take on the character.

Lee Jung-jae

Nominated For: Squid Game

Previous Nominations: N/A

Hidden Gem: The Face Reader (2013)

First-time Emmy nominee Lee Jung-jae captivated and won over audiences with hisd sincere and riveting performance in the dark Netflix juggernaut Squid Game. Before exploding into the hearts and minds of many millions through the series, Lee appeared in a number of films and series throughout his career. One of which, The Face Reader, features Lee as Prince Suyang in a power struggle opposite Song Kang-ho’s Nae-kyung, a man who can assume the personality, habits, and mental state of any person whom he looks in the face.

Bob Odenkirk

Nominated For: Better Call Saul

Previous Nominations: Saturday Night Live (win), The Ben Stiller Show (win), Mr. Show with Bob and David, Better Call Saul

Hidden Gem: Mr. Show with Bob and David

Before he graced the screen in Breaking Bad and its subsequent spinoff Better Call Saul as Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman, Bob Odenkirk has been in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes of many television shows and films. One of which, primarily the one that highlights is comedic talents the most, is his variety show with David Cross, Mr. Show. Now, it might be a bit of a stretch to consider one of his previous Emmy nominated programs a “hidden gem,” but most people today simply know him from his work succeeding Breaking Bad, particularly younger audiences foraying into the world of the shows of yesteryear. Regardless, as time continues to tick forward, Mr. Show is now slowly creeping back into the minds of audiences as an early gem from Odenkirk’s career.

Adam Scott

Nominated For: Severance

Previous Nominations: N/A

Hidden Gem: The Aviator (2004)

Before his nominated turn in AppleTV’s Severance, Adam Scott has been in a vast amount of comedy productions as well as dramas. Earlier on in the first-time Emmy nominee’s career, before he became a recognizable face in the world of film and television, he appeared in a small role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s film The Aviator. Despite the smaller size of the role, Scott was fully able to demonstrate his talent in slipping into and become a character, a talent that was certainly put on full display in Severance.

Jeremy Strong

Nominated For: Succession

Previous Nominations: Succession (win)

Hidden Gem: Humboldt County (2008)

Prior to his days as an Emmy nominee and winner for his role as Kendall Roy on Succession, Jeremy Strong appeared in a number of movies and television shows, in particularly strong ensemble casts too. Years before he appeared in Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Molly’s Game, Strong starred in the 2008 film Humboldt County, where he plays a disillusioned medical student who winds up stranded in a remote town of weed farmers. His character then unexpectedly finds himself within this community. It might be safe to say that playing unconventional characters in these types of scenarios has certainly prepared Strong for the versatility required for his fantastic turn in Succession.


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Written by Miles Foster

TIFF Film Review: ‘Bros’ is a Laugh Riot of a Romantic Comedy

TIFF Film Review: ‘The Woman King’ Delves Into Untold History for an Effective Action Epic