Family is the most important thing. Apart from the Emmys, of course. Duh. Two performers may be able to combine both of those pillars of life this year as Stellan Skarsgård and his son Alexander Skarsgård vie for “Andor” (Disney+) and “Succession” (HBO) respectively. However, it’ll be a battle between father and son as they will be competing in the same category this year: Best Drama Supporting Actor.
First up, we have the father. Stellan Skarsgård was one of the show’s standout performers — and there were many of those, including Diego Luna, Andy Serkis, and Fiona Shaw. “Andor,” a spin-off TV show of the spin-off movie “Rogue One,” follows Luna as the titular Cassian Andor as the series explores how he came to be such a key part of the rebel alliance. Skarsgård plays a crucial role in the show as Luthen Rael, who is already a high-ranking figure in the rebel alliance and hires Cassian as a rebel operative for a heist on Aldhani. Luthen poses publicly as an antiques dealer on Coruscant and uses this guise to make rebel plans with Genevieve O’Reilly‘s Mon Mothma.
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Skarsgård utilizes both gravel and gravitas in his role as Luthen, camping it up as the antiques dealer, and roughing it up as a Rebel enforcer. He also gets two of the show’s best bits. First, he pulls out all of the stops in a tense space scene wherein Luthen tries to escape the clutches of the Empire. Then, Skarsgård delivers a jaw-dropping monologue to a wavering double agent (Robert Emms‘ Lonni) under his command. The speech, from episode 10, concerns the personal cost of what he does — the very nature of sacrifice. It’s moving, ominous, and judged perfectly by Skarsgård, as noted by critics.
Bradley Russell (Games Radar) reviewed that episode, writing: “In a face-to-face meeting with ISB mole Lonni, Stellan Skarsgard’s rebel leader delivers the show’s best speech to date. In an emotionally charged scene that dives into Luthen – and Lonni’s – sacrifice, we’re given a peek of Luthen’s cold pragmatism.”
Patrick Malborough (Vice) also referenced that key moment in his review, calling Skarsgård’s performance “immaculate.” He wrote: “It is an affecting moment of inner conflict reaching a boiling point in a show that is filled with people, places, and politics that are on the brink. It is also ‘Andor’’s thesis statement, and a glove thrown at the feet of the world’s biggest franchise, its often toxic fandom, and the megacorp which now steers it.”
This would be the elder Skarsgård’s second-ever nomination after his 2019 bid for Best TV Movie/Limited Series Supporting Actor for “Chernobyl” (he lost to Ben Whishaw for “A Very English Scandal.”) Skarsgård is so deserving of this potential second Emmy nomination. He’s a very recognizable face, having appeared in major franchises such as the MCU (as Dr. Erik Selvig) and “Pirates of the Caribbean” (as Bill Turner).
However, he has never received the true recognition he deserves and this is a great opportunity for voters to give him that praise, This would be a career nomination for Skarsgård, while he could also get caught up in a sweep if voters really love “Andor.” We predict that the show will be nominated for Best Drama Series, while we also think Shaw will reap a bid for Drama Guest Actress and Serkis will be nominated for Drama Guest Actor (Luna is on the precipice for Best Drama Actor). That all helps Skarsgård — he could get taken along for the ride.
However, that theory also applies to his son, Alexander, who co-stars in “Succession,” which follows the Roy family (headed up by Brian Cox‘s patriarch, Logan) and the biggest media and entertainment company in the world. Things change, however, when Cox’s father steps down from the family, inviting a familial civil war and outside competitors to come challenging. One of those competitors is Skarsgård’s Lukas Matsson, the businessman who tries to purchase Waystar Royco in season four of “Succession.” Lukas develops something of a relationship with Sarah Snook‘s Shiv, who is the daughter of Logan. They spark up an intriguing dynamic that makes for some of the season’s most interesting scenes.
Skarsgård is a welcome addition to a show that is already full of fantastic actors and equally-fantastic performances. It’s a tribute to him, then, that he manages to stand out even still. Skarsgård brings a real presence (physically and intellectually) to the role — his Lukas is an absolute predator, looking to devour whatever he can whenever he can. He’s a dangerous character and he is thrilling to watch, while Skarsgård also brings a certain appropriate weirdness to the role (cough, blood bricks, cough). And critics have noted that this role is one of a kind for Skarsgård, who acts as we’ve not quite seen him do before.
Louis Chilton (The Independent) explained: “The casting of Skarsgård too, adds another layer of intrigue. A virile, hunkish leading man in movies such as ‘The Northman’ or ‘Tarzan,’ Skarsgård here is hunched and dour, his sex appeal almost completely nullified.”
Liam Gaughan (Collider) observed: “Skarsgård’s incredible performance provides ‘Succession’ with a ‘bang’ in its final stretch, as Matsson’s actions directly isolate and trap each of the family members in uncomfortable scenarios… Skarsgård’s performance gradually gets more theatrical as the series continues. While at first he leaves each deal with a calm and collected demeanor, he begins to show more joy in ruffling the siblings’ feathers.”
This enthusiasm for Skarsgård’s performance hasn’t quite been enough to land him in our predicted eight nominees: Jonathan Pryce (“The Crown”), Nicholas Braun (“Succession”), John Lithgow (“The Old Man”), Alan Ruck (“Succession”), Matt Smith (“House of the Dragon”), F. Murray Abraham (“The White Lotus”), Giancarlo Esposito (“Better Call Saul”), and, in pole position, Matthew Macfadyen (“Succession”).
However, he is ahead of his father. Just. Alexander is on 22/1 odds while Stellan is on 40/1 odds. That means a nomination for the son is more likely than the father, particularly as Alexander earned a bid for Best Drama Guest Actor for “Succession” last year (he lost to Colman Domingo for “Euphoria”).
That demonstrates that Emmy voters love this performance, so has already proven he has awards credentials for this role. Stellan, on the other hand, is going into this season with a brand-new performance in a brand-new show. That could hinder him. Plus, Alexander has now been promoted from Guest to Supporting, so voters may look to reward that extra meat on the bone for them to chew. Alexander has previously won an Emmy before (Best TV Movie/Limited Series Supporting Actor in 2017 for “Big Little Lies”) so, again, we know he is popular with voters. But could that hinder him? Maybe voters will look to nominate someone who hasn’t had the same type of recognition, like his father.
And let’s talk about that aforementioned “sweep” possibility. This could go one of two ways. We know that “Succession” is adored by the Emmys (its won 13 so far) and we predict the show will be nominated for Drama Series, Drama Actress (Snook), Drama Actor (Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, and Cox), Drama Supporting Actress (J. Cameron Smith), Drama Supporting Actor (Macfadyen, Ruck, and Braun), Drama Guest Actress (Harriet Walter, Cherry Jones, and Hope Davis), and Drama Guest Actor (James Cromwell and Arian Moayed). Phew — that’s 14 Emmy nominations we think it will get in these above-the-line categories. Skarsgård could easily get taken along for the ride but, conversely, he could also get lost in the mix.
There are so many actors up for awards for this show that Skarsgård could just get passed over. That chance is increased considering the fact that we predict three other actors from “Succession” will be nominated in Skarsgård’s category. Will they really nominate four actors from the same show in one category? The last time that happened in this category was in 2002 when Bradley Whitford, Dulé Hill, Richard Schiff, and John Spencer (who won) were all nominated for “The West Wing”). Will he be able to displace one of those co-stars and take their place? Braun is on the precipice, so that seems the most likely scenario. Still, that is very much up in the air.
So, there we have it. The father, hunting for a career nomination for a brand new show, and the son, looking to follow up his nomination last year with a second one this year for an Emmys favorite. Will one of them be able to make it? Or will both be overlooked in favor of other actors? Or — and wouldn’t this be something — could they both be nominated? If they were to somehow split voters and tie to both win the award, they’d be only the second-ever father-son duo to win Emmys on the same night.
Previously, Dan Levy and his father Eugene Levy both won Emmys in 2020 for the final season of “Schitt’s Creek.” Dan won four, for Best Comedy Director, Best Comedy Supporting Actor, Best Comedy Writing, and Best Comedy Series. He won the latter award with his father Eugene, who also won Best Comedy Actor. But it’s highly doubtful the Skarsgårds will be able to do that. For now, they’ll both be competing for the same eighth spot in our Emmys lineup. Let’s see who can do it.
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