Tomorrow is a big day for television fans. Carson Daly and Mindy Kaling will announce the primetime Emmy Award nominations at 8:30 a.m. ET (you can view the nominations live on the Emmy Television Academy website). As any devoted viewer knows, this has been a banner year for television with breathtaking performances and groundbreaking episodes.
But, the Emmy Awards can sometimes be creatures of habit, nominating the same shows and actors year after year. We are hoping a few actors hear their name announced for the first time tomorrow morning. Here are our picks for the first-time nominees we would love to see.
1. Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal
With Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter so thoroughly engraved in the public consciousness, the idea of anyone else stepping into the role is as close to pop culture sacrilege as you can get (though Brian Cox did an admirable job as a pre-Hopkins Hannibal in Manhunter ). In rebooting the Thomas Harris universe for television, writer Bryan Fuller decided to go in a different direction with actor Mads Mikkelsen, and the gamble paid off handsomely. A national treasure in his native Denmark, the steely-eyed Mikkelsen has proven to be one of the great modern screen presences, with notable roles in the Pusher trilogy, After the Wedding and last year’s The Hunt. As Lecter, the actor oozes equal parts charm, sexuality and menace. Whereas Hopkins played up the character’s more flamboyant, Bond villain-esque aspects, Mikkelsen presents a more cunning, Machiavellian figure. He’s a monster hiding behind an expensive, stylish suit and, try as you might, you just can’t escape his orbit. —Mark Rozeman