Darren Criss earned some of the best reviews of his career for playing unstable serial killer Andrew Cunanan in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” which just culminated in his second Emmy nomination and first win. In the process, the 31-year-old became the second youngest winner of Best Limited Series/Movie Actor in Emmy history, and for a thoroughly villainous character at that. Criss is now heading into the end of 2018 as a presumptive favorite to win at other major award shows.
Criss has a strong possibility of striking big at the Golden Globes in addition to the Screen Actors Guild Awards, adding more trophies to his mantel that also includes a Teen Choice Award for his work on “Glee.” A number of actors in recent years have followed up Emmy victories with a corresponding Golden Globe and SAG Award, including Sterling K. Brown for “This Is Us,” Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgard for “Big Little Lies,” and Sarah Paulson for “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” the previous installment of “American Crime Story.”
Most of Criss’ Emmy competition could be against him again at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards, with only Jesse Plemons from “USS Callister (Black Mirror)” not eligible for the coming awards. Of the rest of his competition, it’s possible that either awards group could reward Benedict Cumberbatch for “Patrick Melrose,” as he has racked up multiple nominations without a win. New EGOT winner John Legend is also a possibility for “Jesus Christ Superstar,” though the recent wave of TV musicals has not netted any attention at the Golden Globes or SAG.
The strength of Criss’ performance might be so undeniable that even newer contenders won’t be able to overtake him. There are a number of hopefuls who could upset the race, including Jonah Hill for “Maniac,” Benicio del Toro for “Escape at Dannemore” and Hugh Grant for “A Very English Scandal.” While SAG voters tend to be slower on the uptake when it comes to very recent contenders, Criss may find his biggest hurdle at the Golden Globes, who love to be the first to reward hot new performances. Still, Criss will likely have the benefit with the latter group of being one of the youngest nominees in the category, and the Globes do love young talent.
Another factor that should help Criss is his series itself. While not necessarily the phenomenon that “Big Little Lies” or “The People v. O.J. Simpson” were, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” still walked away with seven Emmys this year, the most of any limited series or TV movie by far. This kind of haul likely means Globes and SAG voters will have at least seen the show, enough to see Criss’ transformative take on Cunanan. Whether that will translate to awards success is still a mystery, but there’s a good chance his Emmy will be getting some company on the shelf soon.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Golden Globe contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own 2019 Golden Globe predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on Dec. 6.