Casting directors have a unique perspective when it comes to Emmy nominations. Considering their area of expertise, casting professionals can offer informed takes on the nominees—in the acting categories, especially. And who better to comment on this year’s TV awards show than an Emmy nominee herself? Sibby Kirchgessner is known for casting many popular shows, such as Future Man, Baskets, and Grand Hotel

But Veep is the one that earned Kirchgessner and casting partner Dorian Frankel the Casting for a Comedy Series nom this year. The recognition is well-deserved based on the inclusion of Veep nominees in the acting categories for comedy series. As the limited series or movie categories are safe for the Veep casting director to weigh in on without conflict of interest, Kirchgessner spoke with Casting Networks to share her take on them.


Nominees for Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie:

Benicio Del Toro (Escape at Dannemora)

Hugh Grant (A Very English Scandal)

Jared Harris (Chernobyl)

Jharrel Jerome (When They See Us)

Mahershala Ali (True Detective)

Sam Rockwell (Fosse/Verdon)


Kirchgessner’s Pick:

Jharrel Jerome

“Jharrel’s performance brought tears to my eyes and broke my heart in a good way. He really made me feel everything Korey Wise went through and how he preserved.”


Nominees for Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie:

Amy Adams (Sharp Objects)

Aunjanue Ellis (When They See Us)

Joey King (The Act)

Michelle Williams (Fosse/Verdon)

Niecy Nash (When They See Us)

Patricia Arquette (Escape at Dannemora)


Kirchgessner’s Pick:

Patricia Arquette

“Her performance was subtle and nuanced. Playing a real-life person can be difficult. Patricia brought Tilly to life with her deep sadness and thirst for love and affection; that helped me to understand how a woman like that made the choices she made.”


Nominees for Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie: 

Asante Blackk (When They See Us)

Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal)

John Leguizamo (When They See Us)

Michael K. Williams (When They See Us)

Paul Dano (Escape at Dannemora)

Stellan Skarsgård (Chernobyl)


Kirchgessner’s Pick:

Ben Whishaw

“Ben tackled such a complicated and broken character with such skill. He was in one moment scared and timid, and [in] the next, confident and cocky. It was a rich and complex performance.”


Nominees for Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie: 

Emily Watson (Chernobyl)

Margaret Qualley (Fosse/Verdon)

Marsha Stephanie Blake (When They See Us)

Patricia Clarkson (Sharp Objects)

Patricia Arquette (The Act)

Vera Farmiga (When They See Us)


Kirchgessner’s Pick:

Marsha Stephanie Blake

“All of these ladies were magnificent, but Marsha Stephanie Blake stood out to me. I read somewhere [that] someone said When They See Us was the best and worst thing they had ever seen, and I felt that. Marsha’s performance conveyed fear, vulnerability, and strength.”


Two of Kirchgessner’s picks—Jharrel Jerome and Marsha Stephanie Blake—are first-time nominees. The same is true of their When They See Us co-stars Aunjanue Ellis and Asante Blackk. Another actor in a limited series who’s making her Emmy nom debut may come as a surprise: Michelle Williams. Check out the talent making the list for the first time this year, and tune in to Fox on September 22 to find out which ones end up taking home a statuette at the 71st Emmy Awards.


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