It’s a great year for grownups on TV, and this week’s Emmy nominations are proof. Performers 50 and older earned 15 nominations in major acting categories in the 2023 Emmy Awards race. They’ll learn whether they’ve snagged a coveted golden statuette when the winners are announced on Monday, Sept. 18, 8 to 11 p.m. ET on Fox.
Here are the 50-plus nominees in the main acting categories:
Lead Actor, Drama
Brian Cox, 77, Succession
In a shocker worthy of Hitchcock, Cox’s potty-mouthed character Logan Roy died fetching a cellphone from an airplane toilet in the third episode of the final season of the most buzzed show of the year. But nobody will forget the role that defines his career — strangers will be begging him to tell them to “F--- off!” for years to come.
Bob Odenkirk, 60, Better Call Saul
Few if any spin-off shows have outdone the hit they sprang from, but Odenkirk made lawyer Jimmy McGill’s moral transformation into broken, bad Saul Goodman at least as compelling as Breaking Bad’s hero, a chemistry teacher turned drug lord. Odenkirk says he only reads his scripts the day he shoots them, to make it feel spontaneous. “Saul gets very carried away, and it’s fun to watch someone going out on a ledge — you’re, like, ‘Dude, you’re gonna fall! See how far you go!” While filming the show’s last season, a myocardial infarction stopped Odenkirk’s heart from beating for 18 minutes, but the near-death experience gave him a sense of being reborn. “I think it’s a version of the crisis that you have all through life as you reach different levels of growth and change — chapters really — in your life,” he told AARP.
Jeff Bridges, 73, The Old Man
How tough is Bridges? When he got punched around filming action scenes as a retired CIA assassin in his first major TV role, he didn’t realize he had a foot-long tumor in his belly. But bouncing back from cancer surgery and a devastating bout of COVID, he knocked the role out of the park in a show that proves old men can still have moxie. “If we’re lucky, we are all old men, finally,” he told AARP.
Lead Actor, Comedy
Martin Short, 73, Only Murders in the Building
Short got his second Emmy nomination in a row for his crime comedy costarring Steve Martin, 77, about amateur sleuths who investigate murders (and make podcasts). The key to the show’s success is the bantering repartee Short and Martin perfected over decades of performing together, and the audience’s positive expectations. “Now when they see Steve and me come out, they go, “There they are!’” he told AARP. “We’ve already won them over with our careers up to that point. So that’s nice.”
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