Emmys 2017: Why Thandie Newton should win Outstanding Supporting Actress


Thandie Newton’s Maeve went through a powerful journey on the first season of Westworld, and she should win an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress.

Note: In this defense for Thandie Newton to win at this year’s Emmys for her work in Westworld, we do spoil the first season. Read at your own risk!

The Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama category for this year’s Emmys has a seriously difficult field. From The Handmaid’s Tale‘s double entry of Samira Wiley (Moira) and Ann Dowd (Aunt Lydia), to This is Us‘ Chrissy Metz (Kate), to Uzo Aduba (Suzanne “Crazy Eyes”) for Orange is the New Black, to Millie Bobby Brown’s work as Eleven in Stranger Things, these actresses put in some serious work.

But although Dowd has an antagonistic role, much like Thandie Newton’s Maeve takes on through the first season of Westworld, it’s hard not to appreciate the emotional complexity that Newton had to work through, especially in the latter parts of the season. Like Evan Rachel Wood’s character, Dolores, Maeve actually learns the secret of her existence: she’s a host, not a human being as she believed.

Instead of staying, though, she leaves at the end of the season to find her daughter as a host. That powerful familial bond, artificial though it may be, comes through in Newton’s facial expressions. Over the course of the season, we see more and more layers of Maeve, and Newton makes her, at points, more compelling than even Dolores and Teddy.

That’s probably the point … and besides, Maeve gets to wear brighter, more interesting colors, since she plays a madam at Westworld’s town brothel. Hey, wearing cool costumes also takes acting skills!

Next: Emmys 2017: Master of None deserves the Outstanding Comedy Series win

Really, it’s easy to see how any of these actresses could take home the Emmy when the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences hands the statuettes out next week Sunday, Sept. 17, but Newton has a very compelling point in her favor: she’s in the most “prestige” of the genre shows here, aided by HBO’s big budget for the production, and the voters might very well want to reward HBO for doing something not named Game of Thrones while they can.