Can anybody knock off Aaron Paul and Peter Dinklage?
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Freddie Highmore of 'Bates Motel'
Freddie Highmore, "Bates Motel"
Nomination Status: Cheating could pay off if A&E pushes this showy performance well.
In His Favor: Leaving aside his really, really questionable American accent, the "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" veteran is giving a great, layered performance on "Bates Motel," occasionally channelling Tony Perkins, but often going off in his own quirky, unsettled directions. At times, Norman Bates comes across as an ordinary teenage kid with romantic aspirations and minor Mommy Issues, but then he also sometimes busts loose as a full-on doggy-stuffing, parent-killing headcase. Because of his long and well-regarded juvenile career, Highmore isn't unknown and the distance between Norman and his other roles can only help him. And you know why he's able to carve out such a vivid character? Because Highmore is clearly the male lead in "Bates Motel" and pretty clearly a co-lead only a hair below Vera Farmiga. Lying about categorization to get awards for young stars is a storied Hollywood tradition and this is about as blatant as the fudging can get.
Working Against Him: A&E has no track record when it comes to pushing scripted shows for Emmy consideration. Unlike several people above him in this gallery, Highmore won't require huge across-the-board support for "Bates Motel" to get a nomination. He's a lead in a supporting category, with a showy role. All he'll require is general viewer attention. Farmiga gets first dibs, but Highmore is close behind. I'd say the chances of both being snubbed are better than the chances of both being nominated, but neither of those possibilities would shock me.