Zendaya, Julia Garner and More: Meet the Drama Performers With Multiple Emmy Nominations

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A version of this story about drama performers with multiple nominations first appeared in the Down to the Wire: Drama issue of TheWrap’s awards magazine.

In this year’s drama categories at the Emmys, several performers wound up with multiple nominations. Here’s a guide to the ones who accomplished that feat, including one star who’s also competing against herself in the Emmy’s original-song category.

Jason Bateman in “Ozark” / Netflix

– Outstanding Drama Series, “Ozark”
– Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, “Ozark”
– Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, “Ozark”

For as long as “Ozark” has been on the air, Jason Bateman has been landing multiple nominations, In 2018, it was for acting and directing; in 2019, for acting, directing and producing; in 2020, for acting and producing, plus a guest nomination for a different series, “The Outsider.” This year, for the series’ final season, he was back to noms for acting, producing and directing, the last of those for the series finale, “A Hard Way to Go.”

“It would have been weird if he didn’t direct the end, because he created the look of the show, he was there from the very beginning,” series creator Chris Mundy said. “So it was nice to have it be all of us at the very end.”

Julia Garner in “Inventing Anna” / Netflix

– Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, “Ozark”
– Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, “Inventing Anna”

Garner is one of the few double-dippers to spread her nominations evenly among different shows. For “Ozark,” her final season as Ruth Langmore brought her a third nomination, and potentially a third win to go with the statuettes she took home in 2019 and 2020. In a season of dramatic endings, hers is one of the most dramatic. Mundy said that he told her the story of the final few episodes in a lengthy phone call. “She kept saying, ‘Oh, this is getting dark,’” he said. “I’m like, ‘Hold on. It gets worse.’”

Garner’s other nomination is for the limited series “Inventing Anna,” in which she plays real-life scam artist Anna Delvey, who lied her way into New York society before being convicted of attempted grand larceny. She learned the tricky accent by listening to tapes, but found the key to Delvey when they met face-to-face. “The thing that I got out of that meeting was how bubbly she was, how likeable she was, and how charming she was,” she said. “And how much more complicated that made it, in a way.”

Zendaya in “Euphoria” / HBO

– Outstanding Drama Series, “Euphoria”
– Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, “Euphoria”
– Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics: “Elliot’s Song” from “Euphoria”
– Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics: “I’m Tired” from “Euphoria”

Zendaya’s surprise Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series win for “Euphoria” in 2020 made her the youngest-ever Emmy winner in that category — and this year, with the show on which she also serves as an executive producer breaking into the Outstanding Drama Series category, the 25-year-old also became the youngest woman ever nominated for producing.

But even if Zendaya wins those two awards, she can’t go undefeated at the Emmys, because her third and fourth nominations are in the Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics category, where she’s competing against herself (and also against songs from “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Schmigadoon!” and “This Is Us”). She contributed lyrics to both nominated songs, along with “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson on one and Muzhda Zemar-McKenzie on the other; Labrinth wrote the music for both.

Both are exercises in yearning and to some degree depression: “Elliot’s Song” creeps along with an evocative ache, particularly as performed on screen by Dominic Fike, while “I’m Tired” has a fuller arrangement but takes a cue from its title and deliberately never develops any momentum. And while the Emmy usually goes to more assertive songs (and funnier ones), it’s worth noting that “Euphoria” did win it two years ago for “All of Us.”

Rhea Seehorn in “Better Call Saul” / AMC

– Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, “Better Call Saul”
– Outstanding Actress in a Short-Form Comedy or Drama Series, “Cooper’s Bar”

It took seven years and six seasons for the Television Academy to finally recognize Seehorn for her crucial role as Kim Wexler on Better Call Saul, which it did just before the second half of that season – which will be eligible for Emmys next year – brought the acclaimed show to a close. “I am going to miss Kim and eveything that goes with her,” Seehorn said. (See story here.)

And when voters finally got around to noticing how Kim is in many ways the heart of that show, they also noticed and nominated her for the short-form AMC series “Cooper’s Bar,” in which she plays an abusive TV executive who comes into the Tiki bar from which the series gets its title. She also served as co-creator and executive producer of the series, and directed two of the episodes.  


Sydney Sweeney, foreground, in “The White Lotus” / HBO

– Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, “Euphoria”
– Outstanding Supporting Actress in Limited or Anthology Series or Television Movie, “The White Lotus”

Sweeney said she’s attracted to “anything … that was just completely, vastly different from my life,” and this year she was nominated for two shows that are completely different from each other: a spoiled rich girl on “The White Lotus” and an emotional high-schooler on “Euphoria.” (See story here.)

Harriet Walter with Kieran Culkin in “Succession” / HBO

– Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, “Ted Lasso”
– Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, “Succession”

As we pointed out in our comedy issue, the veteran British actress is nominated for one comedy series and one drama series. So which list does she belong on? Both of them, we guess.

Read more from the Down to the Wire: Drama issue here.

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Photograph by Irvin Rivera for TheWrap

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