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Emmy Acting Wins and the Casting Teams Behind Them 

The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards were full of surprises in the acting categories. Phoebe Waller-Bridge beat out Julia Louis-Dreyfus to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, denying Louis-Dreyfus’ chances of making Emmy history this year. Billy Porter did make Emmy history, however, by winning Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series—the first openly gay black man to win the award

Actors keeping up with the wins should also be aware of the department that got the winners in front of the lens: casting. Check below for the list of winners and extra info on the casting directors behind all the success to learn what they’re doing next. 


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: 

Bill Hader as Barry in Barry 

Cast by:  

Sharon Bialy

Sherry Thomas

The casting duo has other impressive TV credits under their names, including The Handmaid’s Tale and The Twilight Zone. Bialy also cast The Act, a limited series for which Patricia Arquette won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. Up next for Bialy and Thomas is HBO’s upcoming series Perry Mason. Additional members of the Bialy/Thomas Casting company include: Gohar Gazazyan, Alyssa Morris, Stacia Kimler, Katie Rampey and Heather Fox.


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:

Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Fleabag in Fleabag 

Cast by:

Olivia Scott-Webb 

Scott-Webb won an Emmy herself for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series. The casting director has some notable film credits under her name as well such as Maleficent, Fury and Before Midnight. Keep an eye out for Scott-Webb’s upcoming project The Souvenir: Part II. She also cast its predecessor, The Souvenir, which won the coveted Grand Jury Prize in World Cinema – Dramatic at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. 


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: 

Tony Shalhoub as Abe Weissman in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Cast by: 

Cindy Tolan

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel won Tolan an Emmy at last year’s awards show for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series. Other standout TV credits include comedy series like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Curb Your Enthusiasm. And Tolan has exciting projects around the corner. She cast Steven Spielberg’s widely-anticipated adaptation of West Side Story, coming in 2020. Tolan’s also listed as the casting director on the newest installment of The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson. Actors definitely want to keep this casting powerhouse top-of-mind. 


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:

Alex Borstein as Susie Myerson in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Cast by: 

Cindy Tolan


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: 

Billy Porter as Pray Tell in Pose 

Cast by: 

Alexa L. Fogel 

Fogel is also on the casting team behind Ozark, which means she had another award-winning cast member at the show. Julia Garner won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role in Ozark. Fogel won an Emmy herself in 2014 for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series for her work on True Detective. Other notable TV credits include The Deuce and Atlanta. Students of casting should keep up-to-speed on her upcoming projects, starting with Ryan Murphy’s The Politician, which Netflix will release on September 27. Fogel also has the upcoming HBO series The Outsider in the works, slated to release in 2020. 


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:

Jodie Comer as Villanelle in Killing Eve

Cast by:

Suzanne Crowley

Gilly Poole

The dynamic duo have been a part of casting some epic films, such as Titanic and A Knight’s Tale. They also have extensive UK television credits under their names, but the show they cast that American audiences may know best is The White Princess. The lead of that Starz mini-series is none other than Comer, so it’s no surprise that the actress came to mind when Crowley and Poole were casting Killing Eve. Their IMDb pages don’t preview any upcoming projects for the two, but the profiles of both Crowley and Poole on the website of The Casting Directors’ Guild of Great Britain & Ireland include additional info about the casting duo. And based on the amount and quality of work they’ve done so far, it would benefit actors on this side of the pond to follow their goings-on. 


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: 

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones 

Cast by:

Nina Gold

Robert Sterne

Carla Stronge (Location Casting) 

The casting team for GoT won an Emmy for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series. The bounty of acting nominees that came from the show’s final season alone makes their win well-deserved. Sterne and Gold also cast Chernobyl, which had multiple acting nominees at this year’s show as well. And actors who are also Star Wars fans should pay attention to Gold, in particular. She’s on the casting team behind the widely-anticipated upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker along with April Webster and Alyssa Weisberg. 


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:

Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore in Ozark

Cast by:

Alexa L. Fogel

Tara Feldstein Bennett (Location Casting)

Chase Paris (Location Casting) 

Astute followers of casting may have noted the two casting directors who appeared twice on this list. Both Cindy Tolan and Alexa L. Fogel had more than one Emmy-winning cast member this year. And while Tolan is the only name the Emmys site lists for casting The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, there are location casting people recognized with Fogel as well as with Gold and Sterne—for Ozark and Game of Thrones, respectively. Those wanting to drill deeper can further research Tara Feldstein, Chase Parisand Carla Stronge. One can never be over-informed when it comes to knowing who rubs elbows in the casting world. Who knows what piece of industry info might one day lead an actor to the job that lands his or her name on a future list of Emmy acting wins? 

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