Golden Globes Nominations: First-Timers Break Through

Every awards group has their trademark quirks, and the HFPA loves nothing more than anointing the wunderkinds. And this year didn’t disappoint: On the TV side, voters embraced Showtime’s “SMILF” and Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”; in film, breakouts included Margot Robbie, Daniel Kaluuya, and Timothée Chalamet.

Several others across film and TV were also rewarded for their work with their first-ever Golden Globes nominations.

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Out of both actress categories, there was one sole new nominee: Margot Robbie landed her first nod in the musical or comedy field for her heralded turn as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in “I, Tonya.” She’s up against previous winners Judi Dench (“Victoria & Abdul”), Helen Mirren (“The Leisure Seeker”) and Emma Stone (“Battle of the Sexes”) and previous nominee Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird.”) The actress in a drama category is all previous Globe winners: Jessica Chastain (“Molly’s Game”), Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”), Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Meryl Streep (“The Post”) and Michelle Williams (“All the Money in the World.”)

In the lead actor in a drama category, the two perceived frontrunners will go up against three actors who have not only been nominated before, but won multiple Globes. “Call Me By Your Name” breakthrough Timothée Chalamet was recognized, as was “Darkest Hour” star Gary Oldman – who, surprisingly, landed his first nom after decades of fantastic film work. They’ll battle previous winners Tom Hanks (“The Post”), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Phantom Thread”) and Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”)

Similarly, in the best actor in a musical or comedy category, it’s also two newcomers: Ansel Elgort for the titular character in “Baby Driver” and Daniel Kaluuya for heading “Get Out.” They’ll go up against previous winners Steve Carell (“Battle of the Sexes”), James Franco (“The Disaster Artist”) and Hugh Jackman (“The Greatest Showman.”)

There’s a number of new faces in the supporting actor category. Armie Hammer landed his first nod for his turn opposite Chalamet in “Call Me by Your Name,” as did Sam Rockwell for his scene-stealing work in “Three Billboards.” The other newcomer is Richard Jenkins in “The Shape of Water,” who has never been nominated, despite previously winning an Emmy for “Olive Kitteridge” and landing an Oscar nom for “The Visitor.” They’ll battle previous nominee Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”) and previous winner Christopher Plummer, who just made the cut after replacing Kevin Spacey in “All the Money in the World.”

The supporting actress category is loaded with previous nominees and winners, the exception being newcomer Hong Chau for her role in Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing.” Chau is up against previous winner Octavia Spencer (“The Shape of Water”) and three actresses who have never been recognized in the film category. Both Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”) and Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird”) have previous noms for their TV work, while Mary J. Blige was a previous nominee for her work on a song from “The Help.” Blige actually finds herself a two-time nominee today – in addition to being nominated for her work as an actress in “Mudbound,” she was nominated with Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson  for the song from the film, “Mighty River.”

It’s not just actors who were recognized for the first time; two of the this year’s directing nominees landed their first nods – and second nods at the same time. Both Guillermo Del Toro and Martin McDonagh were recognized in the directing and screenplay categories for their films – Del Toro’s fairy tale “The Shape of Water” and McDonagh’s timely “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Both have had films nominated before in the past, but this marks their break into both the directing and writing categories. They’ll compete against previous nominees Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”), Ridley Scott (“All the Money in the World”) and a gentleman named Steven Spielberg (“The Post”), who landed his 13th Globe nomination this morning.

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The drama acting categories only offered brought two new names into the fold: Freddie Highmore for his work as the autistic surgeon on ABC’s procedural — and breakout hit — “The Good Doctor,” while Katherine Langford scored for her turn as a suicidal teenager on Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why.”

On the comedy side, the male actors are all familiar to Globes voters — whether for their current roles (Anthony Anderson on ABC’s “Black-ish,” Aziz Ansari for Netflix’s “Master of None”), past performances (Kevin Bacon for Amazon’s “I Love Dick”), or revivals (Eric McCormack for NBC’s “Will & Grace”). But the female race featured nearly all newcomers to the Globes field, with Rachel Brosnahan (Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) and Frankie Shaw (Showtime’s “SMILF”) joined by Alison Brie (“GLOW”) and Pamela Adlon (FX’s “Better Things”). Issa Rae (HBO’s “Insecure”) is the sole returning nominee from last year’s slate.

Looking at the limited series races, the star power of efforts like FX’s “Feud” and HBO’s “Big Little Lies” meant that many contenders already have a track record at the Globes. It’s just Jessica Biel in the lead acting races, for her work as the murderer with a secret past in USA’s limited series “The Sinner.” The supporting categories offer more fresh faces, with Emmy winner Ann Dowd recognized for Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” while on the male side, the category offered a bounty of newcomers: David Harbour (“Stranger Things”), Alfred Molina (“Feud: Bette and Joan”), Alexander Skarsgard (“Big Little Lies”), and David Thewlis (“Fargo”). Christian Slater has proven to be a Globes favorite, as the reigning champ for USA’s “Mr. Robot.”

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