Oscar winner Forest Whitaker could win an Emmy for ‘Andor’

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Run Forest run… towards another Emmy. That was a terrible joke but Forest Whitaker again delivered another definitely-not-terrible performance in his guest actor role in “Andor.”

“Andor,” one of the best-reviewed shows of this year, is the Disney+ spin-off TV series of the spin-off “Star Wars” movie “Rogue One.” The series follows Diego Luna in the titular role of Cassian Andor as we find out how this scoundrel eventually joins the Rebel Alliance and becomes a crucial part of the fight against the Empire. Along the way, Cassian meets some key figures in “Star Wars” lore including Stellan Skarsgård‘s Luthen Rael and Whitaker’s Saw Gerrera.

More from GoldDerby

This is just the latest appearance as Saw by Whitaker (more on that later) and the performer shines once again in a role he seems born for. Saw is part of one branch of those fighting against the Empire. He fights against the Empire but goes to lengths that most good guys seem dubious at best. As the extremist freedom fighter, Whitaker utilizes his captivating and demanding screen presence to bring to life one of the most interesting, morally-grey characters in the “Star Wars” canon. A good guy, yes, but a good guy who will go to whatever lengths necessary to win the fight. Whitaker is dangerous, urgent, and commanding in the role, delivering every line with raspy authority. Critics all agree that Whitaker is, yet again, a stand-out in his role as Saw.

Scott Snowden (Space) proclaimed that “Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) was always a brilliant addition to the ‘Star Wars’ universe.” He continued: “Every other crucial story thread also progress enough to maintain our interest, something that sounds straightforward and yet other big-budget sci-fi shows can’t successfully achieve this…. being able to watch Stellan Skarsgård (Luthen Rael) and Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) together in a scene was masterfully understated.”

Tom Philip (The AV Club) explained that Whitaker’s involvement in the show helped to continue and bolster the impressive story-telling on display in “Andor.” He wrote: “Andy Serkis and Forest Whitaker grace ‘Narkina,’ which continues the show’s hot streak…  Andy Serkis and Forest Whitaker show up! We’re just being spoiled at this point.”

Simon Cardy (IGN) observed: “We are rewarded near the end with the reintroduction to Forest Whitaker’s Saw Gerrera. It’s always a treat to see two great actors face off against one another, and Whitaker and Stellan Skarsgård do not disappoint as motives are put into question.” In another review written by Cardy for IGN, he wrote: “Further adding star quality are Stellan Skarsgård and Forest Whitaker. Andor oozes class whenever they are on screen together and their highly strung exchange this time around is no different. Luthen’s show-and-tell display of paranoia is a masterstroke and Saw’s response of ‘let’s call it war’ is delivered with real spine-tingling energy.”

However, despite the positivity around Whitaker’s involvement and performance, the A-list actor is still outside of our predicted six nominees for the Best Drama Guest Actor category. Currently, we think the following will be nominated in this category: Arian Moayed (“Succession”), Andy Serkis (“Andor”), Bryan Cranston (“Better Call Saul”), James Cromwell (“Succession”), and “The Last of Us” duo Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman. But Whitaker could still get in for a whole variety of reasons

Firstly, he’s a veteran and a star-name. Emmy voters love nominating these sorts of performers, particularly in this specific category. Cromwell was nominated in 2020 and 2022 for “Succession” (losing to Ron Cephas Jones for “This Is Us” and Colman Domingo for “Euphoria,” respectively). Charles Dance (“The Crown”) and Carl Weathers (“The Mandalorian”) were both nominated in 2021, losing to another veteran actor in Courtney B. Vance for “Lovecraft Country.” Martin Short was nominated in 2020 for “The Morning Show” and Bradley Whitford won in 2019 for “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Whitaker would fit right in with these names.

But, more specifically, he is also an Oscar winner. Whitaker won Best Actor in 2007 for “The Last King of Scotland.” Emmy voters love an Oscar winner just as much as they love a veteran, again, especially in the guest-acting categories. F. Murray Abraham, who took home the 1985 Best Actor Oscar for “Amadeus,” was nominated in this category for “Homeland” (losing to Jones for “This Is Us”). Then, in 2021, Morgan Freeman (“The Kominsky Method”) and Daniel Kaluuya (“Saturday Night Live”) both reaped bids for Best Comedy Guest Actor, losing to Dave Chappelle (“Saturday Night Live”). Both actors won Best Supporting Actor Oscars — Freeman in 2005 for “Million Dollar Baby” and Kaluuya in 2021 for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” And Brad Pitt was nominated for Best Comedy Guest Actor, too, in 2020 for “Saturday Night Live” (losing to Eddie Murphy for the same show). Pitt previously won the Best Picture Oscar as a producer on “12 Years a Slave” in 2014 and then won Best Supporting Actor in 2020 for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Again, Whitaker would slot right into this trend.

Whitaker’s own Emmys history is a little more curious, however. He has only had one acting nomination to his name — that was Best Drama Guest Actor in 2007 for “ER” (he lost to John Goodman for “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”). His other nominations came for his work as a producer — he won Best TV Movie in 2003 for “Door to Door” and then reaped a nomination for The Betrayal – Nerakhoon.” It’s notable that his sole acting bid came for Best Drama Guest Actor — clearly, voters like him in this category, which bodes well for his “Andor” hopes as he is up for the same category. However, voters will likely want to give this actor another Emmy nomination for his on-screen work at some point. And this would be the perfect chance to do so.

Whitaker has been a faithful servant to the “Star Wars” universe and has played the role, which was originated by Andrew Kashino in the animated series “The Clone Wars,” across multiple formats. He first played the role in “Rogue One,” then voiced the character in “Rebels,” and played the role again in the video game “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.” He has served “Star Wars” well and popped up whenever he is needed, always adding gravitas and weight to a galaxy far, far away. An Emmy nomination here would be a cumulative thank you for his service to “Star Wars.”

But let’s not forget about the show itself. “Andor” is one of the most critically-acclaimed shows of the year, currently sitting on an impressive 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. This has led to “Andor” being in a lot of races at this year’s Emmys. Currently, we think the show will be nominated for Best Drama Series, Best Drama Guest Actress for Fiona Shaw, and Best Drama Guest Actor for Serkis. Meanwhile, Luna and Skarsgård are on the precipice of Best Drama Actor and Best Drama Supporting Actor bids, respectively. Whitaker could easily get swept along for the ride here if voters really take to “Andor,” which we think they may well do.

And don’t worry about Whitaker going head-to-head against his co-star Serkis in this category. Voters love doubling up and nominating two or more performers from the same show in this category. Last year, four actors were nominated for “Succession” — Skarsgård, Moayed, Cromwell, and Adrian Brody. Timothy Olyphant and Weathers both reaped nominations for “The Mandalorian” the year before that (another “Star Wars” show! Voters are NOT afraid to nominate performances in “Star Wars”). And Michael Angarano and Jones were both given the nod in 2019 for “This Is Us.” Whitaker and Serkis could be the latest performers to both feel the golden glow of an Emmy nomination.

And why not? Whitaker has proved that he is loved by various awards bodies. We’ve spoken about his Oscar win and Emmys history, but he is also a BAFTA winner (with two bids in total), a Cannes Film Festival Best Actor winner, a two-time SAG winner (with six total nominations), a PGA award winner, a Critics Choice Award winner, and a Golden Globe winner (with two bids in total). He has shown that voters love him, so don’t be surprised if he crops up again here. Let’s see.

Make your predictions at Gold Derby now. Download our free and easy app for Apple/iPhone devices or Android (Google Play) to compete against legions of other fans plus our experts and editors for best prediction accuracy scores. See our latest prediction champs. Can you top our esteemed leaderboards next? Always remember to keep your predictions updated because they impact our latest racetrack odds, which terrify Hollywood chiefs and stars. Don’t miss the fun. Speak up and share your huffy opinions in our famous forums where 5,000 showbiz leaders lurk every day to track latest awards buzz. Everybody wants to know: What do you think? Who do you predict and why?

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

Best of GoldDerby

Sign up for Gold Derby's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.