Pop Culture

Matthew Macfadyen Wins Succession-Stacked Supporting-Actor Race at Emmys 2022

The drama-supporting-actor category at the 2022 Emmys played out like a Waystar Royco boardroom showdown, with three Succession men vying for bragging rights. But it was Matthew Macfadyen who emerged victorious for his perplexing (and, as of season three, double-crossing) Tom Wambsgans, beating out his costars Kieran Culkin and Nicholas Braun.

Macfadyen hugged his tablemates, including costars Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong, before taking the stage. “Oh, golly, okay,” he began. “Thank you so much to the Television Academy. I’m deeply flattered and thrilled to bits. I must say it really is such a pleasure and a privilege for me to play this bonkers gift of a role in this wonderful show. My admiration and my gratitude to [creator] Jesse Armstrong and his remarkable writing team is boundless. They are truly amazing, they just are.”

After two seasons of scheming to be promoted from begrudgingly accepted son-in-law to family favorite, Macfadyen’s Tom pulled the ultimate betrayal in Succession’s third-season finale, pledging allegiance to Cox’s Logan Roy and double-crossing his wife, Shiv (Sarah Snook). One of the show’s writers has compared Tom to Princess Diana, a parallel that the actor acknowledged while speaking with Vanity Fair. Like the People’s Princess, Tom is “slightly other,” Macfadyen said, explaining that the feeling was familiar during drama school, a period when he longed for “a sense of self and place.”

“My thanks to our brilliant producers, to HBO, to Mark Mylod and our gang of directors,” Macfadyen continued during Monday night’s speech. “And of course to the most supremely talented and lovely crew and cast I can imagine.” He concluded his brief speech by thanking his wife. “My darling Keeley [Hawes], I’m lucky to have you too,” he said.

With his win, Macfadyen triumphed over his fellow costars, which he joked about in the Emmy press room. When asked if he now had to buy his fellow cast members dinner after his win, he joked: “Especially Kieran Culkin. No, no, no, it’s lovely. It takes any weird pressure away when it’s lots of you from the same show in a category, I think, and especially one [in which] we’re quite close company. So it’s really nice. It’s really nice. And it’s an ensemble piece as well, so it feels a bit weird.”

Despite the huge number of Succession stars nominated here, there were still some Roy family members left out in the cold. As fellow nominee and Succession cast member Culkin said to Vanity Fair’s Little Gold Men this summer: “I was like, Oh, my God, this is so cool—where the hell is Alan Ruck’s nomination? I’ve been waiting on him. He’s just so extraordinary in the show.” Other nominees in the category included past winner Billy Crudup for The Morning Show, Squid Game’s Park Hae-soo and Oh Yeong-su, and Severance’s Christopher Walken and John Turturro.

Elsewhere, Succession leads this year’s Emmy nominations with 25 overall, including 14 individual acting nods. This category could prove to be a litmus test for which series will reign in the best-drama race, with players present from several heavyweights, including Succession, Severance, and Squid Game. But for now—it’s Tom’s time atop the enterprise.


Live Updates From the 2022 Emmys

Succession vs. Squid Game, Ted Lasso vs. Barry, and, of course, red-carpet fashion. Follow the updates. 


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