For Your Consideration: The Chainsaw Award Nominees for Best Actor in a TV Series!


As FANGO fans likely know, voting season for the FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards is a very unique time for the company and horror lovers everywhere. Therefore, FANGORIA wants to make sure every nominee gets their fair due, and thus, we’ve been highlighting the nominees week by week to give greater insight to our choices. And yet in some categories, including Best Actor in a TV Series, the nominations are no brainers, even if the pool of potential nominees in fairly crowded.

In terms of our snubs, there weren’t many outside of difficult decisions: whereas the decision to nominate two actors from HANNIBAL, the decision was less so for PENNY DREADFUL and TRUE DETECTIVE. Likewise, the absence of the likes of BATES MOTEL’s Freddie Highmore, both SUPERNATURAL leads and SLEEPY HOLLOW’s Tom Mison comes not from lackluster performances but instead, divisive material, each of which lent to weak links in otherwise astonishing work. And unfortunately, the work of the TRUE BLOOD crew and the young men at the heart of HEMLOCK GROVE was incredibly contingent on the overall ensemble, therefore never quite establishing who the true “lead actor” would be.

So without further ado, here are your FANGORIA Chainsaw Award Nominees for Best Actor in a TV Series…

Hugh Dancy, HANNIBAL (NBC)

Hannibal - Season 2


In a physical, nuanced performance as Will Graham, there are few actors on TV period that can hold a candle to Hugh Dancy in HANNIBAL, especially in its near-perfect second season. Offering a multi-faceted take on the character, one that can conceivably see Will uniting with Hannibal, Dancy’s performance was consistent yet unpredictable, and his immersion into the character noticeably elevated the performances around him. Dancy wasn’t just offering the definitive version of Will Graham to date, but one that offered a psychological insight to the character through body language and suggestive inflections; a rare feat for even the most accomplished actor.




Definitely the dark horse of this specific race, Josh Hartnett won over many of his ardent critics with his performance on the first season of PENNY DREADFUL. In committing to a role that appeared initially stoic but later evolved into something much more intimate and tortured, Hartnett showed audiences a new side of himself as an actor, even going as far as holding his own against a career-best Timothy Dalton and Eva Green. Even in being a character of few words, Hartnett’s Ethan Chandler is infinitely intriguing, and his scenes with Reeve Carney’s Dorian Gray made for some of the most shocking narrative developments in a show that involves werewolves, vampires and black magic.


Andrew Lincoln, THE WALKING DEAD (AMC)

AMC "The Walking Dead" Season 5, Episode 3 "Four Walls and a Roo

A now iconic performance in horror culture, Andrew Lincoln offered some of his strongest acting moments to date in the last half-season of THE WALKING DEAD. While he previously was limited to repetitive alpha male dialogue and constant philosophical musings, Lincoln has finally found a way to shape his emotionally draining performance into something much more believable and substantial. It’s clear from his performance that Lincoln has embraced the character’s survival instincts and sense of loyalty, which makes almost all of his scenes absolutely gripping.

Matthew McConaughey, TRUE DETECTIVE (HBO)


An almost unrecognizable performance and definitely one of the strongest of the year in general, especially considering some of the wordier monologues attached to the character, Matthew McConaughey completely owned TRUE DETECTIVE as the transformative Rust Cohle. Every word and physical response oozed of the character’s cynical outlook, and McConaughey’s committed performance made Rust one of the most hypnotic and intricate characters on television. But beyond that, McConaughey created a performance of someone who was emotionally guarded in more than one way, and to watch those walls subtly crumble under McConaughey’s reign was nothing short of amazing.

Mads Mikkelsen, HANNIBAL (NBC)

Hannibal - Season 2


The only genuinely villainous performance of all the nominees, Mads Mikkelsen turned a corner in the second season of HANNIBAL into letting explicitly embracing the darker nature of the character. As pop culture’s most charismatic cannibal, Mikkelsen offers elegance and reputability as Hannibal Lecter, especially considering how risky the character’s evil actions became over the previous season. But it’s rare that a villain remains as enigmatic and interesting as long as Hannibal has been over 26 episodes, and that’s a testament to Mikkelsen’s pitch-perfect performance.


If you would like to vote for any of these actors for the Best Actor in a TV Series Chainsaw Award, check out the full ballot here and send your completed ballot to chainsaw@fangoria.com.

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About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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