What a year it has been; definitely the strangest in living memory for a lot of people! The coronavirus pandemic has swept the globe, changing our way of life for the foreseeable future, but now we see a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a vaccine.
Whilst it’s going to take some time to get back to ‘normal’ (whatever that is!), it’s reassuring to know that at some point, we will be able to hug our loved ones once more and go out for a nice meal with 30 of our friends! Just not yet, Rita Ora…
One of the main lifelines for people in 2020 has been television. A whole host of incredible performances on the small screen have left us open-mouthed, anticipating the next moves of our favourite characters and, most importantly, distracted us from the chaos of the real world.
As we open up The Female First Awards 2020, it is five of those actors who have made those distractions possible we’ll be celebrating, before choosing an overall favourite! Here are the nominees for Television Actor of the Year…
Sarah Paulson as Nurse Mildred Ratched in Ratched on Netflix
Putting together an origins story for a beloved classic villain was always going to be a challenge, but with Ryan Murphy at the head of the project and Sarah Paulson taking on the role of the manipulative Nurse Mildred Ratched of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest fame, a recipe for success was created.
Whilst we’ve been impressed by Paulson’s performances in Murphy’s other shows such as American Horror Story and American Crime Story in the past, it’s in Netflix original series Ratched where she was really allowed to let her freak flag fly.
Cold and calculating throughout, the usual sunny demeanour that we’ve become accustomed to from Paulson was shed completely, paving the way for one of the best-dressed monsters television has ever seen.
Michaela Coel as Arabella in I May Destroy You on BBC One
In a series that will undoubtedly put anybody with a heart through the emotional ringer, Michaela Coel took on the leading role of Arabella, confronting her own personal trauma whilst portraying the character, who sets about rebuilding her life after being sexually assaulted.
It’s an incredibly delicate topic that should always be approached with caution by writers, but Coel proved time and again throughout the series that she was not just the right person to create this show, but the perfect actor to deliver the stunning performance necessary.
Gillian Anderson as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Crown on Netflix
Whatever your views on the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, her impact on British politics is something that will remain a part of history forevermore. With the fourth season of Netflix original series The Crown tackling the Thatcher era, who better to bring the politician to life than seasoned actor Gillian Anderson?
Time and again, Anderson has showcased acting chops that prove she is more than capable of taking on a plethora of different characters, regardless of their personality traits and characteristics. Still, it was shocking to see just how brilliant she was when The Crown made its return.
Though I personally wasn’t around in the time period that Thatcher controlled the British government, hearing from those who were about just how accurate they feel Anderson’s portrayal is, was a sure-fire sign that she’d done a perfect job of bringing the divisive PM to life.
T’Nia Miller as Mrs Grose in The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix
Another Netflix original that had us watching, albeit from behind our pillows, was The Haunting of Bly Manor. Based on 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, the series followed a nonlinear narrative, telling the story of a young American au pair hired as the nanny for two unruly siblings in the British countryside.
Of course, with this being a horror, the kids aren’t just cheeky and mischievous; there’s something supernatural at play…
Taking on the role of housekeeper Mrs. Grose, T’Nia Miller has made her way onto our best TV performances list for the second year running, thanks to her faultless portrayal of a woman who keeps her cards very close to her chest. Saying much more would be criminal, ruining the show for those who haven’t yet seen it!
Go and get it watched and you’ll see exactly why Miller has been nominated for this award two years on the trot.
Wunmi Mosaku as Ruby Baptiste in Lovecraft Country on Sky Atlantic
Based on the novel of the same name by Matt Ruff (and continuing his original story), Lovecraft Country is one of the most addictive and thrilling shows of the year. This is part in due to the stunning performances by its incredible roster of actors, with none of them impressing more so than Wunmi Mosaku.
As racial inequality continues to run rampant throughout the globe, Mosaku’s portrayal of a woman potentially so willing to chase her dream that she would change from a black person to a white one was utterly breathtaking.
Mosaku is an assured and confident actor, able to steal any scene with poise and charm. She’s one we’ll be hoping to see a lot more from in the future!
And the winner is…
Her performance stuck with us long after I May Destroy You reached its conclusion and for that reason, she had to be the person to take this award home.
Tagged in Netflix