Emmys: 33 Supporting Actors Pose for Star-Studded Class Photo

6:00 AM 6/4/2018

by Rebecca Ford and Bryn Elise Sandberg

At a massive garden party shoot, top supporting contenders — from Lakeith Stanfield to Kate Bosworth to Brendan Fraser — reveal their toughest scenes, the roles they'd love to play (Sheela from 'Wild Wild Country') and their teen TV crushes.

Kwaku Alston

Their roles couldn't be more different — from aspiring spies (Holly Taylor on The Americans) to awkward tech execs (Zach Woods on Silicon Valley) to sheriffs searching for justice (Scoot McNairy on Godless) and a man who loses his longtime partner at the hands of a serial killer (Ricky Martin on The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story) — but one thing these 33 supporting actors have in common is that they've all brought to life memorable characters on TV in the past year. On April 17, at a beautiful estate in Silver Lake, these breakouts gathered together for The Hollywood Reporter's annual megashoot, which reunited old friends (like This Is Us' Susan Kelechi Watson and Insecure's Yvonne Orji, who stuck around after the shoot to snap selfies together) and brought together many actors who had never met before. By the end of the lovely garden party shoot, a few stories had been swapped and new friendships forged as they all prepared for the long Emmy season ahead.

(Click to enlarge image)

  1. 1
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    Jordana Spiro

    'Ozark' (Netflix)

    Kwaku Alston

    Who should play you in a biopic?
    Lady Gaga would be able to give me some new colors that I didn't know about myself. We're both nice girls from New York.

    Most intimidating scene?
    The first scene I did because the first scene I did I had to basically bitch out Jason Bateman, and I was a little terrified because I grew up watching him and I thought he was so awesome.

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Jesse from Full House.

  2. 2
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    Brendan Fraser

    'Trust' (FX)

    Kwaku Alston

    What inspired you to act?
    Charlie Chaplin. I thought, "I want to do that." I can't do that, but I want to find a way that I do what I do the way he does what he does. 

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    I'm going to go with Miami Vice.

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Farrah Fawcett. I'm that age.

     

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    D'Arcy Carden

    'The Good Place' (NBC)

    Kwaku Alston

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    Eleven on Stranger Things. There's emotional and funny parts and she gets to be powerful and do cool magic-y stuff.

    Most intimidating scene?
    I think there was a scene with Ted Danson where it was a little more on the emotional side, that I just wanted to be perfect. It was a blast, and it ended up being a great time, and it worked out right. But when I read it in the script it was like, "Oh, I know what this is supposed to be, and it has to be perfect." So I was stressed.

    Who should play you in a biopic?
    I mean, I want to flatter myself, but I keep thinking of older men … Martin Short, or … maybe Steve Martin, I think that's a perfect casting. Not just because we look alike, you know, but also because we have the similar spirit!

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Alyssa Milano on Who's the Boss, and it still is.

    What inspired you to act?
    I think it was actually Rudy on The Cosby Show, because it was a similar age and I kind of — you know when you see something and you're like, "Wait, a kid can do that?" Like when you were a kid and you didn't really realize it was an option? I homed in on her and was like, "She's doing what I want to do."

  4. 4
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    Hilary Duff

    'Younger' (TV Land)

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Jonathan Taylor Thomas from Home Improvement. Definitely had pictures on my wall from J14.

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    I'm obsessed with the TV show Easy right now. I'd love to have a role on Easy. They follow different couples on every episode, and they come back every season and follow up with each couple. And it's kind of depressing, but it's also really interesting and relatable. And I would love to be on that show. I'll take any part.

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    Boy Meets World.

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    J.B. Smoove

    'Curb Your Enthusiasm' (HBO)

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    On This Is Us, they've got "the big three," so I'd be the [fourth kid] that people forgot about. And I'll be myself but I'll be on my knees the whole time.

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    Sanford and Son — I used to love me some Sanford and Son. I used to love that. Ain't nothing better than a father calling his son "big dummy."

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    Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine

    'The Chi' (Showtime)

    Kwaku Alston

    Most intimidating scene?
     
    There wasn’t just one scene, there was a lot of scenes with [my character] Ronnie where I literally stayed up all night a couple times because I felt like he was beaten down or he would’ve been up all night. 

    What inspired you to act?
    The first thing I think I saw was onstage, and that was Swan Lake. I don’t think that had an impact in terms of me being an actor, but I remember seeing the show and just feeling like it was a magical world. And then I was in the third grade when I did my first play, which was Peter Pan. I played a pirate.

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    First thing that came to mind was The Incredible Hulk. And I was always terrified of that opening sequence when he looks up and his face turns into half the Hulk and half Bruce — that always scared the hell out of me.

    Who should play you in a biopic?
    Meryl Streep. Of course, anyone says Meryl Streep, but this would be the biggest challenge for her.

     

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    Paul Sparks

    'Waco' (Paramount Network)

    Kwaku Alston

    Who should play you in a biopic?
    Michael Shannon, because I'd like to see him make fun of me while he was trying to play me.

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    I guess I watched a lot of Gilligan's Island. It's an important TV show in the canon.

    Who was your first TV crush?
    The person I remember is Laura San Giacomo from sex, lies, and videotape. I remember being totally enamored of her.

    What inspired you to act?
    Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke is probably one of my favorite things that I've ever seen. I love his sort of ease. I love how unexpected he can be at times.

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    Alex Borstein

    'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' (Amazon)

    Kwaku Alston

    What inspired you to act?
    Mary Tyler Moore in Ordinary People. But it didn't make me want to act — it made me want to eat less.

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    Peter Sarsgaard

    'The Looming Tower' (Hulu)

    Kwaku Alston

    Who should play you in a biopic?
    Ewan McGregor. It's so obvious. We'll do it for each other.

    Most intimidating scene?
    Probably the scene where Wren, Schmitt and I see — it's the aftermath of 9/11 — so we're playing that day. It was not something I looked forward to at all, since I was there that day.

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    Bagwan Rajneesh. I've been watching Wild Wild Country. I think I have the chest hair.

    Who was your first TV crush?
    It was probably Suzanne Somers. Me and every other Midwestern boy.

    What inspired you to act?
    I saw Geraldine Page in a movie called Trip to Bountiful when I first started to act, and it seemed like the most impossible thing she had done. It was like a miracle onscreen. I actually feel like that might be the best performance I've ever seen even to date.

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    Yvonne Strahovski

    'The Handmaid's Tale' (Hulu)

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Dawson's Creek's Pacey. I remember meeting [Joshua Jackson] for the first time at Comic-Con. I was a real goober. 

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    I wouldn't mind joining the Big Little Lies group. I don't know what role I'd play, but they're great.

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    Dawson's Creek.

     

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    Celia Imrie

    'Better Things' (FX)

    Kwaku Alston

    Most intimidating scene?
    When Pamela Adlon said, "You remember when I told you about my mother pruning her roses with no clothes on? We're going to do that scene today." 

    Who was your first TV crush?
    I guess George Clooney. I know I'm among many, but he's irresistible, isn't he?

     

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    Shaunette Renee Wilson

    'The Resident' (Fox)

    Kwaku Alston

    What inspired you to act?
    The Color Purple. There were so many black beautiful women in it.

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Will Smith, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    The Handmaid's Tale.

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    Degrassi. Every Friday night after church, and then talk about it all week at school.

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    Scoot McNairy

    'Godless' (Netflix)

    Kwaku Alston

    Who should play you in a biopic?
    Giovanni Ribisi. He's a fantastic actor, and he constantly takes jobs from me. 

    Most intimidating scene?
    The scene between me and Michelle Dockery when he sort of professes his love to her at his house. And more so because it was my first day of shooting, and it was kind of a poignant scene in the show, so it kind of kept me up at night.

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    The Fall Guy. Once I hit 9 or 10, I didn't watch TV for about 15 years. There's a big gap there where I missed a lot of stuff.

     

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    Anthony Carrigan

    'Barry' (HBO)

    Kwaku Alston

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    On Naked and Afraid, where you have to survive for 21 days with nothing but a knife and a fire starter. I think that would be a method actor challenge for me.

    Who should play you in a biopic?
    Joe Gatt, who's like twice my size. He's like a pro-wrestler guy and an actor. And then also Kevin Bull, who's an American Ninja Warrior. So you can be sure that whoever plays me is gonna definitely make me look like Jason Bourne.

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    I used to come home every day and watch Saved by the Bell. I just did. I came home, it was always on.

    Who was your first TV crush?
    I would probably say Lauren Ambrose from Six Feet Under.

    What inspired you to act?
    The Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang because he was so scary and I was like, "Wow, if someone can have this effect on me, like, I would love to kind of be able to do that." Not just by scaring people. By also making them feel other emotions as well.

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    Zoe Perry

    'Young Sheldon' (CBS)

    Kwaku Alston

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Jordan Catalano on My So-Called Life. My dad was on the show, so I got to go visit the set and meet a young Jared Leto.

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    Renee Elise Goldsberry

    'Altered Carbon' (Netflix)

    Kwaku Alston

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    I loved Big Little Lies and am dreaming of a way that I could get myself on that show.

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Michael Jackson, and he was everywhere — he was in The Wiz, he was in videos. We used to stay up all night to watch him on MTV and to call him a crush almost does a disservice to the love I felt for him.

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    Zach Woods

    'Silicon Valley' (HBO)

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Kim Delaney from NYPD Blue. I both want to be her and be with her. 

    Most intimidating scene?
    There's a scene where I have a plastic surgery–style procedure, and then I'm dealing with the results of that. That made me nervous.

    Who should play you in a biopic?
    Paul Ryan.

    What inspired you to act?
    I loved Christopher Guest movies. I loved John Cazale in anything, like The Deer Hunter.

     

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    T.R. Knight

    'Genius: Picasso' (Nat Geo)

    Kwaku Alston

    Show you'd love to be on?
    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Maybe I could deliver a pizza, or be a milkman in that time period.

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    The Muppet Show. That's my first memory of television. I think it must have already been on repeats by the time I saw it.

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    Yvonne Orji

    'Insecure' (HBO)

    Most intimidating scene?
    Probably the very last scene where Molly goes to open the door and it's Dro. I just knew that was going to be so problematic because it's like girl, have you learned nothing? And Black Twitter let me know that I clearly have not learned anything, because they were very upset. And it was like, also, Yvonne Orji is not Molly Carter. It was like, "You in danger, girl, why would you do this?" It was a visceral reaction and, you know what, guys? I agree!

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    Susan Kelechi Watson [from This Is Us] is my friend — I wish I could embody Beth. I actually interviewed with her and I was like, "What advice would Beth give Molly?" Because clearly Beth is where Molly aspires to be, and she has some gaps.

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    Saved by the Bell. And just the entire TGI Fridays lineup as well. Fresh Prince [of Bel-Air]. There was a lot of good TV when I was a teenager, like five seconds ago.

    Who was your first TV crush?
    It might be A.C. Slater [Mario Lopez]. Because I was like, "I don't know, Lisa, this is tough. Like, AC or Zack? Hmm."

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    Ricky Martin

    'The Assassination of Gianni Versace' (FX)

    Kwaku Alston

    What inspired you to act?
    A movie many years ago called The Priest. I grew up Catholic, and it was sad, it was intense. 

    Most intimidating scene?
    I was playing Gianni Versace's lover, so to have to shoot a scene where you find your lover murdered in the streets was intense. I think I lived as Antonio for those 10 days that we were in Miami because we were in the set, we were there right where it actually happened, so the energy of that house really was of impact for me and my performance.

     

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    Kate Bosworth

    'The Long Road Home' (Nat Geo)

    What inspired you to act?
    Anything Michelle Pfeiffer was in, I was just obsessed with, and I really loved Robin Wright in The Princess Bride.

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    I love The Handmaid's Tale.

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    Felicity. And actually that's a J.J. Abrams show. Not a lot of people know that because they know all of the sci-fi stuff now, but I actually went in on an audition with him once and I was like, "I love Felicity." And he was like, "Whoa, that's a big throwback."

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    Betty Gilpin

    'Glow' (Netflix)

    Kwaku Alston

    Most intimidating scene?
    When Debby comes in screaming holding the baby, because I was concerned that the baby would be disturbed by an insane woman sobbing into his ear.

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    Any role in The Handmaid's Tale. Those women are doing the most amazing, Olympic-level acting, and it's so inspiring to watch.

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    Well, I was definitely all about the 1998 WB lineup. LIke, Monday was Felicity, Tuesday was Buffy, Wednesday was Dawson's [Creek], Thursdays was ... I don't remember, and then the TGI lineup. I mean, yeah I was definitely a Dawson's girl, and I definitely owe my terrible posture right now to Joey, portrayed by Katie Holmes, because I thought to be cool you had to be like this (bends over).

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Joey Lawrence in Blossom really made my body respond as a child, because I knew I was a straight woman. I was a Zack Morris [Mark-Paul Gosselaar] girl, but A.C. Slater was my jam. Guido fireman is kind of my baseline for what I'm attracted to. Dothraki is really my type.

    What inspired you to act?
    Probably Carol Burnett in Annie. Just seeing someone just lose their mind in the most hilarious, heartbreaking way, and someone be ridiculous but also kind of think that they're a queen in their delusional brain.

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    Lakeith Stanfield

    'Atlanta' (FX)

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    I'd like to play Louie Anderson's role on Baskets! I love that character. I'd just like to play an old woman.

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Meagan Good, but like when she had braces back in the day. After that it was Jennifer Love Hewitt in Can't Hardly Wait.

    What inspired you to act?
    Probably Larenz Tate's role in Menace II Society. It was just very realistic to me and I was like, wow, I've never seen people like how I see walking around [in real life] on-camera, so I thought maybe I could be able to be on there. And also The Lion King was really — Simba was, like, how I felt.

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    Holly Taylor

    'The Americans' (FX)

    Kwaku Alston

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    I love Lizzie McGuire so much. Hilary Duff is here today, so I'm trying not to freak out. 

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    I would love to play Michael Scott on The Office even though the show isn't on anymore.

    Who was your first TV crush?
    It was the guy who played Logan [Matthew Underwood] in Zoey 101. I thought he was so cute and he was the bad boy with his curly hair and stuff.

    What inspired you to act?
    Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games, because I felt like she did such an amazing job in that movie and experienced so many different emotions.

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    Richard Schiff

    'The Good Doctor' (ABC)

    Kwaku Alston

    What made you want to act?
    Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Those '70s movies which had a social conscience.

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    I gotta figure out the ages, but All in the Family is one I'd never miss. Later on I found The Mary Tyler Moore Show, late at night. it'd be repeated from 1:00 in the morning to 2:30 in the morning, three episodes from the show. I used to be a night person doing survival jobs like driving a cab or whatever I did, and I was directing plays back then, so when I was working directing I would take that break every single night to watch three episodes of Mary Tyler Moore, which became my favorite show of all time.

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    Nicole Richie

    'Great News' (NBC)

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Luke Perry. 

    Most intimidating scene?
    I shot a music video, my very first one. I was so excited even though it wasn't mine in real life, I felt like it was. This was my Britney moment and I really wanted to do a good job. And I was just living my dream.

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    I never missed Beverly Hills, 90210; that show gave me every lesson I needed to learn in life. We learned about divorce, adoption, getting burned, addiction. That show changed me.

     

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    Joe Keery

    'Stranger Things' (Netflix)

    Most intimidating scene?
    Probably having to get broken up with by Nancy. I think it was fun for her. She was a very convincing drunk. 

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    Maybe someone from Game of Thrones? I just met Isaac [Hempstead Wright], who plays Bran in Game of Thrones, maybe that role. I don't know, except he has no legs for the entire show. That's kind of tough.

    What made you want to act?
    Probably Harrison Ford in Star Wars. Or Indiana Jones.

     

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    Susan Kelechi Watson

    'This Is Us' (NBC)

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Boris Kodjoe on Soul Food. My friend and I thought, "How does that beauty exist in one man?" 

    Most intimidating scene?
    When we shot in Vegas, the scene where Randall and I have that big fight. Yeah, that was something I kept working at, because they had never been that angry at one another onscreen. So it was like, how do we live in this kind of new space onscreen knowing that this is a real married couple and this kind of thing happens?

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    Martin.

     

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    Maggie Q

    'Designated Survivor' (ABC)

    Kwaku Alston

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    Reruns of Wonder Woman, because I was besotted by Lynda Carter.

    Most intimidating scene?
    It was probably the scene where I find out that the death of my mentor has happened. There was just a particular approach I wanted to take with it, because it's different than just someone you love, or somebody you're close to.

    Who was your first TV crush?
    I think it might've been, not current Leo DiCaprio, but Growing Pains DiCaprio. I think that's probably what it was. I think for movies it was Ralph Macchio.

    What inspired you to act?
    It wasn't a female, weirdly enough, because I think [some might] see a female onscreen and think, "Oh, I want to be like her." Besides Lynda Carter — who I thought was the craziest, bravest woman onscreen at the time — it actually was a film that I saw when I was young. It was called The Killing Fields, and it was John Malkovich and Julian Sands. My mom is an immigrant, and it was a sort of story about what happened during [the Vietnam War in Cambodia] and how people were able to leave. And that to me, [Haing Ngor, who won the best supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of Cambodian refugee Dith Pran], to be able to portray what my family went through, made me realize that emotions are the great equalizer with us. It doesn't matter whether it's a man or a woman, if somebody can give you the idea and the feeling of what happened to your family and their past, that is a huge gift, and that affected me profoundly.

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    Cleopatra Coleman

    'Last Man on Earth' (Fox)

    Kwaku Alston

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus' on Veep. 

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Probably someone from Neighbors, which is a soap opera from Australia, but I was obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio. I mean, who wasn't right?

    What inspired you to act?
    I grew up watching a lot of comedy and a lot of interesting films. It's hard to say, but I really really loved this movie called Boomerang with Eddie Murphy, and I just loved how funny it was and how beautiful all the women were in the movie. I guess I've just always been a performer, because I was a dancer [as well].

     

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    John Early

    'Search Party' (TBS)

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Robert Downey Jr. in Ally McBeal. It was the birth of my sexuality. 

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    I think Osho in Wild Wild Country. I'd love to feel that power. You know who I really want to play is Sheela in Wild Wild Country.

    What inspired you to act?
    Probably Toni Collette in Muriel's Wedding.

     

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    Margarita Levieva

    'The Deuce' (HBO)

    Kwaku Alston

    What's a role you'd love to play?
    Sheela from Wild Wild Country. It's one of those characters that is both impressive and terrifying. 

    Most intimidating scene?
    Maybe one of the scenes when I confront one of the pimps in episode five. Tariq [Trotter] playing the pimp is a really strong character and can really get in your face. In the first season, Abby's still young and still finding her sea legs, so I wanted to make sure it came from an intelligent point of view, and not just like an enraged young girl who's not quite sure how to handle these situations. Oh, and definitely the pilot scene. Having sex with my professor and having to be topless for the entire scene while speaking definitely keeps you up at night.

    Who was your first TV crush?
    Jared Leto in My So-Called Life. It was him and Claire Danes, I had a crush on both of them in that show, for sure.

     

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    Sara Gilbert

    'Roseanne' (ABC)

    Favorite TV show as a teen?
    The Wonder Years. Lecy Goranson would come over and we'd watch The Wonder Years and then Roseanne and have frozen yogurt. 

    Who was your first TV crush?
    I date all my crushes.

     

    A version of this story first appeared in the May 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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