Mad Men Emmy Shocker: Newcomer Jessica Pare to Vie With Elisabeth Moss for Lead Actress Nod

Megan Draper is movin’ on up, indeed.

In the same week that Mad Men‘s secretary-turned-copywriter opted to bail on SCDP and pursue a career as an actress, awards hub GoldDerby.com is reporting that series newbie Jessica Paré has submitted herself in the Lead Actress in a Drama race for this year’s Emmys. That puts her in the same category as Mad Men original cast member Elisabeth Moss, who plays Peggy.

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The “face-off” mirrors one from a year ago, when word broke that January Jones was stepping up from the Supporting Actress field to vie with Moss for a Lead nomination. This time around, however, GoldDerby says, Jones has returned to the supporting ranks, alongside cast mate Christina Hendricks.

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Supposing that you were among those deciding which of Mad Men‘s Lead Actress candidates gets a nomination — who gets your vote? Hey, poll!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Alex says:

    I guess it makes sense since Megan’s been getting just as much screen time as Peggy this season if not more…

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      We must be watching different shows, the show I’ve been watching isn’t giving Peggy a fraction of the same amount of screen time as Megan. Elisabeth Moss is obviously not getting a lead actress nomination this year as she’s hardly been on the show at all. At this rate, I doubt Christina Hendricks is getting a supporting nod as she’s been on even less.

      • GDB says:

        Actually actors choose what category to submit themselves as so it’s up to them.

      • KevyB says:

        I’m with you. This has been a mostly Peggy-free season. Whereas Mrs Draper is in every other scene. If Elisabeth Moss gets one good scene, she should submit that show for Supporting and get it over with. Unless they give her another Don/Peggy showstopper.

  2. Dani says:

    Ok I’m one of the few people for whom Megan has kind of grown on me, but just no. Has to be Elisabeth Moss. She’s absolutely shining this season.

  3. Izzie says:

    bisou bisou, SERIOUSLY?

  4. SKM says:

    This isn’t surprising, most of this season’s plotlines so far have in some way revolved around Megan. Based on Mad Men’s award show cred alone, she definitely has a chance of being nominated alone with Elisabeth Moss.

  5. George says:

    Peggy’s obviously the better character, the only question is if Moss is the better actor. I think she probably is. But I don’t trust the Emmys anyway, for many reasons including that they keep giving best variety show to the Daily Show over the Colbert Report.

  6. slizabeth says:

    Has Elizabeth Moss won one yet? If not, shame on them! If so, then… I guess it’s okay. Maybe.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      Elisabeth Moss has never won. Last year really should have been her year for that.

      • KevyB says:

        There are just too many A-lister women out there for the Mad Men girls to ever get Emmys. If they wanted a shot at a real Emmy, their only chance is Supporting, until Glenn Close, Kyra Sedgwick, Julianna Margulies, Kathy Bates, Connie Britton, Mariska Hargitay, Mireille Enos, and this year possibly the underappreciated women from Breaking Bad, not to mention Danaerys and Cersei from Game of Thrones all quit acting on television.

  7. Lu says:

    It doesn’t matter anyway, because neither one of them will win or possibly even get nominated.

    • Sarah says:

      Elisabeth has been nominated for an Emmy 3 years in a row and it is a shame she hasn’t won yet. She’s a sure bet IMO.

  8. rachel says:

    Nothing against Jessica Pare, but I can’t stand her character Megan at all. Its like Mad Men has been shoving her down our throats this season. I wish they would realize they have other characters on the show.

  9. Natalie says:

    I like both but Peggy seems to have more Emmy-worthy material. I’d go for Moss. :)

  10. YowzaPowza says:

    I don’t understand why anyone on this show puts their hat in the ring for anything other than supporting. Unless you are Jon Hamm, you are not the lead.

  11. anna says:

    Megan is ruining Mad Men and Pare doesn’t deserve to be nominated for anything.

    • John From Raleigh says:

      Pare doesn’t write the scrips. Matt W. and his crew do, if you don’t like the Megan character that is fine but don’t blame Jessica’s acting. She is doing the best she can with what is written. I love Elizabeth Moss, and the scenes she has been in have been great but it doesn’t distract from Megan at all for me.

  12. Keeko says:

    It really doesn’t matter, because they’re both going to lose the Emmy to Claire Danes.

  13. Megan says:

    Dream on!

  14. pria says:

    That seems fair to me, she’s been the star of the season.

  15. april-ann says:

    Jessica Pare gets my vote as to who should submit and be nominated for lead actress. However she would never get my vote to win. I’d love to have said “neither” (and I think I did click on that before I realized what the question here really was), but we ARE talking about The Megan Show after all. No one else has had the stories or the airtime. There is no other “lead actress” unfortunately.

  16. Allison says:

    It does make sense. Jessica is getting a lot of air time and is doing a fine job. I do think Elizabeth is certainly the better actress but I also don’t know what the rest of the season has in store and therefore what episode(s) will be submitted by both. I’ve been a fan of MM’s season 5 in general, though. I’d wager from the last episode that Megan’s presence will be reduced so that’ll be a plus for her detractors.

  17. orchardist says:

    I think it’s accurate from a storyline and screentime perspective but she’s frankly the 10th name in the credit plus there are to “with’s” Robert Morse and John Slattery. So, I think it’s a mis-step. Further, I enjoy Megan enough but Elisabeth Moss blows her off the screen.

    Elisabeth Moss is the second name in the credits. Lead actress for her is accurate. And she’s putting in Emmy worthy performances this year. The way she appeared to physically crumble when Ma Olson put the harsh light of reality on her decision to move in with Abe? Brilliant.

    Now if we could just get a Vincent Kartheiser nomination for Supporting Actor. He’s third listed in the show, is having an outstanding year but it’s likely only Slattery will get nominated because Emmy voters are lazy and vote for who they know.

  18. Britta Unfiltered says:

    This isn’t shocking news at all, I knew Mad Men would do this as it’s been The Megan Show all season. Nonetheless, it’s disappointing to hear. Actually, I take it back, I am shocked by one piece of news. I am shocked they are submitting Elisabeth Moss for lead actress over supporting and that kind of screws her, I think. No way the Emmy voters will consider her role on the show this season to be a lead role when she’s barely been on. Remember last year when they tried that with January Jones (who’s role had been reduced) and had her compete against Elisabeth Moss for lead? Lizzie got the nod, January didn’t. I don’t think Elisabeth Moss will get a nomination this year, which breaks my heart as she’s such a good actress and so deserving of an Emmy.
    Now for Jessica Pare…hmm, that’s a tough one to call. It’s possible she could get nominated. The last couple of years have been slim pickings for lead actress nominations at the Emmys due to a lack of great roles for women. And the Emmy voters will probably want a representative from Mad Men in that category, and they’ll have to pick her by default since she’s been the only true female lead. I guess I can see her getting nominated.
    But as a person above said, it doesn’t really matter because Claire Danes will win. She’s probably the biggest shoo-in at the Emmys this year. She’s on a really great show, the character is the best written female role on all of television right now, and her performance blows anything out of the water. I knew she would win this year the second in that season I stopped thinking of her as Claire Danes and started calling her Carrie Mathison in my head. She disappeared into that role so well, I forgot who she was in real life. I think when an actor as famous as her can make you forget who they really are, it’s a sign of a truly great performance.

    • re says:

      Elisabeth Moss still belongs in lead. Peggy’s the only character on the show who’s screen time hasn’t been reduced to make way for The Megan Show.

  19. Seanny says:

    Pare has been absolutely believable this year as Megan, a surprisingly complex, frequently compelling character that requires a wide range. Moss is still great, probably better.

  20. rubytu says:

    Pare is not a best actress, supporting or otherwise. Her character hasn’t even been explored. I don’t understand what would make her nominate herself.

    • W says:

      she’s merely submitting herself in the race. nobody has been nominate yet. all the actors pretty much submit every year no matter how big or slim their chances are, it’s just show business.

  21. W says:

    Zou Bisou Bisou, bitches. Pare has been fantastic on Mad Men, more than hold her own on a show full of heavyweights.

  22. AlyssaGs says:

    Based on screen time and plot relevance Megan would be lead. Bummer. This whole thing just serves as a reminder that Elizabeth Moss has been given material this year that has grossly underused her talents.

    Suppose it does not matter though– Claire Danes should have this category locked down.

  23. ramification says:

    Megan represents the generational divide on Mad Men and I think the focus on her character (and how different she is from Betty) is essential to the story Matt Weiner wants to tell about the time and place the Mad Men characters are in. She has definitely been the female lead. As for Moss, she only needs to submit one strong episode to be considered, and she’s had her share of them this series.

  24. Lisa says:

    IMHO unless Mad Men turns this season around soon they are not going to win an Emmy for the Best Drama Series Again.
    Personally I think when Matthew Weiner signed his 2 year and out deal with AMC he knew that he could do whatever he wanted with the show without the worry of renewal .
    It shows.
    Mad Men has become the Megan Show.
    It makes sense that Jessica Pare / Megan is nominated as a lead actress because she has had the most screen time however that doesn’t make her the Best Actress in a Drama Series.
    That should go to Claire Danes.

  25. re says:

    There is nothing about Jessica Pare’s acting that is deserving of an Emmy. If she gets in over Elisabeth Moss I am going to be very upset!

  26. Norma says:

    I have to admit, Elisabeth Moss has had some great scenes this year, I loved her when she made Roger give her all the money in his wallet. Another great one was when she blew up at the presentation, I think for Heinz. In some ways she is becoming a little Draperesque! For me, the program has not had the bite from past seasons, but I do think Elisabeth Moss and John Slattery deserve emmys. Slattery always delivers his lines with great timing.

  27. drush76 says:

    Jessica Pare is just not that good of an actress to deserve an Emmy nomination. Just because her character has dominated the season, does not mean she deserves a nomination. I’m really not that impressed. She’s okay. That’s it.

  28. Janet K says:

    Pare is a horrible actress. I can’t believe that the directors/producers and casting would hire this woman! The talent of the other actresses and actors on the show compared with Pare is like caviar and onion dip. All I can say is, who did this woman pay off to get the role. Phew! SMH, just terrible acting on her part. And, don’t get me started on those teeth!

    • Sandy S says:

      I totally agree! Terrible! Not just the teeth but the way she talks and twitches her head and bounces around. Like she’s overacting being a giddy child. Blech. Make it stop.