Daniels deserves a nomination for this past Friday night’s episode alone.
It’s no secret that major awards ceremonies rarely spread any love to the horror genre. Notoriously, the Academy Awards have honored horror movies on only a small handful of occasions, while the Emmy Awards similarly pay little attention to the genre – despite horror being hotter than ever on the small screen for the last several years.
Sure, mainstream series’ like “The Walking Dead” and “American Horror Story” have found themselves on the Emmy radar, but you’d be hard pressed to find other horror series’ that have had the same luck over the years. Can you believe, for example, that Mads Mikkelsen was *never* nominated for his performance in “Hannibal”?!
Another actor who has thus far been snubbed at the Emmys? Ben Daniels, whose character on “The Exorcist” has been one of the best on the small screen since the series debuted on FOX last year. And in the now-running Season 2, Daniels continues to deliver a powerhouse performance that commands attention.
You need only look to a select few scenes from Season 2 to see why Daniels deserves an Emmy nomination for the role of Marcus Keane, an exorcist haunted by both his own past and the terrifying work he’s dedicated himself to.
In the episode prior to this past Friday night’s, “There But for the Grace of God, Go I,” Keane almost literally bared his soul to a new love interest; Daniels’ monologue, recounting the character’s past and digging deep into the daily horrors that torment him, displayed some of the finest acting work I’ve seen on the small screen all year.
Keane is a man haunted, and you feel that pain in his every word and facial expression.
Daniels once again delivered a powerful, gripping performance in the most recent episode of “The Exorcist,” titled “Darling Nikki.” The centerpiece of the episode was Marcus trying to provoke a response from the demon that has wormed itself into Andy; sitting across from him on the couch, Marcus pushed and taunted Andy in the hopes that the demon would make a mistake and show itself. The scene may have appeared, on the surface, to be a conversation between two men, but Daniels and John Cho brilliantly sold it for what it really was: a verbal sparring session between man and demon.
“The Exorcist” is currently the scariest show on TV, but what makes it all work is just how strong the acting is. And as one of the series’ two titular characters, it’s Ben Daniels who is unquestionably shining brightest, consistently developing Marcus Keane into the most compelling character on horror television right now.
Here’s hoping the Emmys can break past their surface level dismissal of the horror genre and see the brilliance of what Ben Daniels has brought to the screen this year.
He has damn sure earned that nomination.