Emmys 2021: ‘This Is Us’ Star Chris Sullivan Is More ‘Excited’ About Another Nomination Than His Own

The 2021 Emmy Awards are back, airing live on CBS. Once again the hit NBC series, This Is Us, has snagged some nominations. While Chris Sullivan, the actor who plays Kate Pearson’s (Chrissy Metz) husband, Toby Damon, is up for an award it’s not his Emmy nod he’s “most excited” about. 

Chris Sullivan’s nominated for an Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy

'This Is Us' star Chris Sullivan smiles wearing a brown jacket and holding a microphone during a visit to Build Series in 2019
Chris Sullivan | Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

While he’s no stranger to winning awards with the rest of his This Is Us cast members, Sullivan’s not exactly used to winning solo awards for his performance on the NBC drama from Dan Fogelman. Sullivan’s never won a solo Emmy but the 2021 Emmy Awards could change that. 

When the Emmy nominees were announced in July 2021 Sullivan found himself on the Television Academy’s list of nominees. He’d secured a spot as one of the eight nominees in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category. However, unlike years past, the 41-year-old, who is now a father like his This Is Us character, isn’t facing off against any of his co-stars. Instead, he’s going up against actors from TV shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale, and Perry Mason

The other actors who are up for the same award are as follows: 

  • Michael K. Williams (Lovecraft Country)
  • Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  • Max Minghella (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  • O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  • John Lithgow (Perry Mason)
  • Tobias Menzies (The Crown)
  • Giancarlo Esposito (The Mandalorian)

The actor is ‘more excited’ about ‘This Is Us’ getting a Best Drama Emmy nod than his own

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Sullivan is certainly excited about being nominated for an Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy but he’s even more excited about This Is Us getting an Outstanding Drama Series nod. Of the eight nominees, This Is Us is the only program from a major network. The rest are from streamers such as Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max, and Hulu.

In an August 2021 interview with Gold Derby, Sullivan talked about what the nomination means for This Is Us when the show’s up against other shows with bigger budgets. 

“It’s hard to watch network television not be taken very seriously,” he said“There is a lot of great television being made, but especially This is Us. We don’t have huge cinematic budgets. That has been the nomination that we are most excited about this year. That the show has been nominated for Best Drama.”

This would be Chris Sullivan’s first solo Emmy win

‘This Is Us’ cast members Chris Sullivan, Mandy Moore, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, Sterling K. Brown, and Susan Kelechi Watson on the red carpet at the NBCUniversal Press Tour, January 11, 2020
(L-R) ‘This Is Us’ cast members Chris Sullivan, Mandy Moore, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, Sterling K. Brown, and Susan Kelechi Watson | Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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If Sullivan beats out his fellow nominees to take home the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor it will mark his first solo Emmy win. He’s won two Screen Actors Guild Awards with his fellow This Is Us cast members but never a solo award. This isn’t the first time Sullivan’s been nominated for an Emmy for his performance as Toby. In 2019 he was up for the same award but lost out to Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage. 

‘This Is Us’ is up for 6 Emmy Awards in 2021

Chrissy Metz wears a yellow floral dress as she looks at Chris Sullivan in a scene from ‘This Is Us’ Season 5
Chrissy Metz and Chris Sullivan in ’This Is Us’ Season 5 | Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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According to the Television Academy, This Is Us has been nominated for six Emmys in 2021. They are as follows: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup, Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama (Phylicia Rashad), Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score), and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Sterling K. Brown). 

The 2021 Emmy Awards air on Sept. 15, 2021, on CBS.