Golden Globes 2022: Can Will Smith or Benedict Cumberbatch Win?

The 2022 Golden Globes are well on their way. A number of high-profile movies — including Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and sci-fi epic Dune — are competing for the awards. But the Best Actor in a Drama category is particularly stacked. Will Smith and Benedict Cumberbatch are up for their roles in King Richard and The Power of the Dog, respectively. But can either actor beat the three previous Golden Globe winners in their category?

Jada Pinkett Smith wears a green dress and Will Smith wears a suit and holds his hand up while speaking on the red carpet at the 2016 Golden Globes
Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith | VALERIE MACON/AFP

Neither Will Smith nor Benedict Cumberbatch have won a Golden Globe

Judging by the current buzz, Smith and Cumberbatch are leading the Best Actor in a Drama race. Both actors have been in this category before. Smith was previously nominated for 2001’s Ali, 2007’s The Pursuit of Happyness, and 2016’s Concussion, the first two of which also earned him Oscar nominations. And Cumberbatch earned both a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination for his work in the 2014 film The Imitation Game.

Neither actor has ever won a Golden Globe thus far, despite nominations on both the film and television sides of the ceremony. 2022 could be the chance for one of them to finally break that losing streak. But to do so, they’ll have to overcome three of the most acclaimed actors working today, all of whom already have Golden Globe wins behind them. The 2022 nominations paint a complicated picture filled with five absolutely gifted actors.

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But the 2 actors might still be out of luck at the 2022 ceremony

The remaining three actors in the Best Actor in a Drama category are Mahershala Ali for Swan Song, Javier Bardem for Being the Ricardos, and Denzel Washington for The Tragedy of Macbeth. Of those three, Washington perhaps poses the greatest threat to Smith and Cumberbatch’s chances of winning. He’s the only one in the category to have two Golden Globes, one for 1989’s Glory and the other for 1999’s The Hurricane.

Meanwhile, Ali and Bardem won their awards for 2018’s Green Book and 2007’s No Country for Old Men, respectively. The actors both went on to win Oscars for those same performances. So perhaps the question is which of these five has the best chance to win an Academy Award for the same performance. If that’s the case, the answer of who is most likely to win Best Actor in a Drama becomes much clearer.

Can either Will Smith or Benedict Cumberbatch win the Oscar?

While Smith and Cumberbatch are up against three titans of cinema, they still have the best chances of winning. Although The Power of the Dog has wider support at the Golden Globes with seven nominations, Cumberbatch could very well see himself losing the Best Actor in a Drama trophy to Smith for a few reasons. The Power of the Dog has a more likely chance at Best Motion Picture — Drama and Best Director.

Smith’s role in King Richard is the clear standout of that movie. Moreover, many feel the actor is due after so many previous nominations. So right now, the smart money is on Smith taking the Golden Globe on his way to a fight for the Oscar. If everything goes how most expect, the Best Actor race may boil down to Smith against Andrew Garfield for Tick, Tick… Boom! But before that happens, let’s see how Smith does at the Globes.

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