2021 marks the 73rd edition of The Emmys. Back in 2002, when the Emmys were turning 54 years old, the institution recognized stunt work for the first time with the Award for Outstanding Stunt Coordination. Along with other year end awards such as the Oscars, the Emmys have long been criticized for being slow to appreciate and honor stunt work. This year, however, the Emmys have finally added an award for Outstanding Stunt Performance.
Of the newly minted stunt performance nominees, only one has been previously nominated for an Emmy. Jahnel Curfman was also nominated in 2019 for her work as a stunt coordinator on Cobra Kai. In addition to Curfman, Julia Maggio, John Cihangir, and Marc Canonizado were also nominated for their work on Netflix’s Cobra Kai.
Disney+’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which featured UFC legend Georges St. Pierre as Batroc the Leaper, is also in the mix, with stunt performers John Nania, Aaron Toney, and Justin Eaton nominated.
The Mandalorian, once home to former Strikeforce fighter Gina Carano, has one performer nominated, Lateef Crowder.
Rounding out the field are Mens-Sana Tamakloe for his work on AMC+’s Gangs of London and Janeshia Adams-Ginyard for her work on HBO’s Lovecraft Country.
Previously, the only major award honoring stunt performance was the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble. This new award offered by the Emmys is more flexible, with either multiple or single performers eligible.
With the rise in popularity of practical effects, thanks in large part to the success of movies like John Wick, it isn’t surprising that major Hollywood institutions are finally giving stunt performers their due. No doubt this is thanks in part to the concurrent rise in popularity of MMA, and the influence MMA has had on fight choreography. Former UFC fighters Roman Mitichyan and Jason Day have spoken to Bloody Elbow about their second career fighting in front of the camera, and how their past as professional fighters influences their new work.
The 73rd Emmy Awards will be broadcast Sept. 19 on CBS. The show will return to a live format, with a “limited number of nominees and their guests.”