When Friday Night Lights first premiered, veterans Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton were praised for their exceptional performances. But another surprise was the cast of younger newbies who were blessed with material that went against the stereotypical teen drama cardboard cutouts. The younger actors were already giving great performances in season one and only grew as the series continued, but one actor was arguably the breakthrough.
As part of a strong ensemble cast, it is difficult to make yourself stand out, but Zach Gilford certainly did. From the start, the young Matt Saracen of Dillon, Texas was played with so much heart and sincerity and ease by Zach.
Amazing performances through a roller coaster of emotions in the last four seasons that saw Matt fall in love for the first time, experience the highs of a championship win, the love and struggle of taking care of his ailing grandmother, alone, wanting to be to pursue his dreams and this season, experiencing the loss of his father.
The journey just about culminated this week as Matt buried his father after being killed in Iraq. He has been holding himself back from moving forward, for noble reasons, but him fighting with his grief and frustration may be what pushes him to take the next step.
Here is his incredible performance in the final scenes from the episode:
All this brought to life by the natural, subtle, and sincere performance of Zach Gilford. You can’t help but get caught up in the emotion.
Like the crimes committed of not having the series, Kyle Chandler, or Connie Britton showered with Emmys, so is the snubbing of Zach Gilford in the Supporting Actor category for several outstanding performances from seasons one and three. With this fourth season being his last, Zach is credited as a Guest Star and hopefully this helps his chances a little more because after four years of exceptional performances, it is about time he gets the recognition he deserves.
PopEater has started their own campaign to get Zach Gilford an Emmy! They’ve started the Facebook group: Nominate ‘Friday Night Lights’ Star Zach Gilford for an Emmy! to help drum up support. Be sure to join and spread the word!
TVGuide.com’s Damian Holbrook is joining the growing chorus singing Zach Gilford’s praises! So awesome seeing such incredible support!