I don’t consider myself particularly invested in awards shows, but this year has proven to be different. Somehow, I’ve taken on the role of the unofficial Best Supporting Actor campaign manager for Charles Melton. Blame it on my years obsessed with Riverdale (seasons one through three only, don’t hate) and my love for an underdog, but so far, the “job” is off to a great start. That was until the Oscar 2024 nominations were released and CNN falsely promised me his academy award nomination. Turns out, his name was nowhere on the list of nominees, and May December was almost shut out entirely.
While he may not have won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, at least we were treated to a wholesome red-carpet moment between Melton, dressed in custom Giorgio Armani and a tiny sparkly earring, and his mom, Sukyong. Was that not a wholesome enough moment to guarantee we witness it once again on March 10? If the Golden Globes are a hint at anything, it’s probable Oppenheimer’s Robert Downey Jr. will take home the Oscar, though I’d much rather it go to Mark Ruffalo for his absurd performance in Poor Things.
In any case, Melton has already taken home two trophies for his role in Todd Haynes’s May December, in which he plays Joe Yoo, a man in his mid-30s reckoning with his relationship — one that started when a woman began grooming him when he was 13 — as he sends his children off to college. Next to Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman, it could’ve been easy for Melton to blend into the background, which is sort of what he did in the ensemble cast of Riverdale (while he played a hot high-school jock, he was definitely not the “It” guy), but instead, the actor steals every single scene he’s in with his thoughtful and breathtaking portrayal of Joe.
Disappointment over this snub aside, if Melton’s first major film performance has garnered this much attention already, the sky seems to be the limit for what’s to come. This is a man who often honors his mom at awards shows (cute), is obsessed with Todd Haynes (same), and generally seems eager to get better at his craft (we love a man with ambition). If you haven’t seen May December yet, you might question Melton’s recent claim that spending six years on the CW was basically like going to Juilliard, but if you’ve watched Riverdale, then you already know that acting on a series with that many outrageous subplots is enough to train a performer to be great. C’mon Oscars, look at what you’re missing out on.