Olivia Pope To Lady Mary: Which Emmy-Nominated Character Would You Want To Have Your Back?

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On the one hand, the women nominated for outstanding actress in a drama for the 2013 Emmy Awards play a diverse range of characters: a DC fixer, a country singer, a CIA operative, a motel owner, an advertising copywriter, a nonprofit exec and an English gentlewoman. But they are a lot alike too. These are all strong, smart women we think we’d like to have on our side in a fight. The question is, if we had to choose just one to have our back, who would it be?

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The celebrities at this week’s celebration of Esquire magazine’s 80th anniversary were partial to Claire Danes and Robin Wright — though we’re not sure if they meant the actresses themselves or the fierce Carrie Mathison of Homeland and Claire Underwood of House of Cards. Connie Britton’s Rayna Jaymes on Nashville has that whole country strong/motherly thing about her. Elisabeth Moss‘ Peggy Olson on Mad Men is a scrappy one, for sure, while Michelle Dockery’s Lady Mary on Downton Abbey can keep her cool in the stickiest of situations. But then there’s Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope on Scandal — I mean, is there anything she and her gladiators haven’t handled yet?

Well, the Academy is weighing in on the actress’ skills, but we’re leaving it up to you to choose the characters’ abilities, here:

[Photos: Netflix, PBS, ABC, Showtime, AMC, A&E]