February 28, 2022 9:09:07 am
The cast of Ted Lasso, the leads of Squid Game and Troy Kotsur of CODA have won at the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards. The ceremony, held at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, and broadcast on both TNT and TBS, saw history made in a number of categories. Kotsur, best supporting actor in a film, is the first deaf actor to ever win an individual SAG award. And for the first time, actors in a non-English language series — the Korean phenomenon Squid Game — took home awards. Lee Jung-jae won best male actor in a drama series and Jung Ho-yeon won best female actor in a drama series.
Kotsur, a veteran 53-year-old actor who gave a breakthrough performance in Sian Heder’s film, had already been the first deaf actor nominated individually for a SAG award. When his name was read, Kotsur plunged his head into his hands. On stage, he praised CODA as the rare film to portray a deaf family authentically. But he concluded comically.
“Thank you for my wife for reminding me to check my fly before walking the red carpet,” said Kotsur.
The Squid Game wins for Lee and Jung came over big names like Succession stars Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong, and Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston of The Morning Show.
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“I have sat many a times watching you on the big screen dreaming of one day becoming an actor,” Jung told the crowd, fighting back tears.
The SAG Awards are considered one of the most reliable predictors of the Academy Awards — actors make up the largest percentage of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Kotsur’s win suggested he may have emerged as the Oscar favorite over the competition, notably Kodi Smit-McPhee of The Power of the Dog.
Meanwhile, Ariana DeBose of West Side Story confirmed her frontrunner status with a win Sunday for best supporting performance by a female actor.
“It’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable calling myself an actor,” said DeBose. “My roots come from the dance world and the Broadway stage, and the Anita that we see on screen took every bit of me but she took 10 years to make.”
The SAG Awards, which will be available to stream Monday on HBO Max, are presented by the Hollywood actors guild SAG-AFTRA. After the January Golden Globes were a non-event, the Screen Actors Guild Awards were Hollywood’s first major, televised, in-person award show — complete with a red carpet and teary-eyed speeches — this year.
The Hamilton trio of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr. and Daveed Diggs kicked off the broadcast with the declared theme of “together again.”
“We’ve returned to a world where all we have to do to hang out like this is get dressed up, show up, get swabbed, sanitized, screened, masked, vaccinated, boosted, rapid-tested and PCR-cleared within 24 hours,” said Odom Jr. “Now who’s ready to party?”
Some casts, citing quarantine regulations related to production schedules, appeared remotely — including the lead television nominee, Ted Lasso. Appearing by video link with his castmates around him, Jason Sudeikis accepted the award for best actor in a comedy series. The Apple TV+ show was later named best comedy series ensemble.
While the Academy Awards aren’t mandating vaccination for presenters (just attendees), it was required for the SAG Awards, which are voted on by the Hollywood actors’ guild SAG-AFTRA. One actor in the cast of the Paramount series Yellowstone, Forrie J. Smith, has said he wouldn’t attend because he isn’t vaccinated.
Jean Smart, star of Hacks, won for best actress in a comedy series.
“I love actors,” said Smart. “Nobody gets us.”
A pair of blockbusters on both the big and small screen took stunt ensemble awards announced before the show: Netflix’s Squid Game and the James Bond film No Time to Die.
Kate Winslet presented the actors’ lifetime achievement award to Mirren, a five-time SAG Award winner.
Five films are nominated for the SAG Awards’ top honor, best ensemble: Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, Sian Heder’s coming-of-age drama CODA, Adam McKay’s apocalypse comedy Don’t Look Up, Ridley Scott’s high-camp House of Gucci and Reinaldo Marcus Green’s family tennis drama King Richard.
The leading Oscar nominee, Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, failed to land a best ensemble nominations but three of its actors — Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Smit-McPhee — scored individual nods.
Winning best ensemble doesn’t automatically make a movie the Oscar favorite, but actors hold the largest sway because they constitute the largest percentage of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Last year, the actors chose Aaron Sorkin’s 1960s courtroom drama The Trial of the Chicago 7, while best picture at the Oscars went to Nomadland. The year before, SAG’s pick of Parasite presaged the Oscar winner.
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