In an Awards Daily first, we got to cover the very special 25th Anniversary of the Screen Actors Guild Awards from the press room.
The first actor award was presented to Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series: Tony Shalhoub from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The show would go on to win two more awards and sweep for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series went to Rachel Brosnahan and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
Soon after, the cast came into the press room. Kevin Pollak and Marin Hinkle walked in commenting on how heavy the trophy was and walked around the room letting journalists “Feel the weight” Pollack said. I got to feel his SAG Award and yes, it is heavy.
After passing their awards around for us hold, the cast took to the podium. Pollack joked, “It’s unnecessarily heavy, I’d like to make that clear.”
Asked about how the Times Up movement factored into the story about a woman finding her own voice, Brosnahan said, “The resurgence of the movement with the show had fortuitous timing. I think it made people view the show with new eyes.”
Asked about the surprise of the show, Michael Zegen said he was surprised to see how popular the show was abroad in countries like India and China and said people had told him how the stories resonated with audiences abroad. “Mostly because of the family aspect because family is universal.”
Mahershala Ali who is on a Supporting Actor winning streak for Green Book took the Screen Actors Guild Award. Ali took to the podium to him and answered questions about the historical accuracy of the film. “Dr. Shirley was the best opportunity that had ever come my way. At that point, coming off of Moonlight was an amazing experience, but I’m present in that movie for only in the first third of it. That had been my largest and most profound experience.” He went on to say, “To be presented Green Book and Doctor Shirley, a three dimensional character with his own agency…for him to be the person of power, for him to be as talented and emotional as he was, his own personal struggle to keep his life private because for those things to be public, he wouldn’t have been embraced.” He added, “I think some of the things that are questioned can be answered by just listening to Dr. Shirley.” Ali said referring to the audio tapes that had been released the other day.
A major surprise of the evening was when Emily Blunt won Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for A Quiet Place. Blunt came in gushing, pleasantly delighted with her win.
I asked her because many wanted to know what was the scariest scene for her to film, Blunt mentioned the birthing scene. “Emotionally, it was the most daunting to shoot the birth scene, because I knew that it was going to be a beast. We were shooting for five days straight, you know, giving birth. From the moment my water breaks to the moment I’m in the bathtub.” Blunt added, “It still makes my mom cry, that scene. She doesn’t like watching it.”
Another journalist asked what was her favorite thing about working on the film, to no surprise Blunt said, “My favorite thing about shooting A Quiet Place was for sure working with John! We’d never done it before, and it is kind of the great unknown, going into this process, not knowing what it’s going to be. A lot of people were like, ‘You’re going to be divorced by the end of it,’ but actually we’re so much closer. I think the discovery of how well we collaborated and how well we can create something together is just so special.”
Patricia Arquette who took the actor award for her role in Escape At Dannemora was asked about Women and Hollywood. “Activists have been working on this forever. There were a lot more women writers in the 1930s. I’m glad this industry is addressing it and pushing forward. I’m hoping all industries do the same.”
Arquette told the room that the award had special meaning for her. She thanked her father who, “taught us about unions.” She went on to say, “My favorite part of being an actor is exploring the human condition.”
Glenn Close triumphed winning for The Wife. Watch her full speech below. Asked about the role and the character and what makes people connect with it, Close said, “I’m still astounded by it. I chose it very subjectively and I’ve never played a character like this before. The power of this story is because it is very specific. It’s about a certain marriage, a very complex relationship and I think the more specific and powerful you could make that relationship the more people will be moved by it, the more baggage they will be able to bring to it and leave the theater and think, I’ve got things I want to ponder myself.” Close thought back to the Toronto Film Festival saying she hoped there was an audience. “I have never been in a screening where every single nuance of the film registered with that audience, it was gobsmacking.”
The biggest applause of the evening happened when the cast of Black Panther walked in. Yes, they came and they won and they have a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards, shattering records and continuing to make history.
We have to look at how it resonated with America as a whole. “I guess we would have to look at how it resonated with each person who watched it. We did know we were able to create a world that allowed people to function through their greatness without hinderance. We saw a world thriving with excellence, undistrubed by violations such as colonization.”
Chadwick Boseman who had teased about a sequel to Black Panther 2 during the acceptance speech was asked about a sequel.”I think it’s a movie that stands against all film across the board,” Michael B. Jordan said. “So yeah, I think if there was an opportunity. I think everybody would be pretty excited to come back around.”
Boseman added, prasing the work of Production Designer, Hannah Beachler and Costume designer, Ruth E. Carter. “I would say I don’t think people truly understand the amount of detail, the amount of mastery that went into the hair and makeup, wardrobe, set design.” He added, “A lot of these things were built. It’s not just special effects.’
Rami Malek was the last winner of the night to come into the press room telling everyone “Let’s get this press conference started.” Asked about the time he was a pizza delivery boy just making his start in the business, Malek said, “I used to tape my headshot and resume to pizza boxes and if anyone seemed even remotely involved in the industry, I was taping them up and sending them out for years.” He said, “I was dying to get a role as an actor. This is more extraordinary than I could ever have expected in my life.”
And with that, it was a wrap.
The full list of SAG Awards Winners can be found here.