The 21st annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards may not have held as many surprises as the Oscar nominations, but the statues do have a special meaning that sets them apart from other trophies — these awards are selected by peers as voted through SAG-AFTRA union (meaning actors voting for actors). In a way, this show always seems to be the most intimate of awards season, with actors openly cheering on their fellow actors and seeming more at ease among their colleagues.
One of my favorite parts of awards season every year is the series of “I’m an Actor” monologues that start off the show. This year’s selected participants included Robert Duvall (“The Judge”), Jennifer Aniston (“Cake”) and a very thin and clean-shaven Zach Galifianakis (“Birdman”).
Uzo Aduba also provided her own “Actor” monologue before accepting the statue for Outstanding Female Actress in a Comedy Series, while “Shameless” star William H. Macy took home the statue for Outstanding Male Actor in a Comedy Series. Later, the forty-person cast of “Orange is the New Black” won the award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series, marking the Netflix series’ early domination for the evening.
Golden Globes winners (and Oscar favorites) Patricia Arquette and J.K. Simmons received the statues for Outstanding Female and Male Actors in a Supporting Role, respectively. Simmons gave a wonderful acceptance speech, stating that every actor, in turn, is a supporting actor to the story.
Carrie Fisher (aka Princess Leia from “Star Wars”) presented her mother, Debbie Reynolds, with the Life Achievement Award. Reynolds, a long-standing performer known for her many roles in films including “Singin’ in the Rain,” rambled adorably during her acceptance speech, sharing memories from her impressive career. But wait, no “Halloweentown” references?
Other notable winners included “House of Cards’” Kevin Spacey for Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series and “How to Get Away with Murder” dynamo Viola Davis for Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series (Author’s note: This was the award that made me cheer out loud — Davis’ strong, sultry Annalise Keating is without a doubt one of the most dynamic characters on television right now.) Additionally, the cast of “Downton Abbey” won Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series for Television, besting “House of Cards” and “Game of Thrones.”
In an already tight race for the Oscar, the Outstanding Male Actor in a Leading Role went to Eddie Redmayne for his unbelievable performance as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.” The clearly moved Redmayne recognized all of the fellow leading actor nominees across awards season and dedicated his award to people and families living with ALS, the disease that Hawking suffers from. Redmayne’s speech was arguably the most touching of the night. It’s possible this win may have given him the edge for the Academy Award.
Another Oscar frontrunner, Julianne Moore, won Outstanding Female Actor in a Leading Role for her role in “Still Alice.” She gracefully described the thrill of acting with others as what keeps her coming back to the craft and spoke to “drama club kids” saying, “You guys are the real actors.”
The cast of “Birdman” accepted the Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture award, with co-stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone among those present. Since these awards are performance-based, there was no film singled out as the sole leader of the night, which was a refreshing break from the nail-biting back-and-forth of the majority of the season’s ceremonies.
Did your picks win at the SAG Awards? Tweet your thoughts @AlyssaVHolcomb. Stay tuned for the next Trophy Hunting recap for the Grammy Awards airing Feb. 8 on CBS.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards actor statuette appears near the Hollywood Sign on Tuesday, Jan 20, 2015, in Los Angeles. The SAG awards will be presented on Jan. 25. (Photo by Rob Latour/Invision/AP)