What You Missed at the SAG Awards: An Unexpected Victory, History Made, and Funny Anecdotes

The award ceremony is popular among actors, who vote for their colleagues.

SAG Awards
Image courtesy of Instagram/What You Missed at the SAG Awards: An Unexpected Victory, History Made, ...

This year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG Awards) were an entirely prerecorded production instead of the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice, which allowed for a quick and seamless virtual presentation. The Zoom-heavy ritual, which is usually conducted at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, was brief and to the point.

Speeches were pre-taped and concise, as the show was cut down to an hour and aired last night on TBS and TNT simultaneously. That meant no major surprises or uncomfortable scenes like we’ve seen a lot of this SAG awards season due to technological difficulties. Nonetheless, history was made, there was an unlikely victory, and familiar segments (such as “I Am an Actor”) starring Helen Mirren, Lily Collins, and Daveed Diggs offered some lighthearted entertainment.

Here’s what you missed in SAG Awards:

People of color won the four top motion picture acting categories for the first time in SAG Awards. Leading actors Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” won the top awards, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role and Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, respectively, while supporting actors Daniel Kaluuya of “Judas and the Black Messiah” and Youn Yuh-Jung of “Minari” received the honors.

Yuh-Jung, 73, became the first Asian winner in the film category (Sandra Oh won in 2019 for “Killing Eve,” but it was for television). “I don’t know how to describe my feelings,” the South Korean actress, who is well-known in her home country, said as she accepted the award. “I’m being recognized by Westerners… I’m very pleased and happy.”   Yuh-Jung was chosen over Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”), Olivia Colman (“The Father”), Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”), and Helena Zengel (“News of the World”).

In one of the segments, English actress Daisy Ridley mentioned watching Bravo’s reality show “Below Deck” when discussing binge-worthy shows and guilty pleasures. “And I’m now on to ‘Below Deck Mediterranean,’” the “Star Wars” actress said. It’s the U.K.’s dating show “Love Island” with “Hamilton” star Diggs. “I don’t feel guilty about it,” he said. Meanwhile, Mirren has reported that she “adores” Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle’s “Pen15.” “That is just so funny and brilliantly acted,” she added. And “This Is Us” star Sterling K. Brown chose HBO’s “Succession:” “I really, like, enjoy white people misbehaving.”

In another episode, “Schitt’s Creek” star Dan Levy — who co-created the show with his father Eugene Levy — disclosed that, like many Americans, he had to return home with his parents after the pandemic: “A lot of people had to go home with their parents, including myself. And that is a show or a movie.” On the subject of COVID-19 and the advent of Zoom, Collins revealed that she auditioned for David Fincher’s “Mank” on the video network while filming “Emily in Paris” in France. “Every time we cut, and he sent me direction, it froze,” she said of Fincher’s direction.


 “And all I saw was David’s face, didn’t hear any direction, and then it would go back, and he’d say, ‘OK, go.’”

On Sunday, Jason Sudeikis made yet another fashion announcement. After wearing hoodies to the last two big award shows, the actor gained national recognition, the Globes, where he wore a tie-dye one (merch from his sister’s Manhattan boutique fitness studio Forward Space). The Critics Pick wore a blue one with Crockett High (the fictitious school in ex-fiancée Olivia Wilde’s “Booksmart”). He chose a sweater with a political message this time: “My Body, My Choice.” The wool Gucci jacket costs $1,100.

During his acceptance speech for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for “I Know This Much Is True,” Mark Ruffalo used the moment to raise awareness of the mental illness. “Mental illness is a real thing,” he added. “And I just think it’s really important that we’re honest and open about it and have no fear and have no shame.”   In the HBO series, Ruffalo plays identical twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey, who has paranoid schizophrenia.

The award show began and ended with a skit starring Sudeikis as Ted Lasso — the title character from Apple TV+’s hit comedy of the same name. The actor plays an American football coach who manages an English football (soccer) team in the United Kingdom. The cast of “Schitt’s Creek” was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, but the award went to “Schitt’s Creek.”

The night’s other big winners, selected by SAG-AFTRA participants (actors voting for their peers), were also predictable: Catherine O’Hara of “Schitt’s Creek” won Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series; Anya Taylor-Joy of “The Queen’s Gambit” won Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries; Jason Bateman of “Ozark” and Gillian Anderson of “The Crown” won Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series. Outstanding Performance by a Cast of a Motion Picture went to “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” In contrast, Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble went to “Wonder Woman 1984,” and Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series went to “The Mandalorian.”


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