The 28th Screen Actors Guild Actors award was an in-person event. It was held at The Barker Hanger in Santa Monica Air Center in California, making it the first time since 1996 that the SAG Awards returned to Santa Monica.
The Netflix series ‘Squid Game‘ had a big night at the SAG Awards 2022. It snagged three out of the four awards it was nominated in, creating history by winning the Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series. Speaking of making history, Troy Kotsur became the first deaf actor to win an individual SAG Award by taking home the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role trophy for the film ‘CODA‘.
Check out the highlights of the night that recognizes outstanding performances in the movie and prime time television below –
Leslie Odom Jr. Paid Tribute to Ukraine With a Message of Support
This year’s SAG Awards kicked off with a little bit of banter. Actor Leslie Odom Jr. said, “We’re holding a place in our hearts for Ukraine.” “And sending our thoughts, prayers, and hopes for impending peace,” Odom said, referencing the recent and ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine as per Deadline.
This short tribute followed the awards’ ceremony’s opening bit. In the opening segment, Odom reunited with his Hamilton co-stars Lin-Manuel Miranda and Daveed Diggs. The trio briefly pointed out some of the night’s contenders, including the ‘Tick, Tick… BOOM!‘ star Andrew Garfield, House of Gucci’s Lady Gaga and Being the Ricardos’ Javier Bardem. They also poked fun at some nominees including Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis, who they noted was not physically there because he owed Diggs $20.
Troy Kotsur Becomes the First Deaf Actor to Win an Individual SAG Award
Apple TV+’s ‘CODA‘ star Troy Kotsur made history as the first deaf actor to win an individual SAG Award by taking home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.
Kotsur, who beat fellow nominees Ben Affleck (‘The Tender Bar‘), Licorice Pizza’s Bradley Cooper, Jared Leto (‘House of Gucci‘), and Kodi Smit-McPhee for The Power of the Dog, said: “I’ve been a [SAG] member since 2001, so now I feel like I’m finally part of the family.”
“I know you all are artists, and I know you all know what it’s like to be a starving actor. Back then, I used to sleep in my car, I slept in my dressing room backstage, I couch surfed. All of that, you feel me, right? So thank you so much,” the CODA star told the audience through an ASL interpreter. He thanked distributor Apple TV+ for “all of their support and access,” from providing closed captioning and ASL interpretation services to “believing in us deaf actors and casting us authentically.”
HoYeon Jung Sheds Tears of Joy While Accepting Her Best Actress in Drama Series Award
Beating out fellow nominees Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon (‘The Morning Show‘), Elisabeth Moss from The Handmaid’s Tale and Succession’s Sarah Snook, the ‘Squid Game‘ star won the Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series award for her role in the hit Netflix series. Jung cried while accepting the award. She shared with the audience how she always dreamed of making it as an actor.
“First and foremost, thank you so much,” she said through her translator, as per People. “I have sat many times watching you on the big screen dreaming of one day becoming an actor. I just want to say thank you so much.” Before concluding her acceptance speech, HoYeon also acknowledged her fellow actors. She talked about how they “opened the door” for her to make it in the industry and gave a special shout-out to her “Squid Game crew.”
Ariana Debose Makes LGBTQ History at the 2022 SAG Awards
Ariana DeBose is the first openly queer woman to win an individual film prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story‘. Prevailed over fellow nominees Caitríona Balfe from ‘Belfast’, Nightmare Alley’s Cate Blanchett, Kirsten Dunst (‘The Power of the Dog‘) and Ruth Negga from ‘Passing‘, DeBose won the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role award.
“Thank you. My heart is beating in my chest right now,” she began through tears while accepting her win for her first-ever nomination at the SAG awards. “It’s taken a long time for me to feel comfortable calling myself an actor. My roots come from the dance world and the Broadway stage, and the Anita we see on screen took every bit of me but she took 10 years to make and I’m extremely proud of her and of our film.”
“And I really do believe that when you recognize one of us, you recognize all of us so thank you SAG-AFTRA for this recognition,” she added.
At the SAG Awards red carpet, DeBose said to Entertainment Tonight, “We here! And we queer.” “It is exciting and I’m very proud of these moments because I think they’re indicative of the fact that they will not be the last.” “That’s how I choose to look at them and it’s like, if we can have these conversations around me, that just means the door is open, so come on in.”
Helen Mirren Is Honored With a Lifetime Achievement Award
Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett presented the veteran performer Helen Mirren with the Life Achievement Award. It is an honor presented to an individual who exemplifies the finest ideals of the acting profession. Winslet introduced Mirren via Zoom to the SAG Awards stage, saying: “She loves collaboration, she loves to act, she loves to play,” as per The Hollywood Reporter. “Her performances give us real human beings, unvarnished, untethered. She’s a privilege to watch.”
Blanchett then took over to introduce Mirren onstage. “As with any great artist, words will never suffice,” adding of her impact before cutting to a montage of Mirren’s work.
“Lifetime achievement sounds so grand, but I suppose I’m still alive, so by that measure I’m eligible,” Mirren began her acceptance speech with a joke. “Thank you S-A-G so much for this. I hate to say the word ‘SAG’ at my age.”
“I’ve been angsting about what to say tonight, and I’ve been waiting for inspiration. And then it came. To all those people with whom I have shared my professional life: the actors. I will talk about actors, oh my God, what a brilliant idea. So original. I like to think inside the box,” she said, addressing the crowd of her peers, in her emotional tribute to the global community of actors past and present.
“It is you, you: actors, that I want to thank,” Mirren said. “For your wit, and your humor, all the giggles, all the laughter — I’ve laughed my whole life, honestly. Your perception, your generosity, your intelligence and your incredible energy. And your helpless dedication to our chosen profession… Together we laugh, we weep, we worry, we change clothes, we throw up and we suffer diarrhea.”
Will Smith Wins His First SAG Award
Will Smith picked up his first-ever SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father to tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams. Smith won the trophy over fellow nominees Andrew Garfield (‘Tick, Tick … Boom!‘), The Power of the Dog‘s Benedict Cumberbatch, Javier Bardem from ‘Being the Ricardos‘ and ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth‘ star Denzel Washington, cried while accepting the honor.
He called his win for ‘King Richard‘ “one of the greatest moments” of his career and then raved about the real-life legacy of his titular character Richard Williams. “Richard Williams is a dreamer like no one you’ve ever known.” “He has a power of belief that borders on insanity and sometimes tips over the border, which is absolutely necessary to take something from impossible to possible,” Smith said.
Smith then took a moment to praise his ‘King Richard‘ castmates. This included rising stars Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton and before wrapping his speech, Smith gave a special shout-out to the Williams family.
“Venus, Serena, the Williams family, you entrusted me and our group with your story. You didn’t agree to put your name on it until you saw the final project. I get that, I get that. That’s cool. That’s real because we be messing stuff up sometimes,” he joked as Venus, was in attendance for this year’s SAG Awards ceremony.
Lee Jung-Jae Wins Best Actor in a Drama Series
Lee Jung-Jae earned one of his industry’s top prizes with the SAG win for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series for his role in ‘Squid Game‘, beating Succession‘s Brian Cox, Billy Crudup (‘The Morning Show‘), Kieran Culkin and Jeremy Strong from ‘Succession‘ for the award.
“Oh my, thank you so much! This is truly huge that it’s happened to me,” Lee said through his translator while accepting his award on stage. “I did write something but I don’t think I’ll get to reading it.” “Thank you so much SAG-AFTRA awards and thank you to the global audience for all of your love for Squid Game,” he went on. “And thank you Squid Game team.”
‘CODA’ Wins Top Honor at This Year’s SAG Awards
The AppleTV+ film won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture beat out fellow nominees ‘Belfast‘, ‘Don’t Look Up‘, ‘House of Gucci‘ and ‘King Richard‘. Starring Emilia Jones, Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur, Daniel Durant and Eugenio Derbez, ‘CODA‘ (an acronym for “child of deaf adults”) is a coming-of-age drama about a high school student Ruby who aspires to be a singer and is the only hearing member of her deaf family.
“I’m stunned, I’m stunned,” Matlin, told the audience, while accepting the trophy on behalf of the film, “We need to thank SAG-AFTRA, you guys, you voted for us,” she said. The ‘CODA’ star thanked the producers, the director, writers and interpreters who contributed to the project.
“We wanna thank AppleTV+ for trusting us, for believing in us [and]our movie,” she said. “Thank you for writing the words and including deaf culture, we love you,” Matlin continued. “The interpreters, thank you all the CODA interpreters and all CODAs everywhere, all over the world. My kids, all four of them are CODAs.”
Matlin references the stars in the audience saying: “And look, you are all our peers. We deaf actors have come a long way. [For] 35 years, I have been seeing so much work out there and all this time, I’ve watched all of your films and I pay the deepest respect to all of you.”
“This validates the fact that we deaf actors can work just like anybody else,” she proudly told the audience. Wrapping up her speech, Matlin said: “We look forward to more opportunities for deaf actors [and]deaf culture. Thank you. We love you,” she said, before showing everyone how to say “I love you” in sign language.
Jessica Chastain “Completely Stunned” After Winning the Best Actress Award
Jessica Chastain took home the award for Outstanding Female Actor in a Leading Role for her role in ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye‘ beating out Olivia Colman (‘The Lost Daughter‘), House of Gucci’s Lady Gaga, Jennifer Hudson (‘Respect‘) and Nucle Kidman from ‘Being the Ricardos‘.
“I had the best time acting troupe once could have with Andrew Garfield, Vincent D’Onofrio, Cherry Jones. I’m the luckiest person ever,” the star said. She further revealed that it was her “dream” to play the role of evangelist Tammy Faye. “She was a real trailblazer.” The actor continued: “She wrapped her arms around those who were repeatedly cast aside and launched herself into decades of LGBTQ love.”
“I wanted to be an actor my whole life, and ever since I was a kid it was the only thing I ever really thought about, and there were years of studying and auditioning and not getting jobs,” Chastain added. “And I know what that feels like and I know the loneliness of what that feels like,” wrapping up her speech with a message to everyone who is “struggling and feeling unseen”.
“For those of you who are struggling and feeling unseen I just want you to keep going because you’re one job away, I promise! And the thing that really kept me going was you. It was everyone in this room and it was this community,” Chastain said concluding her speech.
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