'Argo' and 'Abbey' Upset Competition at SAG Awards
By David Weiner
The ensemble casts of Argo and Downton Abbey upset the competition at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday night at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. In the ceremony honoring the year's best performances in film and television, other unexpected and/or well-deserved wins went to Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Bryan Cranston, Tina Fey, Anne Hathaway and Claire Danes. Read on for the recap…
The night's top award, Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, went to the 13 actors of Argo, with a stunned Ben Affleck excitedly making sure he thanked his wife Jennifer Garner and studio, Warner Bros. in the middle of lauding the many speaking roles required for his film: "They wanted to kill it to make the movie better," he said, declaring of the win, "I am really amazed and stunned." The true-life Iran hostage tale beat out Lincoln, Les Miserables, Silver Linings Playbook and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the prize.
The Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a TV Drama Series honor went to the cast of Downton Abbey. It was the first nomination in the category for the 22-actor ensemble, and the show's genuinely surprised Phyllis Logan declared, "Shut the French windows!" Their Masterpiece series upset Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Homeland and Mad Men, and Logan clearly spoke for the whole cast when she said they were "absolutely overwhelmed by it all."
In the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a TV Comedy Series category, the 11-actor cast of Modern Family celebrated their third consecutive win, besting The Big Bang Theory, Glee, Nurse Jackie, 30 Rock and The Office (both in their final seasons). Speaking for the cast, Jesse Tyler Ferguson took a moment to single out the "brilliant departing casts" of 30 Rock and The Office, saying, "If you need jobs, call [our] casting director."
The Best Actors
In the film category, the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role award went to Lincoln star Daniel Day-Lewis, his third SAG win, for his portrayal of our 16th president. "It occurred to me that it was an actor that murdered Abraham Lincoln," he quipped, "and therefore it's fitting that every now and then an actor tries to being him back to life again." The Brit star bested Bradley Cooper, John Hawkes, Hugh Jackman and Denzel Washington, and declared that he felt Joaquin Phoenix deserved to be among their ranks for his performance in The Master.
An excited Jennifer Lawrence received her first-ever SAG Award for her turn in Silver Linings Playbook, besting Jessica Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Helen Mirren and Naomi Watts. "I earned my SAG card when I was 14, I did an MTV promo," she explained, "and now I have this naked statue, which means that some of you even voted for me."
On the TV side, 30 Rock star Tina Fey nabbed her fifth Actor for playing Liz Lemon in the NBC comedy. Breathless, she proclaimed, "I share this with everybody else in this cast [and] I share this with my sweet friend Amy Poehler, who I've known for so long. … Amy, I've known you since you were pregnant with Lena Dunham." Tina bested Poehler, Sofia Vergara, Betty White and Edie Falco in the category.
Fey's 30 Rock co-star, Alec Baldwin, was also singled out with his eighth SAG win for his role as Jack Donaghy. "Oh my god this is ridiculous," he said. Calling his show "the greatest experience I ever had," he added, "Now that I'm out of the job, Matt DelPiano is the greatest agent in the history of show business." Baldwin beat out Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Louis C.K. and Jim Parsons.
In the TV drama department, Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston celebrated his first Actor win. "It is so good to be bad," he said with a sly grin. Acknowledging "the role of my career" and his shapely statuette, he joked, "Tonight, at least, I'm well-endowed." Cranston landed the award over Steve Buscemi, Jeff Daniels, Jon Hamm and Damian Lewis.
Homeland star Claire Danes nabbed her second-ever SAG Award, joking, "So I guess I'm an actor, not an actress; that answers that question," and thanking the "village" of her cast and crew, crediting them for her success. Danes bested Michelle Dockery, Jessica Lange, Julianna Margulies and Maggie Smith.
Julianne Moore earned a statuette for her work portraying Sarah Palinin the HBO TV Movie Game Change, her first big win after a whopping 10 nominations. "It's really, really meaningful. … I couldn't have asked for a better [acting] team," said Moore, who bested Nicole Kidman, Charlotte Rampling, Sigourney Weaver and Alfre Woodard. Hatfields & McCoys star Kevin Costner, who did not attend, also nabbed the top acting award in the TV Movie or Miniseries category over co-star Bill Paxton, Woody Harrelson, Ed Harris and Clive Owen.
The Supporting Players
On the film side, Les Miserables star Anne Hathaway picked up her first-ever SAG Award over Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Nicole Kidman and Maggie Smith. "I'm just so thrilled I have dental," she joked. "I got my SAG card when I was 14. It felt like the beginning of the world. … Thank you for nominating me alongside incredible women and incredible performances."
Tommy Lee Jones also picked up the Actor trophy for his performance in Lincoln, besting Alan Arkin, Javier Bardem, Robert De Niro and Philip Seymour Hoffman. He was not present to pick up his statuette.
Stars who passed away over the last year were remembered in a touching tribute, including Larry Hagman, Whitney Houston, Alex Karras, Gary Collins, Nicol Williamson, Robert Hegyes and Ron Palillo, Jack Klugman, Herbert Lom, Conrad Bain, Jonathan Frid, Chad Everett, Ben Gazzara, Sherman Hemsley, James Farentino, Michael Clark Duncan, Charles Durning, Davy Jones, Phyllis Diller, Richard Dawson, Dick Clark, Andy Griffith and Ernest Borgnine.
And Dick Van Dyke accepted the Life Achievement Award after a wonderful introduction by Alec Baldwin. "I've knocked around this business for 70 years and I still haven't figured out what I do -- aren't we lucky to have found a line of work that doesn't require growing up?" he said. Toasting the audience, he concluded, "If this very heavy object means that I can refer to you as my peers, I'm a very happy man."
Watch ET for complete coverage of the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards!