Davis, ‘Orange’ and ‘Downton’ win at SAG Awards – USA TODAY
Diversity played a big role at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday night, with Viola Davis and Orange is the New Black garnering major TV honors.
Davis won for outstanding female actor in a drama, for How to Get Away with Murder, and she paid tribute to the show’s executive producer Shonda Rhimes and others for “thinking that a sexualized, messy, mysterious woman could be a 49-year-old dark-skinned African-American who looks like me.”
Uzo Aduba was the first surprise of the SAGs, and her show Orange is the New Black ended Modern Family‘s long streak in the best comedy emsemble cast category.
Aduba won outstanding female actor in a comedy on the evening that also marked her first career nomination for her role of left-of-center prison inmate “Crazy Eyes.”
Aduba tearfully thanked her castmates, “without whom this is not possible. I love you guys so desperately so much. The day I got this job was the day I had stopped acting. And to be in a room with all your amazing talents, for what I respect and love so much, is just the gratest honor.”
Kevin Spacey won for outstanding male actor in a drama for House of Cards, while Downtown Abbey was named best TV drama.
In movie categories, Patricia Arquette garnered the trophy for outstanding female actor in a supporting role for the movie Boyhood, and fellow Golden Globe winner J.K. Simmons of Whiplash took home supporting actor.
“I feel like all of us actors are supporting actors,” Simmons said in his acceptance speech. “Each of us is not only supporting the story, the movie, the play, whatever it is we’re doing, each of us is essential and completely crucial to the story. If there’s one false moment the train comes off the rails and our willing suspension of disbelief Is gone and we have to earn it back.
“I would like to thank the 49 actors who appear on screen in Whiplash for realizing (director) Damien Chazelle’s vision so beautifully.”
A fourth-generation actress, Arquette took note of her family, which “has been committed to acting for over a century, through feast or famine,” she said. “My father Lewis Arquette taught me to approach work with compassion and gratitude, and also taught me how hard it it to make a living as an actor.”
Shameless star William H. Macy received the award for male actor in a comedy, ending Modern Family star Ty Burrell’s streak at three.
“There are so many great acceptance speeches I never got to give but not tonight,” Macy said. “To my fellow nominees … eh, you lost.”
Mark Ruffalo won outstanding actor in a TV movie/miniseries for his role in the HBO AIDS drama The Normal Heart, Frances McDormand received the outstanding female actor honor for HBO’s Olive Kitteridge.
“This is really swell and everything,” she said, “but I wish we could all get some really cozy sleepers, a box of See’s nuts and chews, hang out and watch more of our work. Because every little snippet I see, I want to see more and more.”
Debbie Reynolds was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild, presented by her daughter Carrie Fisher. Reynolds remembered the “ugly bun at the back of my head” she wore during Singin’ in the Rain, and she warned Fisher when George Lucas cast her in 1977’s Star Wars: “I said, ‘Well, Carrie, be careful of any weird hairdos. So luckily George gave her two buns. Thank you, George.”
Two stunt ensemble awards were given out before the show: World War II drama Unbroken received the honor in the movie category, and Game of Thrones won the TV category for the fourth time in a row.
In the film categories, Richard Linklater’s indie darling Boyhood is up for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture at the thespian-centric SAG Awards. The field includes fellow Oscar best picture contenders The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything and Birdman, which leads all movies with four nominations.
Birdman‘s recent Golden Globe winner Michael Keaton is up for the SAGs’ best male actor award vs. Steve Carell (Foxcatcher), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler).
Oscar favorite Julianne Moore (Still Alice) heads up the category for female actor that also includes Jennifer Aniston (Cake), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) and Reese Witherspoon (Wild).