The 2016 Screen Actors Guild Awards took place yesterday in Hollywood, and saw honours awarded to many of the performers and pictures hotly tipped to clean up at the Oscars.
The awards ceremony, which is unique in its focus on acting, is dedicated to celebrating the best performances of the year on both the big and small screen.
Best Actor and Best Actress were awarded to Leonard DiCaprio for ‘The Revenant’ and Brie Larson for ‘Room’ - both of whom are widely anticipated to pick up the smae awards at next month’s Oscars.
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role was awarded to Alicia Vikander for ‘The Danish Girl’ (an Oscar nominee in the same category) whilst Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role went to Idris Elba in ‘Beasts of No Nation’ (infamously snubbed by the Oscars).
This made it a double for Elba, as he was also named Best Male Actor in a TV Movie or Mini-Series for ‘Luther.’
However, unlike other awards shows, the SAG Awards have specific categories for ensemble casts - and these are perhaps the most coveted awards of the evening.
This year saw the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture go to ‘Spotlight,’ whose big name line-up includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schrieber and Billy Crudup.
Given the sensitive nature of the film’s subject matter - the real-life Boston newspaper expose which lifted the lid on child abuse in the Catholic Church - it’s perhaps unsurprising that some political comments were heard from the cast in their acceptance speeches.
Michael Keaton told the audience, “this is not only for the survivors of this horrific situation, but for me personally… this is really for the disenfranchised everywhere.
“This is for every Flint, Michigan in the world; this is for the powerless; this is for the powerful who take advantage of the powerless.
“You can hang me for that, I don’t really care. That’s why I’m proud to be part of this. It comes down to two things: there’s fair, and there’s unfair. And I’m always going to vote for the fair.”
Nor was Keaton the only one to get political as Viola Davis - who was named Best Female Actor in a TV Drama Series for ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ - seized the opportunity to address the #OscarsSoWhite debate.
Davis said, “diversity is not a trending topic. It’s just not. I’ve always considered myself an actor since I got my equity card in 1988. I’ve never put any limitations on myself…
”No matter what is going on in the business, I will find a way to practice my art. And all of the actors of color that I know don’t place any limitations on themselves either.”
Other small screen winners included Queen Latifah, named Best Female Performance in a TV Movie or Mini-Series for ‘Bessie’; Kevin Spacey, Best Male Performance in a TV Drama for ‘House of Cards’; and ‘Downton Abbey’ for Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
In the comedy category, Best Ensemble went to ‘Orange is the New Black,’ whose own Ozu Aduba won Best Female Performance. Best Male Performance went to Jeffrey Tambor for ‘Transparent.’
Picture Credit: WENN