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SAG Awards get underway with awards for Chastain, ‘Top Gun’

By Associated Press
Published: February 26, 2023, 5:56pm
8 Photos
Jessica Chastain arrives at the 29th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles.
Jessica Chastain arrives at the 29th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) Photo Gallery

Quinta Brunson and Janelle James of “Abbott Elementary” kicked off the 29th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, as much of the film and television world gathered for what could be an Academy Awards preview.

Though not hosts, Brunson and James kicked off the ceremony, streaming live on Netflix’s YouTube page, with a few opening jokes, including one that suggested Viola Davis, a recent Grammy winner, is beyond EGOT status and has transcended into “ShEGOTallofthem.”

The ceremony’s first award went to a winner from last year: Jessica Chastain. A year after winning for her lead performance in the film “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” Chastain won best female actor in a TV movie or limited series for Showtime’s country music power couple series “George & Tammy.” Chastain jetted in from previews on the upcoming Broadway revival of “A Doll’s House.”

After the SAG Awards, presented by the film and television acting guild SAG-AFRTA, lost their broadcast home at TNT/TBS, Netflix signed on to stream the ceremony. Though future editions will be streamed live directly on Netflix, this year’s show, at Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, is up on the streaming service’s YouTube page and its social media channels.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “The Banshees of Inisherin” come in with a co-leading five nominations. Each film is up for the guild’s top award, best ensemble, along with “Babylon,” “The Fabelmans” and “Women Talking.”

One award was announced ahead of the show from the red carpet: “Top Gun: Maverick” won for best stunt ensemble.

Last year, the top winners at the Screen Actors Guild Awards all corresponded exactly with the Academy Awards winners. The SAG Awards are considered one of the most reliable Oscar bellwethers. Actors make up the biggest percentage of the film academy, so their choices have the largest sway. Last year, “CODA” triumphed at SAG before winning best picture at the Oscars, while Ariana DeBose, Will Smith, Jessica Chastain and Troy Kotsur all won both a SAG Award and an Academy Award.

“Everything All at Once” increasingly looks like an unstoppable juggernaut. In the week leading up the SAG Awards, it won with both the producers and directors guilds.

With both supporting categories seemingly sown up by Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) and Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”), Sunday’s SAG Award could offer the most clarity in the lead acting awards.

Best actress could go to either Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) or Cate Blanchett (“Tár”). While Andrea Riseborough’s much-debated campaign led to an Academy Awards nomination, some of the most notable Oscar snubs are up for best actress. Though nominated by the actors guild, Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”) and Viola Davis (“The Woman King”) were overlooked by the academy, prompting some to decry racial bias in Hollywood. Ana de Armas (“Blonde”) is also nominated.

In best actor, Austin Butler (“Elvis”), Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”) and Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) all are considered contenders with a realistic shot of winning. The guild also nominated Adam Sandler (“Hustle”) and Bill Nighy (“Living”).

On the TV side, nominated for best ensemble in a drama series are: “Better Call Saul,” “The Crown,” “Ozark,” “Severance” and “The White Lotus.” Up for best comedy series ensemble are the casts of “Abbott Elementary,” “Barry,” “The Bear,” “Hacks” and “Only Murders in the Building.”

Presenters on Sunday include Zendaya (who scored her first SAG nomination for her leading performance in “Euphoria”, Aubrey Plaza, Jenna Ortega, Adam Scott, Chastain and Jeff Bridges. Sally Field is to received the SAG lifetime achievement award, an honor to be presented to her by Andrew Garfield.

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