Tonight, the actors take center stage. Welcome to Deadline’s live blog of the 2017 SAG Awards, which are being handed out tonight at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
The 23rd annual SAG Awards are being handed out at L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium tonight, and you can follow the livestream of the ceremony here. Manchester by the Sea comes in with a leading four nominations including lead actor Casey Affleck and the marquee Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Also up for the ensemble award are Captain Fantastic, Fences, Hidden Figures and Moonlight.
Speaking of Fences and Moonlight, they arrive at the SAGs with three noms apiece, tied for second-most. Paramount leads all studios with a half-dozen nominations. Awards will be presented in 13 acting categories spanning film and television. The union says the awards “focus on both individual performances as well as on the work of the entire ensemble of a drama series and comedy series, and the cast of a motion picture. These honors are fundamental to the spirit of the Screen Actors Guild Awards because they recognize what all actors know – that acting is a collaborative art.”
Many expect politics to be a key topic onstage and in the crowd tonight, as Hollywood absorbs news of President Trump’s Muslim travel ban. Follow Deadline’s live blog for the latest updates, along with winners, speeches and all the attendant awards hoopla.
Welcome to this year’s SAG Awards, Jeffrey Tambor is on stage for a little pre-show housekeeping intro. We’re moments away from show time.
“I was lying about the 38 seconds [for my intro]. It was an alternate fact.” — Jeffrey Tambor
The people producing tonight’s In Memorial have been
busy scrambling this week, as Hollywood lost double Oscar nominee John
Hurt, Perry Mason co-star Barbara Hale, Mannix star Mike
Connors and of course Mary Tyler Moore over the course of four days
The people producing tonight’s In Memorial have been
busy scrambling this week, as Hollywood lost double Oscar nominee John
Hurt, Perry Mason co-star Barbara Hale, Mannix star Mike
Connors and of course Mary Tyler Moore over the course of four days
Sarah Hyland, who has won four SAG Awards as part of the ensemble cast of ABC’s Modern Family, said on social media today that she won’t be attending tonight ceremony “for some health reasons.” She and the cast have been SAG-nommed for each of the sitcom’s eight seasons.
“I guess you could say I’m a product of luck and of nepotism. I’m Jeff Bridges, I’m an actor.”
Comedic intro as per the past few years
“I am a citizen of the world. I’m a professional liar. I play pretend for fun. I’m afforded the opportunity to show the ugliest, most fearful parts of myself because privately, someone loves me for those flaws. I’m Ashton Kutcher, and I’m an actor.”
Kerry Washington, Jeff Bridges, Sterling K. Brown, Ellie Kemper, Ashton Kutcher all making “I am an actor” declarations before a round of applause. Draw your own conclusions.
Here are some of the presenters at tonight’s ceremony: Casey
Affleck, Mahershala Ali, Common, Viola Davis, Michelle Dockery, Kathryn Hahn,
Naomie Harris, Salma Hayek, Taraji P. Henson, Jonah Hill, Kate Hudson, Rashida
Jones, Nicole Kidman, John Krasinski, Ashton Kutcher, Brie Larson, John Legend,
Viggo Mortensen, Gina Rodriguez, Octavia Spencer and Denzel Washington.
“Good evening everyone at home, and everyone in airports that belong in my America. You are a part of who we are, and we love you, and we welcome you,” Ashton Kutcher says, kicking off the soiree.
The Shrine Auditorium is no stranger to Hollywood Awards shows. The Academy Awards were held at the Shrine in 1947 and 1948 and then again eight times between 1988 and 2001 before the Oscars moved to their current home at the Dolby Theatre (née Kodak Theatre).
“The complete focus is on actors, people who usually dislike attention.”
“Thank you. Whether the Russians did or did not hack the voting of tonight’s SAG Awards, I look out at the million or million and a half people in the room, and say, this award is legitimate, and I won. Landslide.” — Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
“I want you all to know that I’m the daughter of an immigrant. My father fled religious persecution in Nazi occupied France, and I’m an American patriot, and I love this country. And because I love this country, I am [disturbed] by its blemishes.”
“This immigrant ban is a blemish and it’s un-American.” – JLD
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS / President Selina Meyer – “VEEP” (HBO)
WILLIAM H. MACY / Frank Gallagher – “SHAMELESS” (Showtime)
William H Macy: “I’d like to go against the stream this evening and thank President Trump… For making Frank Gallagher seem completely normal.”
The cast of Hidden Figures are on stage to present Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Sorry, ensemble for, err, Hidden Figures. Obviously.
Hidden Figures headed over $100M this weekend at the box office.
The young cast of Stranger Things take to the stage to present Ensemble, Comedy.
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK (Netflix)
UZO ADUBA / Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren
ALAN AISENBERG / Baxter “Gerber” Bayley
DANIELLE BROOKS / Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson
BLAIR BROWN / Judy King
JACKIE CRUZ / Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales
LEA DeLARIA / Big Boo
BETH DOVER / Linda Ferguson
KIMIKO GLENN / Brook Soso
ANNIE GOLDEN / Norma Romano
LAURA GOMEZ / Blanca Flores
DIANE GUERRERO / Maritza Ramos
MICHAEL J. HARNEY / Sam Healy
BRAD WILLIAM HENKE / Desi Piscatella
VICKY JEUDY / Janae Watson
JULIE LAKE / Angie Rice
SELENIS LEYVA / Gloria Mendoza
NATASHA LYONNE / Nicky Nichols
TARYN MANNING / Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett
JAMES McMENAMIN / Charlie “Donuts” Coates
ADRIENNE C. MOORE / Cindy “Black Cindy” Hayes
KATE MULGREW / Galina “Red” Reznikov
EMMA MYLES / Leanne Taylor
MATT PETERS / Joel Luschek
LORI PETTY / Lolly Whitehill
JESSICA PIMENTEL / Maria Ruiz
DASCHA POLANCO / Dayanara “Daya” Diaz
LAURA PREPON / Alex Vause
JOLENE PURDY / Stephanie Hapakuka
ELIZABETH RODRIGUEZ / Aleida Diaz
NICK SANDOW / Joe Caputo
ABIGAIL SAVAGE / Gina Murphy
TAYLOR SCHILLING / Piper Chapman
CONSTANCE SHULMAN / Erica “Yoga” Jones
DALE SOULES / Frieda Berlin
YAEL STONE / Lorna Morello
LIN TUCCI / Anita DeMarco
SAMIRA WILEY / Poussey Washington
“Mostly, we’d like to say that we stand up here representing a diverse group of people, representing a diverse group of families who have made a life here. And we know that it’s going to be up to us and all of you to tell stories that show that what unites us is stronger than the forces that try to divide us. We love you.” — Taylor Schilling, Orange is the New Black
So every award recipient wants to talk politics tonight … will there be anyone who won’t?
William H. Macy backstage: “I’ve done things i thought I never would do. I’m Lutheran for god’s sake, so I read the scripts with the same horror the audience has in watching it. I think it’s making me bolder. I feel freer to say what I really think.”
Coming up the Supporting Actress in features — Viola Davis won the Golden Globe in this category for reprising her stage role on the big screen for Fences.
Three TV winners, zero awards for broadcast or basic cable. Gasp.
William H. Macy says he wants to play a “bad guy. But more than that, the truly evil guy.” But violence upsets him he says.
Macy: “The Nazi, the racist, the Ku Klux Klan guy. I’d like to give a shot at those roles.”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
VIOLA DAVIS / Rose Maxson –
“FENCES” (Paramount Pictures)
“We deserve to be in the canon and in the center of any narrative written out there. August elevated my father, my uncles, and he encapsulated them in history.” Viola Davis focussing on thank yous and the film in her speech.
“What August did so beautifully is honor the average man and that man happened to be of color.” — Viola Davis
“Power to the people,” says Viggo Mortensen
Fences had both Washington and Davis reprising their Tony Award-winning Broadway roles.
“That’s right, young people. Stick it to the man,” Kathryn Hahn echoes, presenting clip for Captain Fantastic
Questions backstage focussing on where winners keep their trophies. The truly hard-hitting stuff. Nothing hugely political thus far, though we’ve only had Macy back so far.
MAHERSHALA ALI / Juan –
Mahershala Ali first met filmmaker Barry Jenkins over Skype. The film is based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue and is divided into three chapters in the life of a character named Chiron so three different actors play the lead role separated by 10 years each.
“I think what I’ve learned from working on Moonlight is we see what happens when you persecute people. They fold into themselves.” — Mahershala
Ali, Moonlight, accepting his first SAG Award
“I think what I’ve learned from working on Moonlight is we see what happens when you persecute people. They fold into themselves.” — Mahershala Ali, Moonlight, accepting his first SAG Award
“My mother is an ordained minister, I’m a minister. She didn’t do backflips when I called her to tell her I converted 16 years ago. I see her, she’s able to see me, that stuff is minutiae. It’s not that important. I want to thank Tarell McCraney for his courage. I want to thank Barry Jenkins, for your insight and just the collaboration, the opportunity.”
Very heartfelt speech by Mahershala Ali — nicely done.
The TV side so far is teeming with familiar faces: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, William H. Macy and Orange Is the New Black all are repeat SAG Award winners.
Moonlight was only Barry Jenkins’ second film after his 2008 Medicine for Melancholy.
MAHERSHALA ALI / Juan – “MOONLIGHT” (A24)
TV Movie/Limited Series awards are up next.
“I knew what was going to happen to my character over a year before it was going to be released. The real stories, I knew about 6 to 9 months before the rest of my cast knew.” — Samira Wiley, backstage for Orange is the New Black
“We got through it together, just like we went through it together the entire journey.”
Very heartfelt speech by Mahershala Ali — nicely done. Others who starred in the film with him were Naomi Harris, Trevante Rhodes, André Holland and Janelle Monáe. Both he and Monáe are also in Hidden Figures this year.
OITNB cast backstage joke about the positioning of their seats as indicative of their win. “We’ve never had Taylor Schilling with us before,” they note.
SARAH PAULSON / Marcia
Clark – “THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN
OITNB cast on diversity backstage: “I think we reflect reality and that we live on Carl Sagan’s big blue dot, and love will conquer all this. If they’re gonna lock up Muslims, they’re going to lock up all of us.”
“Art is going to be very important the next four years.”
“Any money you have to spare, please donate to the ACLU. It’s a vital organization that relies entirely on our support.” — Sarah Paulson, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Sarah Paulson also won the Emmy and Golden Globe for her role as O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark, who is in the audience.
Sara Paulson was the only recipient so far that didn’t have a political bent to her — oh, never mind. She just asked for money to be donated to the ACLU which sued to get the emergency stay on the travel ban.
We’re onto the *THIRD* OITNB group backstage. They’re going to have quite a party this evening.
“It’s the true representation of what the world is, and the stories we’ve been working on have connected not only in America but throughout the world.” Dascha Polanco, OITNB
Will People v. O.J. be the first double winner tonight? It has two chances.
BRYAN CRANSTON / President Lyndon B. Johnson – “ALL THE WAY” (HBO)
Cranston: “I’m often asked, how would Lyndon Johnson think about Donald Trump and I honestly feel that 36 would put his arm around 45 and earnestly wish him success. He would also whisper in his ear, something he said often as a word of encouragement, ‘Just don’t piss in the soup that all of us got to eat.'”
Or … to put it another way, drink upstream from the herd.
Cranston’s fifth career SAG win is a bit of an upset, with People v. O.J. having the awards momentum this season.
Next up is honoring Lily Tomlin with the SAG’s Life Achievement Award.
The win for All the Way means HBO is the first network or studio to pick up multiple trophies tonight.
“It wasn’t a tough decision to come up with what I wanted to say. I am not an immigrant, I was born here, so in terms of how I can speak from it from a personal perspective, it wasn’t available for me. I just wanted to have an opportunity to mention the inclusivity that I think is required right now. The ACLU, to me, represents that.”— Sarah Paulson, backstage for O.J.
“Even as I was getting ready tonight, as honored as I was, I felt the duality of the celebration and also the seriousness of people at JFK right now, at LAX. It just feels like a grave time. At the same time, I’m very proud.”
Manchester by the Sea was a major breakout at Sundance last year and was picked up by Amazon Studios for $10 million.
Paulson: “It’s an odd thing because this is a very celebratory time in my life and it’s dovetailing with a very interesting time with our country. It just feels like a grave time. I’m trying to find a place to put it where I can be celebratory.”
Dolly Parton is on stage to honor Lily Tomlin, her “9 to 5 buddy”.
“To me, [Marcia] is an incredibly smart, complicated, not without flaw, woman. I too am full of flaws and complications. I feel very honored to have played here, and i don’t know when I’ll come across a role like that again.”
Dolly Parton gets the first standing ovation of the night … Lilly will get the second. Who didn’t love 9 to 5?
Johnny Carson would approve of these jokes.
Lot of political questions backstage of course
“I don’t think anyone should feel pressured to do anything about anything. I do think silence is not golden at this particular time. If you have a platform and a place to say it and you can reach further, you should take the opportunity. But I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re failing if they’re not doing it.”
“I think people should do whatever they’re moved to do, in general.”
Parton: “People have been talking for years about us doing a sequel to 9 to 5. We better get after it because otherwise it’ll be called 95.”
Jane Fonda missed the show tonight with an illness. You could tell she was getting sick during her appearance on Bill Maher’s show last week.
Paulson: “I’ve made my living as an actress for a long time, but this is a whole new world, absolutely.”
Let’s hope they show a clip of Lily Tomlin’s brilliant, Emmy-nommed guest shot on Homicide Life on the Street.
Lily Tomlin took the Lifetime Achievement prize at last year’s ICG Publicists’ Guild too. Hers was far and away the best speech of the night, possibly the season. Brace for greatness.
Not a bad career, Lily Tomlin. Wow.
Bryan Cranston, backstage: “The Great Society is a play that has been written and is being produced in Austin, Texas. I’m not doing it. I’m here tonight. It was a big temptation to do it, but after having lived with it for a couple years, doing the play, and then the movie for HBO, I felt I’d examined it.”
“There’s a lot of strife in the world and in our country, but I think it’s important to embrace the good things that we have as well, and the collective of creative people coming together and talking about the issues, which you’ve seen tonight. It’s alive.. This is what artists do best, taking the fear and putting it back into the work. Hopefully, that creates a groundswell of understanding and compassion. I don’t think it’s wrong to celebrate good work that has nothing to do with other things.”
Tomlin: “How can I possibly express myself after Dolly and now you guys. What a week this has been though. You are kind of anticlimactic. Did you hear? The doomsday clock has been moved to two and a half minutes to midnight, and this award came just in time.”
Perfect telling of Tomlin’s character on Grace and Frankie: Someone scrawled “Was me” on her filthy car; she “wrote back”: “It’s a #@%$!! drought!”
Cranston: “We’re human beings and citizens before we ever became actors and activists or artists of any kind. If something is important to you, if something appears before you in a way that feels pressing, its up to the citizenry to speak up. Not everybody agrees, but that’s part of the democracy. In so many countries around the world, you’re not even allowed to voice objections.”
Tomlin: “I’ve learned to turn my flaws into spiritual lessons. I must say, watching Oprah helped.”
Tomlin’s advice to actors: “Don’t leave the house if you’re drunk, and if you’re out there you must be able to tell when you’ve had too much to drink. If you friends are talking to you and about you, saying things like, ‘Did she have a purse?'”
Tomlin: “Meryl is laughing at this and there’s absolutely no time she’s had a failure.”
Much sage advice from Tomlin. Are you listening, folks?
Tomlin: “Mind what Theroux said, ‘Beware of any enterprise that requires new clothing. Doesn’t that ring true to life at leas to some of you?'”
The Phrases of the Month: Alternative facts and fake news.
Tomlin: “I feel like I’m just getting started. What sign should I make for the next march?”
Tomlin wraps up with, “As long as I don’t have to audition I may well be back.”
JOHN LITHGOW / Winston Churchill – “THE CROWN” (Netflix)
“I never would have cast myself as Winston Churchill.” — John
Lithgow, The Crown, celebrating his first win in the category of Male Actor in a Drama Series
That’s two for Netflix tonight.
“A great and underrated actress who managed to speak my exact thoughts at another award ceremony, and that’s Meryl Streep,” Lithgow says, listing those who he would wish to thank.
Is Lithgow the biggest surprise so far tonight? He was up against Sterling K. Brown, Peter Dinklage, Rami Malek and Kevin Spacey
The Crown seems to be fresh on people’s minds, Erik. At Globes, Lithgow’s nomination didn’t come through to win, but Claire Foy’s did, and the show took Drama Series.
Circle gets the square, Joe.
“Like many of the nominees tonight, we represent people from other cultures, and that’s a real fact.” – Alia Shawkat, presenting Female Actor in a Drama Series with The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun.
That’s Lithgow’s third career SAG Award.
CLAIRE FOY / Queen Elizabeth II – “THE CROWN” (Netflix)
More proof that British people rule, as Foy doubles up on her Globes success.
Gotta believe we have a front-runner for the next category — ensemble in a drama series.
“I don’t know. If you can’t be a little bit entertaining at the same time, it probably falls on deaf ears. So many people are activists now and so understand about expressing themselves and taking that platform to use it, but on the other hand, I think that stars that people really care for to some degree, I think what they say does land home, or I hope it doesn’t just land on the ears on the people who are inclined as they are already. The main thing you should do is talk about legislation. Any activist should be talking about how to mount some legislation against what they’re opposed to. You’ve got to change the laws. Trumps changing the laws now. He’s trying to change the laws…I don’t want to make this comparison, but the Nazis, they changed the laws.. They just changed the laws, and they could do whatever they wanted. We have to be vigilant and stop certain behaviors.”— Lily Tomlin, backstage
Tomlin: “We need to be vigilant and we need to agree when he has a good idea, or she may have a good idea. We should be resistant when they don’t. Oh my gosh. I feel like I’m talking to somebody in Germany, so many decades ago.”
Before Ensemble in a Drama Series, it’s time for In Memorium.
Good mention of Ken Howard at the top on In Memoriam.
“I think using sunscreen is good advice for men and women. I don’t want to make that a women’s issue.” Somehow the conversation came here.
In Memorium names include: Ken Howard, William Schallert, Patty Duke, Jack Riley, Nancy Reagan, Bill Nunn, Alan Young, Anton Yelchin, Alexis Arquette, Anne Jackson, Kenny Baker, Hugh O’Brien, Florence Henderson, Robert Vaughn, William Christopher, George Kennedy, David Huddleston, Doris Roberts, Larry Drake, Jon Polito….
And our Garry … who did more behind the scenes to help victims of crime than most people will ever know.
Theresa Saldana, Garry Shandling, John McMartin, Thomas Mikal Ford, Robert Horton, Beth Howland, Ron Glass, Steven Hill, Richard Libertini, Abe Vigoda, Dan Haggerty, Prince, Alan Thicke, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Garry Marshall, Gene Wilder, Mary Tyler Moore, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds.
It seems the deaths of the last week, including John Hurt, Mike Connors and Barbara Hale, were too recent for inclusion.
The show is running long, says an announcer here in the commercial break. They ask that winners keep their acceptance speeches under 45 seconds.
Good luck with that.
No way they are going to finish by 7 PT.
Only four awards to go, however.
Four awards to go. So that’s 3 minutes of show left, Erik. Do the math.
(Yeah, you’re right)
Going to be cutting it really close.
Dude, I was a journalism major. My last math class was 10th grade, I think.
Stranger Things (Netflix)
“This is unreal. I’d just like to say that with all that’s going on tonight, it’s hard to celebrate the already celebrated Stranger Things.”—David Harbour, Stranger Things
“We are united in that we are all human beings and we’re all here together on this painful and mysterious ride that is being alive.”
Here is the Stranger Things cast:
MILLIE BOBBY BROWN / Eleven
CARA BUONO / Karen Wheeler
JOE CHREST / Ted Wheeler
NATALIA DYER / Nancy Wheeler
DAVID HARBOUR / Jim Hopper
CHARLIE HEATON / Jonathan Byers
JOE KEERY / Steve Harrington
GATEN MATARAZZO / Dustin Henderson
CALEB McLAUGHLIN / Lucas Sinclair
MATTHEW MODINE / Dr. Martin Brenner
ROB MORGAN / Officer Powell
JOHN PAUL REYNOLDS / Officer Callahan
WINONA RYDER / Joyce Byers
NOAH SCHNAPP / Will Byers
MARK STEGER / The Monster
FINN WOLFHARD / Mike Wheeler
What a speech from David Harbour.
“We will repel bullies, we will shelter freaks and outcasts, we will hunt monsters, and when we are lost, we will punch some people in the face, and we will do it all with soul, with heart and with joy. We thank you for this responsibility.”
Jonah Hill now has to follow that.
Hill: “Glad I followed that.” I guess we think alike.
Well, that was the most impassioned political speech of the night … everyone on their feet …
Here we go on the Big 3 films awards.
Amy Adams was snubbed this year for Oscar noms, but nominated for tonight’s award by her peers.
EMMA STONE / Mia – “LA LA LAND” (Lionsgate)
She also took home the Golden Globe this year and, of course, nominated for an Oscar — one of 14 that La La Land received this past week.
They are pushing her off with a countdown … five minutes left.
“The women in this category … you guys inspire me beyond, I mean you are just the greatest. Please wrap up, okay, I was just going to say that I feel insecure most of the time … ” Emma Stone
TBS and TNT are set to replay this show at 7 PM in the Pacific zone. Good luck making that start time, Turner.
Emma Stone, whilst being wrapped up: “I was just going to say I feel insecure a lot of the time. Genuinely. And feeling like I could deserve anything like this requires mental gymnastics for me. I was thinking about the films and the art and the shows that I’ve seen this year. To get to be even a tiny part of a group of people that cares about reflecting society and giving people joy and hope… we’re in a really tricky time in the world in our country and things are very inexcusable and scary and need action.”
Two more awards with three minutes to 7 PM
Not too many winners stepping backstage this evening. Is the press corps too scary?
La La Land, which is not nominated in the Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture from SAG tonight, is director Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to his five-time Oscar-nominated Whiplash (which won three Academy Awards, including for Best Supporting Actor J.K. Simmons who also appears in La La Land).
Coming next is Actor and then Ensemble Cast —
A huge upset there, in a category generally expected to go to Casey Affleck, as Denzel Washington takes the win.
DENZEL WASHINGTON / Troy Maxson – “FENCES” (Paramount Pictures)
Denzel? That is surprising as the odds on favorite tonight was Casey Affleck.
Washington: “I’m a god-fearing man, I’m supposed to have faith, but I didn’t have faith. I said, ‘That young boy’s going to win, Denzel, you don’t have to prepare,’ so I didn’t prepare.”
Even Washington knew the odds.
“This is not a testament to me, but it’s a testament obviously to August Wilson. The guys who don’t get recognized.” — Denzel
“One last thing. Viola. Davis.”
Claire Foy and John Lithgow finally emerge backstage.
So Viola Davis and Denzel Washington (who directed himself in the film Fences) as well as Mykelti Williamson and Russell Hornsby were the other actors … in this adaptation of the Award-winning August Wilson play.
That’s Denzel’s first SAG Award in his six nominations.
“We don’t know anything. It’s very difficult to get a truthful answer from anyone, which is the nature of them, and the beauty of them. We don’t know, but we do know they have a Netflix subscription.”- Claire Foy of Netflix’s The Crown, on the royal family watching the series
“I had said yes at the word ‘Claire Foy.'” – John Lithgow
Davis has been nominated for an Oscar twice before — for The Help and also for Doubt — but unbelievably has not yet won. The win tonight gives her momentum going into … wait … Hidden Figures!!
Another big surprise here, with Hidden Figures taking the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture award against Manchester, Moonlight, Captain Fantastic and Fences.
HIDDEN FIGURES (20th Century Fox)
MAHERSHALA ALI / Col. Jim Johnson
KEVIN COSTNER / Al Harrison
KIRSTEN DUNST / Vivian Mitchell
TARAJI P. HENSON / Katherine G. Johnson
ALDIS HODGE / Levi Jackson
JANELLE MONÁE / Mary Jackson
JIM PARSONS / Paul Stafford
GLEN POWELL / John Glenn
OCTAVIA SPENCER / Dorothy Vaughan
Huge gasp in the press room for this one, even as Lithgow and Foy talk onstage.
Lithgow: “We rehearsed for about ten days before we shot, and on the ninth day, I said, there’s an elephant in the room. No one’s mentioned I’m 18 inches taller than Churchill.”
Taraji P Henson: “This story is about what happens when we put our differences aside and we come together as a human race. We win, love wins, every time.”
Taraji P. Henson, who portrayed Katherine Johnson in the Ted Melfi-directed film honored “Three American Heroes” in the women behind NASA ‘They are Hidden Figures no more!” Besides Katherine Johnson, the women are Dorothy Vaughn (portrayed by Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (played by Janelle Monáe). Henson also gave a shout out to another hero: the late astronaut John Glenn who, sadly, never got to see the film.
OK, so the show is over, but stay with us on the liveblog, as Matt and I are expecting a few more backstage visits from winners.
That sounds weirder than I meant it.
The Stranger Things kids are backstage, lowering the average age in the press room by about 30 years.
Caleb McLaughlin: “I just heard the ‘S’ and I knew it was us.”
Millie Bobbie Brown: “Me and the Duffers, we thought we had no chance. I didn’t get to say it on stage, because David Harbour just rocked it, but thank you to everyone in that category.”
Gaten Matarazzo: “Dave’s speech was just amazing and I could listen to it a hundred times.”
Matarazzo: “Tonight really proves that kids can be good actors too. It’s not about experience, it’s about the will do to what you love. You can do amazing things no matter how long you’ve been on this planet.”
And now man of the evening David Harbour brings up the older Stranger Things cast.
Harbour: “I need a cheeseburger and a cigarette.”
Harbour: “I didn’t expect us to win at all actually. I did know that if we did win, I’m very bad at improvisation, so I did not want to go up there with nothing to say. The speech went through many iterations. I’ve had a lot of feelings and thoughts this past week and I wanted to express it in some way what we do through our art and the craft of acting. It’s not about how popular you are or how many likes you get.”
Harbour ran his speech past the cast the other day. He changed it as the airport protests happened last night.
Viola Davis comes backstage.
Davis gives a great answer to a dumb OscarsSoWhite question: “Everybody has had fences in this business. Therte’s a lot of typecasting. Age, sex, colour. I think that every nominee from Naomie Harris to Octavia Spencer to Mahershala Ali are there because they deserve to be there. They put in the work. I always use the three words, February 27th is going to come, and now what? Is it just going to be a trend to talk about inclusion – and I use inclusion rather than diversity – or is it going to become part of the narrative. People are going to demand it. That’s where we at. We’re not the Brady Bunch anymore. We’re Black-ish, we’re Fresh Off The Boat, we’re Jane The Virgin, we’re Stranger Things.”
Davis: “Sometimes I feel like I’m forced to remind people that I look different, because I don’t want to sound kumbaya, but I always feel you have to look at your life like a relay race. Your life is about running your leg of the race. What is your legacy going to be? I saw an absence of women who look like me on TV as of even eight years ago. And to tell you the truth, we’re still absent in leading roles.”
Davis: “I want to tell people that we in the past have not been invited to the party.”
Davis: “I just thought Denzel did a tremendous job, and then he cared so much about this project. I think I blew his eardrum out, but hopefully he’ll forgive me. August Wilson gave me my equity card.”
“They escorted me into a port-o-potty after that. I was like, what just happened?”— Emma Stone, backstage, on being cut off
“Basically my intention was to express that sometimes in insecure times I go into my head and think that what I do maybe doesn’t count for anything in the world. It’s not enough and I’m not saving lives. I was thinking about the art this year and in a time like this when so many horrific things are happening, its so special to be part of a group that wants to reflect that back to the world, and maybe change perspectives or help people feel less alone. That’s something that’s given me a lot of happiness.”
“We have to speak up against injustice, and we have to kick some ass.”
“We have to speak up. Staying silent only helps the oppressor, not the victim. Right now I hope that people seeing things that are being done that are unconstitutional and inhumane would say something. I would hope that people would fight for what’s right, and what’s just f–king human. What’s f–cking human.”
Denzel is backstage.
Washington: “By the third week, Viola showed us where she was going with that big scene. I was like, ‘Wait a minute, I better concentrate.'”
Washington on Trump’s Wall: “I think we as Americans better learn to unite. We need to put our elected officials’ feet to the fire and demand that they work together or they won’t get back into office. We’re getting further and further apart in this technological age. Everybody can’t be right. I think this is an opportunity, actually, to look at ourselves and say, ‘Are we together, really, and are we holding our officials accountable to make sure they’re working together?’ This is what’s happening, and god only knows where it’s going.”
Washington: “When I turned 60 I realized, this is not a rehearsal. You can’t see a U-Haul behind a hearse. So what are you going to do with your life? I’m here to support Viola and the cast. I’ve won everything I need to win. I get more joy out of seeing others do well.”
The Hidden Figures cast come backstage.
“I think the major role of an artist is to use the art that God gave you to touch and change lives. We all look different for a reason. No one group is better than the other. We’re all humans here to get along and make this big world go round. There’s a reason this film wasn’t made 10 years ago. The universe needed it now.” — Taraji P. Henson on Hidden Figures
“Sometimes, we need to provide a little escapism from the realities we are currently existing in. People are hearing the message and feeling the message.” — Octavia Spencer
“I think the colors of us, the nuances of us that make us all unique represent a shared humanity. The film reminds us that we’ve been through harder times, we went through it in the segregation era and we can get through it now. In the great words of Kevin Costner, ‘We all pee the same color.'” — Janelle Monae
“I just pretended my character was very frustrated because she was in love with Octavia. I turned it on its head. Yes, it was very uncomfortable but Octavia said, just do it” — Kirsten Dunst on acting racism
“We have agency now as women. We can say what’s on our mind. Don’t focus on the problems. Focus on the solutions. What are we going to do to get past this? I think that’s why this film is so timely. The beautiful thing in 2017 is that the majority is on the right side of history. Fear not. Fear and faith cannot coexist. Pick your battles. I choose faith.” — Taraji P. Henson
And with that she dropped the mic.
OK we’re told Mahershala Ali will make a backstage appearance, the last of the night.
Here’s Ali now.
Ali: “Actors know the unique work that goes into acting. We don’t work harder than a director or a writer or a craft services guy. We just work uniquely in our own way. When other actors watch your work, there’s things that they recognize that maybe the layperson doesn’t recognize. That’s what makes this special to me.”
A question to Ali about the five Muslims reportedly shot in a mosque in Quebec, around the time he was delivering his impassioned speech on stage, about what his words on stage meant to him.
“I remind you that I’m African American, so this is not new to me. My grandfather marched, he ws in the NAACP, my great grandfather and great grandmother were active in the civil rights movement, and when my great grandmother died, they announced that she was a communist, and she wasn’t. My great grandfather lost his job, and he had five kids to take care of. This is not new. These things have existed before. It’s just as painful as it’s ever been, so it’s sad. It pains me, and I do identify with that struggle, what Muslims are dealing with specifically.” — Mahershala Ali
“It’s hurtful to see what’s happening to immigrants, and so on and so forth. It’s a challenging time. As artists, as actors, we have an opportunity to make certain choices that shine a light on situations that light needs to be shined on. It helps our conversation, helps raise awareness because with awareness you can bring about change. That’s what we can do, and that’s the optimistic approach that I would like to have.”
Ali: “That’s when we have to have respect, when we don’t agree with each other. When you see eye to eye there’s nothing to worry about. It’s when you have a certain degree of ignorance. You gotta respect that that person’s different from you, and just trust that maybe you’ll understand one day. Once you know something you can love something, and you can put the other things to the side. It’s about how we approach each other. It’s about giving people the respect that you would appreciate having, and seeing the other person as just as human as you. Arrogance doesn’t have a place. That’s what I’m trying to do, and I’m sure I might fail, but I’m just trying to respect people for who they are, and not try to fix anybody. To work on my own stuff.”
OK that’s it folks from backstage, and the SAG Awards liveblog.