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SAG Awards: Anne Hathaway & Daniel Day-Lewis + Political Thriller Cast

SAG Awards Anne Hathaway Les Miserables
Anne Hathaway Les Misérables.

SAG Awards winners 2013 Anne Hathaway & Tommy Lee Jones

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

The SAG Awards 2013 are currently being held at the Shrine Exposition Center, just south of downtown Los Angeles. One of the key Academy Award precursors, SAG Award winners have usually gone on to take home Oscars in their respective categories. (Image: Anne Hathaway Les Misérables.)

The SAG Award winner for Best Supporting Actor was absentee Tommy Lee Jones for his performance as Thaddeus Stevens in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. About two weeks ago, Jones lost the Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe to Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained – Waltz, however, was not nominated for a SAG Award. Both Jones and Waltz are in the running for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

Despite Christoph Waltz’s absence from the SAG Awards 2013 roster, Jones had some strong competition, chiefly Robert De Niro in David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, both distributed by the awards-season savvy The Weinstein Company – which also distributed Django Unchained.

Best Supporting Actress Anne Hathaway

An easy pick, Golden Globe winner and Oscar favorite Anne Hathaway was the SAG Awards 2013 Best Supporting Actress for her tragic, singing Fantine in Tom Hooper’s musical Les Misérables. Hathaway’s competitors were Sally Field in Lincoln, Nicole Kidman in The Paperboy, Helen Hunt in The Sessions, and Maggie Smith in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

After receiving her The Actor statuette from Justin Timberlake, Anne Hathaway explained she has been a SAG card-carrying member since she was 14. She then proceeded to thank her representatives and her actress-mother, Kate McCauley Hathaway, for voting for her.

Television winners

In the SAG Awards television categories, 30 Rock actors Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey came out victorious in the Best Actor / Best Actress (or Best Female Actor) in a Television Comedy Series. Alec Baldwin, who feigned surprise, won his eighth SAG Award; Tina Fey won her fifth.

Two movie actors, Julianne Moore and Kevin Costner, won SAG Awards for Best Actress / Best Actor in a TV Movie / Miniseries: Moore for her portrayal of former U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in Game Change and Kevin Costner for the Western miniseries Hatfields & McCoys. Moore read a laundry-list of names, after comparing acting to playing basketball – “team work”; Costner didn’t say anything because he was a no-show.

And finally, Modern Family was the Best Television Comedy Series ensemble. Cast members include Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Ed O’Neill.

SAG Awards Ben Affleck Argo
SAG Awards 2013: Ben Affleck’s Argo wins Best Cast; Best Picture Oscar next?

Ben Affleck’s Argo, nominated for a single SAG Award in the individual acting categories (for Best Supporting Actor Alan Arkin), won the Best Cast SAG Award for actor-director-coproducer Ben Affleck, and fellow players John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, and Alan Arkin. Curiously, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, winner of two SAG Awards – Best Supporting Actor Tommy Lee Jones and Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis – was bypassed for the Best Cast award. (Image: Ben Affleck SAG Awards 2013.)

Of course, it’s possible that SAG Award voters would have picked Ben Affleck’s well-received and financially successful political thriller whether or not Affleck had been nominated for a Best Director Academy Award. It could also be that Argo won the Best Cast SAG Award chiefly because Affleck, an actor since the early ’90s, was omitted from the Academy Awards’ Best Director shortlist.

Best Cast SAG Awards vs. Academy Awards

Now, does the Best Cast SAG Award ensure that Argo will end up winning the Best Picture Oscar? Not necessarily, though actors and producers are clearly behind it; yesterday, Argo received the Producers Guild Award for “best produced” movie of 2012. And remember, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Actors Branch is by far the largest within that organization.

For the record: Bruce Beresford’s Driving Miss Daisy (1989) was the third and last movie to win the Best Picture Academy Award without a matching Best Director nomination. (There were only five Best Picture nominees that year; the Academy changed its Best Picture rules in 2009.)

Also worth noting is that Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 (1995) won the first-ever SAG Award for Best Cast, in addition to the Producers Guild Award and the Directors Guild Award. Yet, Apollo 13 lost the Best Picture Oscar to Mel Gibson’s Braveheart. Of note: Much like Ben Affleck, director Ron Howard – an actor since the early ’60s – was bypassed by the Academy’s Directors Branch. Does that mean the Academy hates actors? Hardly. Actor-director Gibson took home the Best Director Oscar that year.

Another one for the record: There have been nine Best Cast SAG Award winners – or about half the total number – that failed to win the Best Picture Academy Award. They are Tate Taylor’s The Help (2011), Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (2009), Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ PGA Award-winning Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Alexander Payne’s Sideways (2004), and Robert Altman’s Gosford Park (2001).

Also: Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic (2000), Peter Cattaneo’s The Full Monty (1997), Mike NicholsThe Birdcage (1996), and Ron Howard’s aforementioned Apollo 13 (1995).

Of the preceding Best Cast SAG Award winners, four failed to receive Best Director Oscar nominations: The Help, Little Miss Sunshine, The Birdcage, and Apollo 13.

SAG Awards Daniel Day-Lewis
SAG Awards 2013: Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence

Daniel Day-Lewis was the Best Actor SAG Award winner for Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed historical drama Lincoln. In his acceptance speech, Day-Lewis acknowledged not only his fellow Best Actor nominees, but also non-nominee Joaquin Phoenix, whose performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master was bypassed by SAG Award voters. (Image: Daniel Day-Lewis SAG Awards 2013.)

Additionally, Day-Lewis thanked “my friends” Leonardo DiCaprio and Liam Neeson, and joked that perhaps because Abraham Lincoln was killed by an actor, John Wilkes Booth, actors have frequently tried to bring Lincoln back to life. Before Daniel Day-Lewis, the movies’ Abraham Lincolns include those of Joseph Henabery, Walter Huston, John Carradine, Henry Fonda, Raymond Massey (a Best Actor Oscar nominee for Abe Lincoln in Illinois), and, most recently, Benjamin Walker.

Of note: Lincoln marked Daniel Day-Lewis’ third Best Actor SAG Award victory. His previous two wins were for Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York (2002) and for Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood (2007). Day-Lewis, this year’s likely Best Actor Academy Award winner, already has two Oscars as well: for Jim Sheridan’s My Left Foot (1989, released six years before the first SAG Awards) and There Will Be Blood. Adrien Brody (for Roman Polanski’s The Pianist) beat Day-Lewis at the 2002 Academy Awards.

Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence, recovering from a bout of pneumonia, received the SAG Award for Best Female Actor (i.e., Best Actress) in a Motion Picture. In her speech, Lawrence praised Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell for making the movie for his son, who suffers from bipolar disorder.

Following her SAG Award win – and with the support of Oscar-savvy The Weinstein Company – Jennifer Lawrence is now the favorite for the Best Actress Academy Award, though both Jessica Chastain (for Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty) and Emmanuelle Riva (for Michael Haneke’s Amour) are strong competitors. Absurdly (though not unexpectedly), Riva wasn’t even nominated for the Best Actress SAG Award.

Other winners

Dick Van Dyke, the 87-year-old recipient of the SAG Life Achievement Award, remarked that former collaborators Carl Reiner and Mary Tyler Moore were unable to attend the SAG Awards ceremony – both are sick. Right after letting out a cough, Van Dyke then stated that his health was just fine. He also called the current crop of performers “the greatest generation of actors in the history of acting,” and lauded their humanitarian efforts in places such as Haiti.

Bryan Cranston took home two The Actor statuettes. Besides winning alongside Ben Affleck, John Goodman, and Alan Arkin as members of the Argo cast, Cranston also won for Best Actor in a TV drama series for Breaking Bad. In the equivalent Best Actress category, Claire Danes won for Homeland. The SAG Award for Best Cast in a Television Drama Series went to Downtown Abbey, which features Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, and others.

Prior to the ceremony, the stunt crews of Sam Mendes’ worldwide blockbuster Skyfall and of the television series Game of Thrones received SAG Awards for their efforts.

Nicole Kidman Naomi Watts SAG Awards
Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts at SAG Awards 2013: TV ratings up.

SAG Awards’ TV ratings up

Jan. 28 update: The SAG Awards ceremony was, relatively speaking, a television hit. Now, was it because Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts were in attendance? Or because of Life Achievement Award winner Dick Van Dyke? Or perhaps because people were eager to see Jennifer Lawrence recovering from her bout of pneumonia? Or the fact that no one knew for sure who or what was going to win except for Lincoln‘s Daniel Day-Lewis and 30 Rock‘s Alec Baldwin? (Baldwin feigned surprise when his name was announced, but it’s impossible to believe that anyone was fooled.)

Whatever the causes, according to a SAG Awards press release last night’s live simulcast of the 2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards on TNT and TBS lured in a total of 5.2 million viewers, including more than 2.1 million adults in the coveted 18-49 range. That represents a 5 percent increase in that key demographic group compared to last year. Not surprisingly – though the deal was surely set before today’s TV viewership results – TNT and TBS have announced a new three-year agreement with SAG-AFTRA for the SAG Awards telecast.

Here are more SAG Awards 2013 telecast figures: TNT scored 2,952,000 viewers and 1,109,000 adults in the 18-49 demographic; TBS attracted 2,295,000 viewers and 999,000 adults 18-49. Total viewership was up 2 percent compared to last year. Additionally, the networks were up in their respective target demos: TNT’s delivery of adults 25-54 up 11 percent (1,242,000) and TBS’s delivery of adults 18-34 up 12 percent (537,000).

As icing on the cake, the SAG Awards 2013 ceremony remained the top trending topic on Twitter throughout the live simulcast, as well as during TNT’s 10 p.m. ET encore. The release adds that the SAG Awards “continued to be among the Top 10 topics on Twitter well into the day on Monday and experienced significant growth in its Facebook, Google+ and Instagram followers in the weeks leading up to the ceremony.”

Past TV ratings

Now, putting things a little in context: the annual SAG Awards ceremony was watched by 10-12 million viewers when it was broadcast on NBC in the first three years of the awards, 1995-97. From then on, for several years broadcast only on TNT, the most successful SAG Awards (TNT only) was the 2003 ceremony, which reached nearly 5 million viewers.

In the motion picture categories, the winners that year were Best Renée Zellweger for Rob Marshall’s Chicago, Best Supporting Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones for Chicago, Best Supporting Actor Christopher Walken for Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can, Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis for Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, and Best Cast Chicago (Zellweger, Zeta-Jones, Christine Baranski, Taye Diggs, Colm Feore, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly).

SAG Awards 2013 winners

Winners of the various SAG Awards 2013 include the cast of Argo (Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston); Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis for his performance as the U.S. president in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln; Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence for David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook; Best Supporting Actress Anne Hathaway for Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables; and Best Supporting Actor Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln.

Television winners in various categories included Julianne Moore, Tina Fey, Kevin Costner, Bryan Cranston, Claire Danes, Alec Baldwin, and the casts of Modern Family and Downton Abbey.

Pictured above, If-Looks-Could-Kill Nicole Kidman was a Best Supporting Actress nominee for Lee DanielsThe Paperboy. Naomi Watts was a Best Actress nominee for Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible.

See also: Hollywood luminaries sign “hardline” SAG-AFTRA strike letter asserting they’re ready to strike in summer 2023.

Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Ben Affleck, and Daniel Day-Lewis images: © SAG Awards.

Anne Hathaway Les Misérables movie image: Universal Pictures.

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