9 takeaways from the 2022 SAG Awards
There was something about this year’s SAG Awards ceremony. It wasn’t as stressful as the 2021 Oscars. It wasn’t as stuffy as the 2021 Emmys. It was spacious and, almost to a presenter, everyone was extremely happy to be there. Honestly, you can’t say that about most price discounts.
READ MORE: ‘CODA’, ‘Succession’ Jessica Chastain and Will Smith among big winners at 2022 SAG Awards
Admittedly, like all guild honors, SAGs are a special breed. It’s not just an audience of participants’ peers, but their union. A union, as president of SAG-AFTRA Fran Drescher, reminded viewers, which is the largest entertainment syndicate in the world. But more on his speech later.
All in all, it was a massive evening for Apple TV+ with “CODA” winning Cast in a Motion Picture, the movie Troy Kotsur take an actor in a supporting role, “Ted Lasso” winner of the cast in a comedy series and Jason Sudeikis to be honored with Actor in a Comedy Series for the second consecutive year. The streamer is progressing on all fronts even in a year where actors are flaunting the wealth a bit. Netflix? Three wins. Projector? A victory. Warner Bros? A victory. Disney? A victory. Hulu? A victory. HBO and HBO Max? Three wins. Surprisingly, only Focus and MGM were left out.
With all that in mind, here are a few moments that stood out for us during the quick two-hour ceremony.
Romy and Michelle’s reunion
Honestly, I gasped. Anyone who loves the cult 1997 comedy “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion” knew exactly what was happening when Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino took to the stage in pink and blue ensembles to present an award. The actors made a few major jokes referencing their characters, and Sorvino even brought post-its (Michelle and Romy made them up if you didn’t know). It’s unclear why the two actors decided to bring the duo to the SAG Awards, but if Walt Disney Studios is listening, it’s time for the long-awaited sequel! We’d even pick it up on Hulu!
Standing ovation for Jean Smart
Jean Smart’s revival likely culminated with her Emmy win in September, but it was her first SAG win and it clearly meant something to her (her joke about acting like the “oldest profession of the world” was one of the most memorable in television broadcasting). It also meant something to his peers who gave him one of the few standing ovations of the night.
“Squid Game” upsets
Considering there were multiple nominees from the same programs in both of their categories, looking back, the wins for Lee Jung-jae and Ho Yeon Jung probably shouldn’t have been a big surprise. But, for anyone watching, the fact that two Korean-speaking actors won trophies for “Squid Game” came as a shock. It was also a huge surprise for Jung, who delivered a tearful acceptance speech. For Netflix, their victories are proof that “Squid Game” should be a major player in the drama series races this summer. And of course, “Succession” won the Cast in a Drama Series trophy, but “Squid” will officially be a major Emmy player across the board.
Fran Drescher has plans
the old “Nanny” The star had a rocky start with the teleprompter, but ultimately gave perhaps the most militant speech the guild president has ever given. Drescher reminded his union and those watching of the influence of the SAG and its members. In his own words, it’s time to “leverage this for the greater good.” She noted actors already contributing to environmental efforts such as Meryl Streep and called on others who she hopes will join in their efforts, such as Rosario Dawson and Denzel Washington. Again, his delivery was a little off, but the context of his comments and his goals were telling.
Michael Keaton with a timeless speech
We’re not sure we can really describe how to move the “Dopesick” the star and SAG Awards winner’s speech was. Keaton was actually late to accept his trophy after walking into the men’s room at the wrong time during the ceremony. He even took the stage, but his comments weren’t comedic. Like many present, the events in Ukraine were on his mind. So was his ability to be part of a program that was trying to bring about change. He noted, “I’m so lucky. We could spend a week here talking about my luck. I am so blessed to do what I do. I have a job where I can be part of a production like ‘Dopesick’ that really engenders thought, conversation, real change. He also noted, “I can feel the thunder from the rolling eyes. Shut up and dribble. Shut up and act. Acting, I’m going to quit. The closure. Not so much.” He ended his remarks with his voice breaking as he dedicated the award to his nephew Michael and his sister Pam, “it hurts.”
Helen Mirren is most definitely a lady
The mantra for this year’s overall work winner? “Be on time and don’t be an ass.” Oh, and another zinger: “I hate saying the word SAG at my age. It’s still SAG for me. And then she addressed the “actors”. “I really piss off that the actors are being slandered as a group. It’s so easy, isn’t it? This lazy and false assumption of vanity. In my experience, which is now considerable, the opposite is true. We love and admire everyone’s work. Together we laugh, we cry, we worry, we change clothes, we vomit and we suffer from diarrhoea. She later added, “You are a beautiful tribe. Spanning the history and time of the culture. Eloquent words from a real one.
Brian Cox takes a moment to reflect on Ukraine and Russian actors
the “Succession” The actor spoke on behalf of his castmates as they received the award for Outstanding Cast in a Drama Series. A wonderfully clueless actor, he swore in the first 30 seconds, paid tribute to the show’s casting directors, and then moved on to the most important news story of the day, Ukraine. “It’s really awful what’s happening and it’s especially awful when it affects other people, especially in our profession. The president of Ukraine was a comedian. He was a wonderful comedian. And getting to presidency is unbelievable. But what is really distressing to me is what is happening in Russia, to my fellow actors and actresses, performers, writers and critics. They are being told under pain of high treason that they cannot say a word about Ukraine. And I think that’s pretty awful. And also for those people in Russia who don’t like what’s going on. Especially the artists. I think we should join them in celebrate them and hope they can actually make a change like I think Cue the standing ovation.
Jessica Chastain’s real surprise
Was there a favorite to win Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Motion Picture this year? Not really. But it was clear from the moment the camera caught her that Jessica Chastain didn’t expect to hear his name called. the “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” The star was “completely stunned” and reminded people that the woman she played, Tammy Faye Bakker, “threw her arms around those who were rejected and she launched into decades of LGBTQ love. I worked on the project for 10 years and I hope we made her story a way she would be proud of. Chastain is already receiving accolades for her acceptance speech and it may be one of those key moments that propels her to the front of the line at the Oscars next month.
Will Smith shouts out to Venus
He has four Grammys. He recently won his first Golden Globe, but Will Smith has never been recognized by his peers for his cinematic catalog. Not as an actor or producer. That changed with his first SAG Award for “King Richard.” The best part of his emotional acceptance speech, however, was his realization that he may have just experienced one of the greatest moments of his career. Not because he won, but “Because my name was called for ‘King Richard’ sitting next to Venus Williams.“He noted,”Richard Williams is a dreamer like you’ve never known. He has a power of belief that borders on madness. And sometimes necessary to take something from impossible to possible. But it got better. “Venus, Serena, the Williams family, you entrusted me and our band with your story. You didn’t agree to put your name on it until you saw the final draft, [but] I understand. But it’s cool, it’s real! We sometimes mess things up. Breathe Will, you made them proud.