Idris Elba and ‘Spotlight’ Win Big at SAG Awards

Photo Source: Helga Esteb/

The SAG Awards were anything but #SoWhite after honoring several actors of color at its 22nd annual ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 30.

SAG-AFTRA separated itself from the Academy, which has come under scrutiny in recent weeks for only nominating white actors for a second year in a row.

Oscar-snubbed Idris Elba took home two individual awards making him one of the night’s biggest winners. Elba won for his television work on “Luther” and again for his supporting performance in the Netflix original feature “Beasts of No Nation.”

Elba’s film win makes him the only SAG winner without a corresponding Oscar nomination (Alicia Vikander, Brie Larson, and Leonardo DiCaprio are all up for Academy Awards.)

Uzo Aduba (“Orange Is the New Black”), Viola Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder”), and Queen Latifah (“Bessie”) also accepted trophies.

“I hope that anyone out there who does not come in the package that people say you should; keep fighting for it,” Latifah said while accepting her award. “You build your own boxes.”

Laura Prepon echoed that sentiment in her acceptance speech on behalf of the “Orange Is the New Black” ensemble. The cast won Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for the second time.

“Look at this stage—I mean, this is what we talk about when we talk about diversity,” Prepon said. “Different race, color, creed, sexual orientation.”

“Spotlight” shined bright winning the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton spoke for the ensemble, while fellow cast mates Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d’Arcy James, and Billy Crudup accompanied them on stage.

This win for “Spotlight” revives the film’s Oscar chances after losing the PGA Award to “The Big Short” last week.

DiCaprio continued his march toward Oscar gold with his first SAG victory for “The Revenant,” after five previous nominations. The actor paid tribute to actors he watched as a child, including James Cagney and Robert De Niro.

“For any young actors out there, I encourage you to watch the history of cinema,” he said. “You’ll realize we all stand on the shoulders of giants.”

Rising star Vikander (“The Danish Girl”) and Backstage cover star Larson (“Room”) won the other two film acting prizes of the night.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler touchingly and humorously presented Backstage cover star Carol Burnett the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Carol is better than all of us,” Poehler joked. “We are going to give her a prize for it.”

Burnett’s career spans more than 50 years covering all areas of entertainment, including stage (“Once Upon a Mattress”), television (“The Carol Burnett Show”), and film (“Pete ‘n’ Tillie,” “Annie”). She has won five Golden Globes, six Emmys, a Mark Twain Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and a host of other honors throughout her storied career.

Burnett spent much of her acceptance speech thanking the cast and crew of her variety series. “The Carol Burnett Show” ran for 11 seasons, and Burnett broke ground as one of the first women headliners of a weekly variety show.

She acknowledged renowned costume designer Bob Mackie, as well as her co-stars Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, and Tim Conway. Burnett fittingly concluded with her signature bow.

“I’m so glad we had this time together,” she said before winking and tugging on her ear.

Below is a complete list of award winners from this weekend’s SAG Awards.


Female Actor TV Movie or Miniseries

  • Nicole Kidman - Grace of Monaco

  • WINNER: Queen Latifah - Bessie

  • Christina Ricci - The Lizzie Borden Chronicles

  • Susan Sarandon - The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe

  • Kristen Wiig - The Spoils Before Dying

Male Actor TV Movie or Miniseries

  • WINNER: Idris Elba - Luther

  • Ben Kingsley - Tut

  • Ray Liotta - Texas Rising

  • Bill Murray - A Very Murray Christmas

  • Mark Ryalnce - Wolf Hall

Outstanding Female in Comedy Series

  • WINNER: Uzo Aduba - Orange is the New Black

  • Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie

  • Ellie Kemper - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep

  • Amy Poehler - Parks and Recreation

Outstanding Male Comedy Series

  • Ty Burrell - Modern Family

  • Louis C.K. - Louie

  • William H Macy - Shameless

  • Jim Parsons - Big Bang Theory

  • WINNER: Jeffrey Tambor - Transparent

Ensemble Comedy Series

  • Big Bang Theory

  • Key & Peele

  • Modern Family

  • WINNER: Orange is the New Black

  • Transparent

  • Veep

Outstanding Male Actor Drama

  • Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones

  • Jon Hamm - Mad Men

  • Rami Malek - Mr. Robot

  • Bob Odenkirk - Better Call Saul

  • WINNER: Kevin Spacey - House of Cards

Outstanding Female Actor Drama

  • Claire Danes - Homeland

  • WINNER: Viola Davis - How to Get Away With Murder

  • Julianna Margulies - The Good Wife

  • Maggie Smith - Downton Abbey

  • Robin Wright - House of Cards

Ensemble Drama

  • WINNER: Downton Abbey

  • Game of Thrones

  • Homeland

  • House of Cards

  • Mad Men


Outstanding Female Actor Supporting

  • Rooney Mara - Carol

  • Rachel McAdams - Spotlight

  • Helen Mirren - Trumbo

  • WINNER: Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl

  • Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs

Outstanding Male Actor Supporting

  • Christian Bale - The Big Short

  • WINNER: Idris Elba - Beasts of No Nation

  • Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies

  • Michael Shannon - 99 Homes

  • Jacob Tremblay - Room

Female Leading Role

  • Cate Blanchett - Carol

  • WINNER: Brie Larson - Room

  • Helen Mirren - Woman in Gold

  • Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn

  • Sarah Silverman - I Smile Back

Male Leading Role

  • Bryan Cranston - Trumbo

  • Johnny Depp - Black Mass

  • WINNER: Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant

  • Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs

  • Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl

Cast in a Movie

  • Beasts of No Nation

  • The Big Short

  • WINNER: Spotlight

  • Straight Outta Compton

  • Trumbo

Still confused about union versus nonunion? Read “14 Actor FAQs Answered!”