‘Three Billboards,’ ‘Veep,’ ‘This Is Us’ Win at 24th Annual SAG Awards

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Photo Source: Merrick Morton / Fox Searchlight Pictures

Hosted by Kristen Bell and honoring the year’s best film and television performances, the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards gave top marks to the ensemble casts of HBO’s “Veep,” NBC’s “This Is Us,” and Fox Searchlight Pictures’ “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Decided upon and handed out by Hollywood’s biggest acting union, the SAG Awards are among the highest distinctions of awards season.

“The SAG Awards,” Bell announced, “is a show for actors by actors. But it is not just the ones in this room. It is especially for the ones who have just gone on their 20th fruitless commercial audition, who are watching this in a studio apartment in Koreatown with their five roommates downing their nightly dinner of canned tuna. This show is for you guys! And it’s to entice you to stick around.”

Mirroring the recent Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award picks, SAG chose four formidable actors in their respective film categories: Gary Oldman for Focus Features’ “Darkest Hour” and Allison Janney for Neon’s “I, Tonya,” plus the evening’s two-time winners, Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell for “Three Billboards.”

READ: 20 Years Into Her Career, Allison Janney Is at the Top of Her Game

McDormand ended her acceptance speech by saying, “I come out of the woods every few years and you invite me to the party. But there’s a lot of young ones coming up and they need doorstops too. Let’s think about that.”

Another two-time winner was Sterling K. Brown, who continued his winning streak for “This Is Us,” as well as his trend of becoming the first-ever black actor to win in a male drama category. Accepting the TV drama ensemble honor, Milo Ventimiglia led the visibly surprised cast in thanking showrunner Dan Fogelman and casting directors Josh Einsohn, Tiffany Little Canfield, and Bernard Telsey, all of Telsey + Company.

Claire Foy earned her second consecutive SAG Actor statue for playing Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s “The Crown” Season 2. Also repeating last year’s results were individual comedy winners William H. Macy for Showtime’s “Shameless” and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for “Veep.” Louis-Dreyfus made Hollywood history once again, with her ninth trophy, as the winningest actor in SAG Awards history (Alec Baldwin and Julianna Margulies each have eight). The stunt performers and coordinators from Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones” were this year’s honorees for Outstanding Action Performances by Film and Television Stunt Ensembles, respectively.

Nicole Kidman picked up yet another accolade for her performance in HBO’s limited series “Big Little Lies,” her tenth SAG nomination but very first win. “If you have passion, you have something you love—what an incredible gift,” she said backstage after her win. “[Acting] is an art form. I cherish it and I love it and I’m grateful it’s something I get to do.” Her co-star Alexander Skarsgård took home the statue for actor in a miniseries or TV movie.

Morgan Freeman was awarded the SAG Life Achievement Award, the guild’s highest distinction, in recognition of his acting and humanitarian work. Introduced by longtime friend Rita Moreno, Freeman said in his speech, “This is beyond honor. This is a place in history.” He then pointed out that the ceremony’s Actor statue is, wrongly, “gender-specific.”

READ: Everything You’d Ever Need to Know About the SAG Awards

SAG-winning film actors have a high probability of going on to earn Oscar statues; last year, for instance, only the leading male category differed. When it comes to the guild’s top ensemble award, the winning film has gone on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture 11 out of 22 times in the SAG category’s history. Will “Three Billboards” continue its impressive winning streak at the Oscars March 4?

All SAG-AFTRA members in good standing are eligible to vote in all categories, which means 121,544 peers in the actors’ union chose the recipients this year. For more on the guild and its awards, click here. Congratulations to all the winners!

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
“The Big Sick”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
***“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Judi Dench, “Victoria & Abdul”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
***Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
***Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Hong Chau, “Downsizing”
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
***Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Steve Carell, “Battle of the Sexes”
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
***Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
“The Crown”
“Game of Thrones”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Stranger Things”
***“This Is Us”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
***Claire Foy, “The Crown”
Laura Linney, “Ozark”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
***Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
“Curb Your Enthusiasm”
“Orange Is the New Black”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is the New Black”
Alison Brie, “GLOW”
Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”
***Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
Sean Hayes, “Will & Grace”
***William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Marc Maron, “GLOW”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”
***Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette & Joan”
Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette & Joan”
Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock”
Jeff Daniels, “Godless”
Robert De Niro, “Wizard of Lies”
Geoffrey Rush, “Genius”
***Alexander Skarsgård, “Big Little Lies”

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
***“Game of Thrones”
“Stranger Things”
“The Walking Dead”

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“Baby Driver”
“War For The Planet Of The Apes”
***“Wonder Woman”

Check out Backstage’s film audition listings!