The Help was the big winner at last night’s 18th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Hollywood.
The Help won three awards. It took out the Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture award, as well as two individual awards for it’s stars Viola Davis, who beat Meryl Streep for the Most Outstanding Female Actor in a Leading Role award, and Octavia Spencer, for Most Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role.
Not only were they the winners on the night, they also had some of the most inspiring and beautiful speeches of the night. They thanked the women who came before them, and dared everyone watching to dream and to not be afraid to make changes.
The Artist, which many thought would have a clean sweep of the awards, only took home one award. That was to Jean Dujardin for Most Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role
One of the funniest speeches of the night goes to the cast of Modern Family who let the younger members of its cast accept the award. Their speech made fun of the saying “Never work with children or animals” (see below for clip).
The cast of Bridesmaids started a Martin Scorsese drinking game, which Steve Buscemi continued in his acceptance speech for Most Outstanding Actor in a Drama and Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a TV Drama (Boardwalk Empire)
Dick Van Dyke received a standing ovation when he presented his former co-star, Mary Tyler Moore with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
It seems that this is the SAG award is the one that many actors want to win as it is voted for by their peers. Many of the winners made reference to this in their speech.
The SAGs are generally a good indicator of who’s going to take home an Oscar, so The Help may be a big player at the Oscars in February. That said, a film that hasn’t been nominated in the Best Director or Best Screenplay award has rarely won Best Film at the Oscars. The last film that did that was Gran Hotel in 1932.
Below are highlights from last night’s winner’s speeches.
Outstanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role – Christopher Plummer THE BEGINNERS
“I just can’t tell you what fun I’ve had being a member of the world’s second oldest profession. Actors are gregarious and wacky … but when they honour you its like being lit by the holy grail. Admiration and respect goes out to fellow nominees. So honoured to be on the same bill and to my onscreen partner Ewen McGregor who makes acting look so damn easy .. and lastly to my long suffering wife Elaine who, 43 years ago, came to my recue and saved my life!”
Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role – Octavia Spencer THE HELP
“This means so much to me coming from you SAG, you have no idea. Thank you for putting me in a category with so many beautiful women that I know and love. It’s a privilege to work on a film that gave so many woman a voice, women that t made it possible for me to be here tonight…
I want to thank all the people out there who went to support this movie and, after watching it, felt something. You felt compelled to make a change in your lives,” Spencer said after accepting her statuette. “So I’m going to dedicate this to the downtrodden, the underserved, the underprivileged, the overtaxed, whether emotionally, physically or financially.
Outstanding Male Actor in A Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin 30 ROCK
This is Baldwin’s 6th consecutive SAG in this category)
” I just want to say the only thing this means to me is that you love Tina & Robert’s writing. Give them a big round of applause because everyone in television is not going to work unless you have great writers & no offence but we have the best … so amazing to me that this has happened to me so many times in a row ..”
Outstanding Female Actor in A Comedy Series: Betty White HOT IN CLEVELAND
This was White’s 2nd consecutive award and she has previously won the Lifetime Achievement a life award
“Oh my dears. I don’t think they can read. I think they made a terrible mistake. You can’t name me without naming those other wonderful women in my show. This nomination I was thrilled, but the nomination belongs to 4 of us. Please know that I am dealing them in with this. I am not going to let them keep this but I’ll let them see this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the Guild & cast Valerie Bertinelli, Wendi Mallick and Jane Leeves”
Outstanding Ensemble Cast: Cast of MODERN FAMILY
This is their 2nd consecutive award
The younger cast members accepted the award.
“I think it was the late great WC Fields who said never work with kids or animals .. well he can kiss my … Thanks for letting us be a part of all of your families. We have the greatest jobs any actor can ever ask for. The opportunity to make people laugh every week, we take this seriously …”
Outstanding Female Actor in a TV Movie/Mini Series: Kate Winslet MILDRED PIERCE
Winslet wasn’t there to accept the award so Glenn Close accepted it on her behalf.
Outstanding Male Actor in a TV Movie or Mini-Series: Paul Giamatti TOO BIG TO FAIL
Paul was not there so Armie Hammer’s said he was “going to keep his award”
Lifetime Achievement Award: Mary Tyler Moore
“Thank you so much. In 1955 I was 18 determined to make my dad proud and prove to the sister at my High School that I would indeed to amount to something so I sought out the SAG guild to become a member. The problem was there were six other Mary Moores. They told me to change my name. I can’t change my name. Everyone’e going to say my name. Besides what will my dad say? Tyler was my dad’s middle name, and mine too. Mary Tyler Moore sounded right so I wrote it down on the form. Dad was happy. SAG was happy … and tonight I too am happy “after all”.
Outstanding Female Actor in A Drama Series: Jessica Lange AMERICAN HORROR STORY
“This is such a pleasure coming from the actors. It means the world to me, so I thank you. It was a real leap of faith for me to jump into it but it’s been a wonderful ride. Great to play a big character with so much to do.. To be an actor means everything to me, so thank you so much!”
Outstanding Male Actor in A Drama Series: Steve Buscemi BOARDWALK EMPIRE
This is his 2nd consecutive award
“To the SAGs, this is really an honour to be amongst everyone in this room tonight!” To all the Michael Pitt fans out there “I know, I’m sorry please stop yelling at me on the street”
Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a TV Drama: BOARDWALK EMPIRE Cast
This is their 2nd consecutive award)
“Thank you we are so honoured. We love doing this show. Terri Winter thank you so much for giving us all these wonderful parts to play.”
Outstanding Male Actor in a Leading Role: Jean Dujardin THE
“Thank you. It’s too much. I was a very bad student .I didn’t listen in class. I was always dreaming. My teachers called me Jean of the moon and I realise now that I never stopped dreaming. Thank you very much. Thank you for this dream!”
Outstanding Female Actor in A Leading Role: Viola Davis THE HELP
“I was 8 years old when I decided to be an actor. And I am just so privilidged to be gazingon the amazing face of the beautiful woman who inspired me that beautiful day. And that’s Cecily Tyson. When I woke up and realised how difficult it was and how the rejection was so high, then another beautiful face graced the screen when I was in college, and that was Meryl, who always inspires me…What is there but a dream? You can’t trade in your dream for another dream. I am so proud to be an actor. I have a special message too the kids at Central Falls Rhode Island, Dream big and Dream fierce!”
Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture: THE HELP
“We arrived on the set in July 2010 with such a heavy load on our shoulders. Such great expectations were already there for this book that was so beloved. It’s been such a labour of love. They say that an ensemble is just a group effort brought together to bring a singular effect. All these actors on this stage gave up their ego and were able to just work, and it was such a joy to be a part of this cast.
The stain of racism and sexism is not just for people of colour and women it’s all of our burden. All of us. And we absolutely, I don’t care how ordinary you may feel, we, all of us can inspire change. Every single one of us!”