SAG awards 2018: This Is Us picked as best drama series; Veep, Big Little Lies and The Crown win big | Hindustan Times
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SAG awards 2018: This Is Us picked as best drama series; Veep, Big Little Lies and The Crown win big

Claire Foy won the trophy for best TV drama series actress in The Crown while Julia Louis-Dreyfus bagged her third SAG award for her role in Veep, which was honoured for best comedy series cast.

tv Updated: Jan 22, 2018 10:13 IST
Milo Ventimiglia (C) and the rest of the cast receive the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for This is Us.
Milo Ventimiglia (C) and the rest of the cast receive the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for This is Us.(REUTERS)

This Is Us won the top drama series trophy at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, making up for the Emmy and Golden Globe honours that eluded it and taking a stand for broadcast network TV amid growing online competition.

“The people that watch with us every Tuesday night and embrace this show that reflects positivity and hope and inclusion, we love you,” said Milo Ventimiglia, accepting the award for best drama series cast on behalf of his co-stars in the time-tripping show about a racially blended family.

Milo Ventimiglia, left, and Justin Hartley pose with their awards. (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

It overcame formidable non-broadcast competition, including streaming service Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which is seen by its admirers as a political parable for today and won multiple Emmys and Globes.

This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown, a winner at those other ceremonies, added a SAG trophy to his collection. “What a blessing it is to do what you love for a living. What an honour it is to be recognised by your peers for a job well done,” Brown said. The African-American actor, whose character on the show is adopted by a white family, dryly thanked them for being nothing like the one in the horror movie Get Out.

Claire Foy won the trophy for best TV drama series actress in The Crown, in which she plays a young Queen Elizabeth, while Julia Louis-Dreyfus captured her third SAG award for her role as a failed politician in Veep, which was honoured for best comedy series cast. Neither actress was present to accept the award. Louis-Dreyfus, who has been battling cancer, is working on a play, the audience was told.

William H. Macy, who stars as a deeply flawed patriarch in Shameless captured a third trophy for his role. He used his speech to drive home a political point, calling it the privilege of actors to use fiction to bring honesty to their audiences. Actors are able to “find the truth, and I think it’s a glorious way to make a living — especially in this day and age when so many people either can’t recognize the truth or don’t think it’s important,” he said.

Morgan Freeman poses with the 54th Annual SAG Life Achievement Award. (REUTERS)

Veteran actor Morgan Freeman was honoured with the Screen Actors Guild’s Life Achievement Award. In his acceptance speech, he said, “These moments in life usually call for an entire litany of thank yous. I can’t do that because I don’t know all of your names, so I won’t try. This is beyond an honour. This is a place in history. I want to say thanks to SAGs for this enormous honour”.

After a couple of playful jokes with award presenter Rita Moreno, and the necessary thank yous, Morgan went on to give a few adjustments that could be made to the SAG statue in the future years. “I wasn’t gonna do this, but I’m gonna tell you what’s wrong with this statue. It works from the back. From the front, it’s gender-specific. Maybe I started something”, shared Freeman.

Two of the night’s TV nominees, Geoffrey Rush of Genius and Aziz Ansari of Master of None, are among the Hollywood heavyweights facing various degrees of sexual misconduct claims. Rush attended the ceremony; Ansari, a Golden Globes winner earlier this month, did not. Neither won.

Alexander Skarsgard with his Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series award for Big Little Lies and Nicole Kidman with her Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series award for Big Little Lies. (REUTERS)

Nicole Kidman, carrying her awards sweep for the female-centric TV miniseries Big Little Lies through Sunday’s SAG Awards, said the entertainment industry must stand with women if they are to continue exercising their power. She added SAG’s best female actor trophy to Emmy and Golden Globe awards for her portrayal of an abused wife. She also produced the drama with Reese Witherspoon, her co-star, a sign of the growing strength of women that Kidman said isn’t a given.

After reciting a long list of veteran actresses she admires, including fellow SAG nominees Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange, she called it “wonderful” that “our careers today can go beyond 40 years old. Because 20 years ago, we were pretty washed up by this stage in our lives.”

The actresses she gave a shout-out to are proof that “we’re potent, powerful and viable. I just beg that the industry stays behind us because our stories are finally being told,” she said.

Alexander Skarsgard, who played Kidman’s husband in Big Little Lies, won the best male actor trophy for his role, and was sheepish accepting it and making acclaimed fellow nominee Robert De Niro a runner-up for The Wizard of Lies.

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