The actors’ union awards honor ‘Oppenheimer’, ‘The Bear’ and Pedro Pascal and remember their 118 days of strike | Culture


Saturday in Los Angeles has been much more than the actors’ night. The most important performers of the moment have celebrated the awards of their union, SAG-AFTRA. An acronym that in the summer of 2023 became extremely popular not only in the Californian city, but throughout the world. Between July and November and for no less than 118 days, 160,000 performers, some of the most famous in the world who appear in the background in a scene in an episode, went on strike, first also together with the scriptwriters and then on their own. And they achieved it: after months of struggle, strikes and loss of jobs, they achieved a million-dollar pact that improved their salaries and limited artificial intelligence. And on Saturday night, in addition to presenting their annual awards, which were also celebrating their 30th edition, they celebrated that agreement and demonstrated that there is strength in unity. And they did it in a big way, because their awards were broadcast on Netflix, which for the first time was willing to broadcast content like this. Therefore, there were no announcements or many stops. In two hours and 10 minutes the foreseeable prizes for Oppenheimer, Succession, The Bear and Row were distributed, as well as that of the career of Barbra Streisand. And, surprise, best actor for a very emotional Pedro Pascal.

The astonishment of the Chilean, recognized as best actor for his role as Joel in The Last of Usit was not only his, since he left the protagonists of the film composed and in place. Succession, who have been winning the award during the awards season. In the end, the series about New York tycoons took home one of the big prizes of the night and one that, apart from the Critics’ Choice, few galas award: the best cast award to all its actors. Succession won it in drama series, The Bear in comedy series and Oppenheimer on film; Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. also won, best lead and supporting actor, for the same footage. Best Supporting Actress – which Penélope Cruz also opted for Ferrari— went to Da’Vine Joy for Those who stay. The big doubt was – as it is facing the Oscars – in the best leading actress, since here there is no division into drama and comedy. Finally Lily Gladstone (The Moon Killers) won over Emma Stone (poor creatures), which could give him a boost or be an indication of what will happen in the season’s jackpot… or maybe not. That will be resolved on March 10.

In terms of series, the pattern remained stable: in comedy the protagonists of The BearJeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri, and in limited series those of Row, Ali Wong and Steven Yeun. Surprises came in drama. Elizabeth Debicki, who plays the very sad Princess Diana in the last two seasons of The Crownbeat the devious Sarah Snook, Shiv in Succession. And Pedro Pascal beat Billy Crudup so much, The Morning Showand also Kieran Culkin, Brian Cox and Matthew Macfadyen, from Succession. “This is a mistake, for many reasons! I’m drunk, I thought I could get drunk! Thank you very much for this! ”He exclaimed on stage. “I have been in the union since 1999 and this is an immense honor,” he stated, congratulating the rest of his colleagues: “The nominees, I don’t remember your name right now…” the Shrine Auditorium laughed with him. “I’m about to have a panic attack, I’m going to leave,” said Pascal, who later joked backstage that it was “revenge against Kieran (Culkin),” who had taken almost everything from him during the season. awards. When passing through the press room (despite the fact that the journalists asked the questions from home and via Zoom) he stated that his surprise was authentic, and that he felt happy and calmer after the tequila, “so as not to miss cold”.

Ayo Edebiri and Jeremy Allen White with their awards for best actress and actor in a comedy series for ‘The Bear’ and also for best cast in a comedy series, at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.MIKE BLAKE (REUTERS)

Idris Elba was in charge of presenting the awards, although with little participation other than the opening, closing and a couple of interventions. A surprising agility and much appreciated by the spectator who, in addition, at the moment the awards ended he was able to rewind to see the last hour of the red carpet and the entire gala. Elba was friendly without being sarcastic, he asked that no one say “anything you can’t say in front of Oprah (Winfrey)”, to the laughter of the presenter, actress and producer, and the most serious thing he said was: “We are all winners because “We are very lucky to be part of this incredible industry.” “The best thing you can do is watch it again and see how funny I am again,” he joked at the end.

From left, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, in a moment of remembrance of 'The Devil Wears Prada'.
From left, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, in a moment of remembrance of ‘The Devil Wears Prada’. MARIO ANZUONI (REUTERS)

The gala was sober, calm and effective. The actors who died in these 12 months were remembered, from Matthew Perry and Tina Turner to Michael Gambon, Suzanne Somers, Harry Belafonte, Treat Williams, Chita Rivera, Ryan O’Neal and Alan Arkin, but without the always uncomfortable applause of the public. The presenting couples also worked well, from Elijah Wood and Sean Austin, 20 years after the triumph of The Lord of the rings, where Frodo and Sam went; to Greta Lee (The Morning Show, Past Lives) and Troy Kotsur (koda), who conversed affectionately in sign language; or Melissa McCarthy, nervous next to Billie Eilish, to whom she asked, so as not to ruin her dress, to autograph her forehead, as the singer did, broken with laughter. And above all, the first trio of the night triumphed: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt and Anne Hathaway, in a moment of remembrance to The Devil Wears Prada in which they jokingly stated that Streep is equal to her evil character Miranda Priestly.

Cillian Murphy, with his awards for best actor in a film for 'Oppenheimer' and also for best cast in a film, at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Cillian Murphy, with his awards for best actor in a film for ‘Oppenheimer’ and also for best cast in a film, at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.MIKE BLAKE (REUTERS)

Barbra Streisand, 81, starred in the tribute of the night, with the award for her entire career, presented by her friends Jennifer Aniston and Bradley Cooper, and on the same stage where she gave her first big concert in 1963. “She didn’t pave the road, she demolished it for us,” Aniston said of the pioneer. Streisand herself remembered her beginnings, sitting on her bed in Brooklyn, eating ice cream and reading film magazines, and Marlon Brando (“My First Love”) whom she saw at the movies for 25 cents: “There was pleasure in that, I didn’t like it. I was interested in reality, only in movies. And I was not like the girls on the screen, my mother told me that, but somehow that became true.”

But the strike and the union struggle that lasted for almost four months became the backbone that shaped the entire ceremony. Before starting, Michael Cera said that he obtained his SAG membership card at only 13 years old, which made others treat him as an equal “even if you couldn’t touch the money you earned for the next decade.” Colman Domingo (Rustin, The color purple) and Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso) shared their experiences as actors, and then gave way to Idris Elba. The winners also remembered the struggle and what they suffered, from Kenneth Brannagh, who spoke for the entire casting of Oppenheimertelling how they left the red carpet and did not see the film, led by Cillian Murphy, on the day of its premiere, when the strike was declared: “Thank you to the members of SAG-AFTRA who sacrificed and allowed us to be here” .

Actress and SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher at the 30th Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Actress and SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher at the 30th Screen Actors Guild Awards.MIKE BLAKE (REUTERS)

Of course the union’s president, actress Fran Drescher, spoke to her members, and thanked “the hardest working man in the industry, our negotiator, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.” Also to Netflix, which has gone from public enemy number one to partner: “Thank you for broadcasting this everywhere, also in my parents’ apartment in Florida.” To his colleagues he said: “You are our champions. You survived the toughest fight. Your collective dignity rose to ask for more and it became a billion dollar pact. You understood what your contribution meant to this industry. “You have set the trajectory for many generations to come: we will not be pawns, but companions.” And as he has stated on more than one occasion during the union struggle, he asked his colleagues not to get carried away: “We must not emulate masculine energy, but rather lead with intellect, compassion, wisdom and a little red lipstick.” . “I am honored to be your president as we enter our golden era.” And, blowing kisses everywhere from the stage, she left, blowing more and more kisses. She herself knew that the show had to go on.

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