Wave Wire Services
CENTURY CITY — “Everything Everywhere All At Once” was the big winner Feb. 26 at the 29th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, capturing trophies in four of the five categories in which it was nominated — including Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, SAG’s equivalent of the Oscars’ Best Picture.
The time-bending drama also scored trophies for Michelle Yeoh for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role; Jamie Lee Curtis for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role (beating out castmate Stephanie Hsu in that category); and Ke Huy Quan for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.
Brendan Fraser, meanwhile, won for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for “The Whale” to round out the major awards for motion pictures.
In television, “The White Lotus” captured two awards, including Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series — to Jennifer Coolidge.
“Better Call Saul,” “The Crown,” “Ozark” and “Severance” were the other nominees for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a television drama series.
Jason Bateman took home the trophy for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in “Ozark.”
“Abbott Elementary” won for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, beating out “Barry,” “The Bear,” “Hacks” and “Only Murders in the Building.”
Meanwhile, the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series went to Jeremy Allen White of “The Bear,” while Jean Smart captured Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for her role in “Hacks.”
Smart was unable to attend the ceremony following a recent heart procedure, but “Hacks” co-star Chris McDonald accepted on her behalf, reading her acceptance speech off his phone.
“You all rock,” McDonald quoted Smart as saying, referring to her series co-stars and fellow nominees.
For his role in “1883,” Sam Elliott won for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series; while Jessica Chastain’s performance in “George and Tammy” earned her the trophy for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
The movie “The Banshees of Inisherin” — an Irish tale of a deteriorating friendship — like “Everything Everywhere…” also had been nominated in a leading five categories, including outstanding movie cast — but was shut out on this night.
“The Fabelmans,” Steven Spielberg’s largely autobiographical movie about his early life dreaming of becoming a filmmaker, also came up empty after being nominated in two categories, including performance by a cast. Also nominated for outstanding cast were “Babylon” and “Women Talking.”
The SAG Awards are often considered by performers as being among the most cherished Hollywood honors, because they are voted upon and awarded exclusively by other actors.
The awards are also strong predictors of who will win the performance prizes on Oscar night.
During her acceptance speech, an emotional Yeoh, 60, referenced the historical struggles of Asian actors in getting roles in American pictures, saying, “This is not just for me, this is for every little girl that looks like me.
“So many of us need this,” she said. “We want to be seen, we want to be heard and tonight, you have shown us that it is possible, and I am grateful, and my mom will be eternally grateful.”
Addressing her fellow actors gathered at the Fairmont Century Plaza hotel, she also said, “SAG-AFTRA, to get this from you, who understands what it is to get here — you know the journey, the roller-coaster ride, the ups and downs. But most important, we never give up.”
Quan, a former child star who, like Yeoh, is also coming off a Golden Globe win, echoed those thoughts.
“This is a really emotional moment for me,” he said. “Recently, I was told that if I were to win tonight, I would become the very first Asian actor to win in this category. When I heard that, I realized that this moment no longer belongs to just me. It also belongs to everyone who has asked for change.
“When I stepped away from acting, it was because there were so few opportunities,” he added. “Now, tonight, we are celebrating James Hong, Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Hong Chau, Harry Shum Jr. The landscape looks so different now than before.”
Curtis — something of a surprise winner over Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”), referenced her acting parents, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, and joked that when she landed her first role she was a “nepo baby.”
But she added, in a serious vein of her first SAG nomination, “The truth of the matter is, I’m 64 years old and this is amazing. … What a dream.”
Fraser’s win for Male Actor in a Leading Role was also something of an upset, as he beat out Austin Butler (“Elvis”), Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), Bill Nighy (“Living”) and Adam Sandler (“Hustle”).
“Believe me, if you just stay in there and put one foot in front of the other, you’ll get where you need to go,” Fraser said.
Meanwhile, Sally Field received the SAG-AFTRA Life Achievement Award — celebrating a long career that spanned the wide range of roles from “Gidget” and “The Flying Nun” to “Norma Rae,” “Absence of Malice,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Lincoln,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” and dozens of others.
Her award was presented by her “Spider-Man” co-star, Andrew Garfield.
“Struggling to climb my way out of the box of situation comedy in the ’60s and ’70s took a fierceness I didn’t know I had,” the 76-year-old Field recalled. “I was a little white girl with a pug nose born in Pasadena, California, (but) when I look around this room tonight I know my fight, as hard as it was, was lightweight compared to some of yours.
“I thank you, and I applaud you, and I know that for you …. it has not been easy. But you know what? Easy is overrated.”
Field went on to say, “There is not a day that I don’t feel quietly thrilled to call myself an actor. Thank you, thank you for this great honor from you, the people I most wanted respect from in my life — actors.”
The ceremony, which has traditionally been broadcast on TBS/TNT, was streamed this year on Netflix’s YouTube channel. Beginning next year, the SAG Awards will be livestreamed on Netflix.