Streep takes trophy for 'Doubt,' Penn for 'Milk'
“Slumdog Millionaire,” the awards season’s feel-good favorite, picked up serious momentum Sunday night as it won SAG’s top award for ensemble cast.
Though a longshot at the start of the awards season, Fox Searchlight’s rags-to-riches tale won the Producers Guild of America’s top feature award Saturday night, scored 10 Oscar noms on Thursday and won the Golden Globe for drama two weeks ago.
“I just hope that I don’t wake up tomorrow and someone says ‘Hey you were dreaming,'” the film’s Freida Pinto said backstage.
The awards ceremonies at the Shrine Auditorium provided a respite from the guild’s brutal internal battles over a strike authorization. Screen Actors Guild president Alan Rosenberg, who was met with polite, but sparse, applause, side-stepped any mention of the pitched internal battle over the guild’s feature-primetime contract in his address midway through the two-hour ceremony.
Meryl Streep of “Doubt” and Sean Penn of “Milk” took the lead actor honors.
The longest and loudest applause of the night came for Heath Ledger, the first posthumous SAG award winner for his supporting role in “The Dark Knight.” His victory came a little more than a year after he died from an accidental overdose. Co-star Gary Oldman accepted on Ledger’s behalf.
“It is a great honor to be asked to accept this award on behalf of Heath Ledger,” he said. “He was an extraordinary young man and an extraordinary talent.”
Kate Winslet won the supporting actress prize for “The Reader.” She’s Oscar-nommed for the same role, but in the lead category.
On the TV side, “Mad Men” was named best drama show, prompting star Jon Hamm to thank the show’s “dozen of viewers.” And NBC’s “30 Rock” swept the comedy categories, winning for series and for leads Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. Baldwin and Sally Field, who won for ABC’s “Brothers and Sisters,” were among those who had been a target of a boycott for coming out against the strike authorization.
Hugh Laurie took home the drama actor award for his role on Fox’s “House.”
HBO’s “John Adams” also swept its categories, winning for miniseries and actress and actor Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti.
James Earl Jones received the guild’s lifetime-achievement award. Jones quoted the Book of Genesis on how God breathed life into man and said, “I don’t mean to embarrass anybody by comparing the actor to God, but once we’ve taken the role, we have a similar responsibility to breathe life into that role, and only the actor can do that.”
In awards announced prior to the show, “The Dark Knight” won SAG’s honor for best movie stunt ensemble while “Heroes” took the same prize for television.
“No Country for Old Men” won the SAG and the Oscars last year but the double’s been achieved in only six out of the last 13 years.