The Trial of the Chicago 7, The Crown and Schitt’s Creek were among the big winners at the 2021 SAG Awards, which aired Sunday as as a one-hour, pre-taped virtual ceremony on TBS and TNT.
Filmmaker Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 got a major boost on the road to the Oscars upon winning the SAG Award for best ensemble, the guild’s top honor that’s equivalent to a best picture prize. Last year, the top SAG winner — Parasite — went on to win the Academy Award for best picture. It should be noted that Nomadland, an Oscar frontrunner that’s up for best picture, wasn’t in the mix for SAG’s best ensemble award.
Michael Keaton, as part of the cast of Trial of the Chicago 7, set a record by becoming the first person to win three SAG awards for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, following his awards as part of the winning ensemble in 2014’s Birdman and 2015’s Spotlight.
Meanwhile, for likely the first time in SAG history, the four top individual film honors were awarded to people of color.
Viola Davis’ Oscar campaign for her performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom gained momentum upon winning the SAG Award for best actress. She and Halle Berry are the only the Black women to win this category. She also ties with Renee Zellweger to boast the most individual SAG awards of any actress with three wins. Her co-star, the late Chadwick Boseman, won best actor in a leading role.
Daniel Kaluuya’s win for best supporting actor also marks another boost for his chances of winning the Oscar for his performance as the late Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah. He also won the Golden Globe for best supporting actor, among other recent honors.
Youn Yuh-jung, who stars in Minari, is the first Korean actress to win the SAG best supporting actress award. She’s also the first Korean actress to be nominated for the Oscar for best supporting actress. Lee Isaac Chung directed Minari, the tale of a Korean family who immigrate to the American south.
On the TV side, Schitt’s Creek — which swept the comedy series at the Emmys in September — took home a pair of awards: best comedy series ensemble and best actress for Emmy winner Catherine O’Hara. Ted Lasso’s Jason Sudeikis was named best actor in a comedy series after winning a similar award earlier this year at the Golden Globes.
The Crown also nabbed two awards, on the heels of its four wins at February’s Golden Globes: The show’s cast won best drama series ensemble, while Globe winner Gillian Anderson collected another award Sunday night, winning best actress for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher, beating out her co-stars Olivia Colman and Emma Corrin in the category.
TV winners also included The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy and I Know This Much Is True star Mark Ruffalo, who won best actress and actor in the TV movie and limited series categories, respectively.
During the preshow, which streamed online, the winners in the stunt categories were unveiled, with Wonder Woman 1984 taking home the honors in the film category and The Mandalorian winning on the TV side.
Meanwhile, during the awards telecast, which didn’t have a host, acceptance speeches were rounded out with taped messages from other actors who will serve as presenters and participate in the show’s famed “I am an actor” segment.
As for what prompted the decision to go with this format, SAG Awards executive producer Kathy Connell told The Hollywood Reporter, “We’re usually the shortest awards show on TV. And this year, we’re really going to be the shortest. We didn’t know what the year would bring in terms of where we would be in COVID, and to pretend that it was a normal year was just wrong. And we are the union, so we wanted our members to be protected. In some instances, our members are in production bubbles, [so] we wanted to make sure we weren’t going to do anything that would prevent them from [working].”
Fellow executive producer Todd Milliner added, “Doing all the pretaping allows us to shape the narrative and really get to the best stuff that the actors say, and the most interesting interviews. And it’s packed full.”
Connell agreed that “there’s going to be a lot on the cutting-room floor.”
Going into Sunday night, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Minari had the most nominations in the film categories with three nods each. The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Da 5 Bloods earned three nods a piece from SAG-AFTRA as well, with one of those nominations in the stunt performers category.
Among Hollywood’s guilds, SAG nominations are particularly coveted on the road to the Oscars because of the sheer number of actors and actresses who are members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The SAG Awards’ top ensemble prize is the equivalent of a best picture category, and a number of best film cast winners have later won the top Oscar, including last year’s best cast winner Parasite.
This year’s best cast film category was made up of the most racially inclusive set of movies in the guild’s history. Four of the five titles — Da 5 Bloods, Minari, One Night in Miami and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom — feature casts led by people of color. The fifth nominee, The Trial of the Chicago 7, is predominately white with a supporting performance by Black actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
Of the SAG Awards’ best cast nominees, only Minari and The Trial of the Chicago 7 earned best picture Oscar nods.
Boseman set a record with four film nominations this year, including two solo noms (best actor for Ma Rainey and best supporting actor for Da 5 Bloods) and two best cast nods as part of the ensembles of Ma Rainey and Da 5 Bloods.
On the TV side, The Crown and Schitt’s Creek each scored a leading five nominations, with Ozark landing four nominations. Dead to Me earned three nods.
A complete list of the nominees for the 27th annual SAG Awards follows.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
CHADWICK BOSEMAN / Levee – “MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM” (WINNER)
RIZ AHMED / Ruben – “SOUND OF METAL”
ANTHONY HOPKINS / Anthony – “THE FATHER”
GARY OLDMAN / Herman Mankiewicz – “MANK”
STEVEN YEUN / Jacob – “MINARI”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
VIOLA DAVIS / Ma Rainey – “MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM” (WINNER)
AMY ADAMS / Bev – “HILLBILLY ELEGY”
VANESSA KIRBY / Martha – “PIECES OF A WOMAN”
FRANCES McDORMAND / Fern – “NOMADLAND”
CAREY MULLIGAN / Cassandra – “PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
DANIEL KALUUYA / Fred Hampton – “JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH” (WINNER)
SACHA BARON COHEN / Abbie Hoffman – “THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7”
CHADWICK BOSEMAN / Stormin’ Norman – “DA 5 BLOODS”
JARED LETO / Albert Sparma – “THE LITTLE THINGS”
LESLIE ODOM JR. / Sam Cooke – “ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
YUH-JUNG YOUN / Soonja – “MINARI” (WINNER)
MARIA BAKALOVA / Tutar – “BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM”
GLENN CLOSE / Mamaw – “HILLBILLY ELEGY”
OLIVIA COLMAN / Anne – “THE FATHER”
HELENA ZENGEL / Johanna – “NEWS OF THE WORLD”
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (WINNER)
YAHYA ABDUL-MATEEN II / Bobby Seale
SACHA BARON COHEN / Abbie Hoffman
JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT / Richard Schultz
MICHAEL KEATON / Ramsey Clark
FRANK LANGELLA / Judge Julius Hoffman
JOHN CARROLL LYNCH / David Dellinger
EDDIE REDMAYNE / Tom Hayden
MARK RYLANCE / William Kunstler
ALEX SHARP / Rennie Davis
JEREMY STRONG / Jerry Rubin
DA 5 BLOODS
CHADWICK BOSEMAN / Stormin’ Norman
PAUL WALTER HAUSER / Simon
NGUYỄN NGỌC LÂM / Quân
LÊ Y LAN / Tiên Luu
NORM LEWIS / Eddie
DELROY LINDO / Paul
JONATHAN MAJORS / David
VAN VERONICA NGO / Hanoi Hannah
JOHNNY TRÍ NGUYỄN / Vinh Tran
JASPER PÄÄKKÖNEN / Seppo
CLARKE PETERS / Otis
SANDY HƯƠNG PHẠM / Michon
JEAN RENO / Desroche
MÉLANIE THIERRY / Hedy
ISIAH WHITLOCK JR. / Melvin
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
CHADWICK BOSEMAN / Levee
JONNY COYNE / Sturdyvant
VIOLA DAVIS / Ma Rainey
COLMAN DOMINGO / Cutler
MICHAEL POTTS / Slow Drag
GLYNN TURMAN / Toledo
NOEL KATE CHO / Anne
YERI HAN / Monica
SCOTT HAZE / Billy
ALAN KIM / David
WILL PATTON / Paul
STEVEN YEUN / Jacob
YUH-JUNG YOUN / Soonja
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR / Malcolm X
BEAU BRIDGES / Mr. Carlton
LAWRENCE GILLIARD JR. / Drew “Bundini” Brown
ELI GOREE / Cassius Clay
ALDIS HODGE / Jim Brown
MICHAEL IMPERIOLI / Angelo Dundee
JOAQUINA KALUKANGO / Betty X
LESLIE ODOM JR. / Sam Cooke
LANCE REDDICK / Kareem X
NICOLETTE ROBINSON / Barbara Cooke
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“WONDER WOMAN 1984” (WINNER)
“DA 5 BLOODS”
“NEWS OF THE WORLD”
“THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
MARK RUFFALO / Dominick Birdsey/Thomas Birdsey – “I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE” (WINNER)
BILL CAMP / Mr. Shaibel – “THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT”
DAVEED DIGGS / Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson – “HAMILTON”
HUGH GRANT / Jonathan Fraser – “THE UNDOING”
ETHAN HAWKE / John Brown – “THE GOOD LORD BIRD”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
ANYA TAYLOR-JOY / Beth Harmon – “THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT” (WINNER)
CATE BLANCHETT / Phyllis Schlafly – “MRS. AMERICA”
MICHAELA COEL / Arabella – “I MAY DESTROY YOU”
NICOLE KIDMAN / Grace Fraser – “THE UNDOING”
KERRY WASHINGTON / Mia Warren – “LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
JASON BATEMAN / Marty Byrde – “OZARK” (WINNER)
STERLING K. BROWN / Randall Pearson – “THIS IS US”
JOSH O’CONNOR / Prince Charles – “THE CROWN”
BOB ODENKIRK / Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman – “BETTER CALL SAUL”
REGÉ-JEAN PAGE / Simon Basset – “BRIDGERTON”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
GILLIAN ANDERSON / Margaret Thatcher – “THE CROWN” (WINNER)
OLIVIA COLMAN / Queen Elizabeth II – “THE CROWN”
EMMA CORRIN / Princess Diana – “THE CROWN”
JULIA GARNER / Ruth Langmore – “OZARK”
LAURA LINNEY / Wendy Byrde – “OZARK”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
JASON SUDEIKIS / Ted Lasso – “TED LASSO” (WINNER)
NICHOLAS HOULT / Peter – “THE GREAT”
DANIEL LEVY / David Rose – “SCHITT’S CREEK”
EUGENE LEVY / Johnny Rose – “SCHITT’S CREEK”
RAMY YOUSSEF / Ramy – “RAMY”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
CATHERINE O’HARA / Moira Rose – “SCHITT’S CREEK” (WINNER)
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE / Jen Harding – “DEAD TO ME”
LINDA CARDELLINI / Judy Hale – “DEAD TO ME”
KALEY CUOCO / Cassie Bowden – “THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT”
ANNIE MURPHY / Alexis Rose – “SCHITT’S CREEK”
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
THE CROWN (WINNER)
BETTER CALL SAUL
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
SCHITT’S CREEK (WINNER)
DEAD TO ME
THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
“THE MANDALORIAN” (WINNER)