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Screen Actors Guild Awards – 2009 in our magazines

SUBJECT: Screen Actors Guild Awards – 2009

Inside the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, January 25th, members of the Screen Actors Guild honored their own, presenting The Actor statuette for the best performances of the year in both motion pictures and television.

But outside on the red carpet there was only one thing on everyone’s mind, and that was President Barack Obama.

When Leslie David Baker, who plays Stanley Hudson on TV’s The Office, stopped by for a quick chat, he enthused, “I’m filled with hope again; times are good. It’s a new era right now, we had a pajama party at the house for the inauguration, and we watched from 7:30 in the morning until 11:30 at night. We ate salmon and caviar and drank champagne.”

Tracy Morgan, one of the stars of 30 Rock, said of the new President, “I called Obama last night to ask him what to say if we win Best Ensemble tonight, and he said, ‘Be yourself.’”

But backstage, with award in hand, the actors were truly grateful for the adulation bestowed on them by their fellow performers:

KATE WINSLETT (Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role – The Reader):
Kate Winslett“When I was asked to play Hannah [in The Reader], I couldn’t find anything in my own life that I could compare it to, I couldn’t relate to her at all. And it was so frightening, I’ve never had that before where I just literally had nothing, and I thought, ‘Okay, this is really a challenge, I really have to disappear into this person and figure out who she is. I didn’t like her all the time, and it was hard coming to a place where I understood her at least. Did I sympathize with her? No. But I had to have an understanding for her and who she was, and the choices she had to make because of her situation. And it was tough, everything about it, the preparation, the shoot, it was extraordinary and amazing, I think it’s the most challenging part I’ve ever been asked to play, and I’m incredibly grateful for that.”

30 ROCK (Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series):
30 Rock castTINA FEY (who also won Female Actor for a Comedy): “I really do feel a special joy for the ensemble to win, because we are really an ensemble show and all these people make me certainly look better than I am. If I had to trade one in I would definitely keep the ensemble one, because I feel like that’s the nature of our show.”

MAD MEN (Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series):
Mad Men castJOHN HAMM: “I don’t get tired of (my hair style on the show) it’s very low maintenance to say the least, because once it gets put in place it literally does not move. Seriously, at the end of season one a piece of the set fell on my head and my hair didn’t move, I had seven stitches, but my hair was perfect.”

JOHN ADAMS (Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Mini-series):
Laura LinneyLAURA LINNEY on appearing at the Lincoln Memorial for the tribute for President Obama: “That is a day that I will never forget for the rest of my life, and I’m clinging to its memory to make sure that I don’t forget it. I barely have words for it. My grandparents are buried at Arlington, my grandmother used to take me to the Lincoln Memorial often as a little girl, I spent a lot of time in DC growing up, and I just couldn’t stop thinking about how proud they would be of where we all are right now. It made my heart grow a million sizes thinking about how happy they would be. It was an amazing day for everybody involved. I was at the podium that was closest to the first family and the Bidens, and I found that I couldn’t look over for very long, it was sort of like looking into the sun, you can’t look at them for too long; it’s just too overwhelming.”

SEAN PENN (Outstanding Male actor in a Leading Role - Milk):
Sean Penn“I can’t personally approach my work in a way where as an actor I’m speculating about the bigger movement. You’re dealing with a narrative and on that level the narrative [for Milk] certainly was a movie that I felt could touch people. But Gus Van Sant was really the key to that, and it is the filmmaking and writing that I think are making this [movie] work. Of course, there’s a great story there, but a lot of failed movies have been made of great stories also. I know that one makes a decision based on themes or messages, but really this one was right in there with the same reason I decide to do anything, I responded to a script and a director.”

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (Outstanding Ensemble Cast of a Motion Picture):
Slumdog Millionaire cast membersDEV PATEL: “It was surreal walking down the red carpet today. I’ve seen people who have been winning Oscars before I even contemplated being an actor. I remember the first film I ever saw when I was a little kid was [Titanic] in the cinema with my mum, it was the first movie I cried at, so Kate Winslett was my first love, and she knew who I was!”
FREIDA PINTO: “This film means an opportunity now, not just for me but for many back home, many people all over the world who are trying to be part of a meaningful film, a film that can touch so many hearts means a lot. And I feel extremely privileged to be a part of such a wonderful film. I just hope I don’t wake up tomorrow and someone says, ‘Hey, you were dreaming.’”
ANIL KAPOOR: “I feel it’s historic where India’s concerned, because I think this is what India needed, a kind of platform for films to be shot in India. This film is such a global success. Putting it simply, I think it’s Rocky meeting Titanic, it’s a love story and a story of an underdog, both together it had to click.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Screen Actors Guild Awards – 2009 site
Images above © 2009 Kevin Mazur
Feature © 2009 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #701, December 2008 cover

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