The 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards are just around the corner, and all the major players will once again be competing for a coveted Actor statuette. The awards will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Sunday, Jan. 21.The winners of the statuettes (commonly called “the Actor”) are chosen by card-carrying members of the Screen Actors Guild — meaning that recognition comes from the winners’ peers in the industry.
And this year the SAG Awards are making history by having their first-ever host — none other than Kristen Bell.
During an interview with PEOPLE Now, Bell revealed how husband Dax Shepard had been helping her prepare for the big night. “He doesn’t really give out pointers or advice so much as he gives out unending support, which is very nice,” the 37-year-old explained.She also added that living with a writer is “very helpful” because “you can sort of whisper things in their ear as they’re falling asleep.”
The Screen Actors Guild Awards’ tendency to predict eventual Oscar winners won’t be the only thing commanding attention when the 24th annual ceremony airs Sunday. The show is also focusing its spotlight on women, with nearly all female presenters, all women opening the show and a first-ever host in actress Kristen Bell.
Executive producer Kathy Connell said the decision to focus on women was inspired by last year’s historic women’s march, but feels even more prescient with the recent discussions of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and pay inequity in Hollywood.
The ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium will be broadcast live on TNT and TBS beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern. Awards will be presented in 13 categories, plus lifetime achievement honors for Morgan Freeman.
The show comes two weeks after a black-dress protest at the Golden Globe Awards kept the emphasis on the treatment of women throughout society. Subsequent shows have featured more varied fashion trends, but the emphasis has been on issues, not solely awards, during Hollywood’s celebratory season.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” leads all nominees with four bids: ensemble, actress (Frances McDormand), actor (Woody Harrelson) and supporting actor (Sam Rockwell). Rockwell is the favorite, having won the Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards for his performance as a bigoted police officer on the cusp of change.
The SAG Awards have reliably predicted the best actor Oscar winner in 18 out of its 24 years, including a run of 12 straight years. That was broken last year when Denzel Washington won the SAG Award and Casey Affleck took the Oscar. Actors make up the largest branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, though the guild’s ranks are much larger. But it’s been 22 years since a film that wasn’t at least nominated for best ensemble at the SAG Awards won best picture at the Oscars.
The SAG Awards have no best picture category, but rather ensemble awards that recognize a film or TV show’s entire cast. Besides “Three Billboards,” the nominees for outstanding cast in a motion picture are “The Big Sick,” ”Get Out,” ”Lady Bird” and “Mudbound.”
For television, the drama series ensemble nominees are “The Crown,” ”Game of Thrones,” ”The Handmaid’s Tale,” ”Stranger Things” and “This Is Us.” Comedy series contenders are “black-ish,” ”Curb Your Enthusiasm,” ”GLOW,” ”Orange is the New Black” and “Veep.”
The leading television nominee is HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” with actresses Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Reese Witherspoon all competing in the best actress in a miniseries or movie.Gary Oldman’s path to the Oscars continues at the Screen Actors Guild Awards where he is up for leading actor in a film.He enters Sunday’s ceremony, which is a good predictor of the Academy Awards, having won a Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice Award for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.
He is up against fellow Briton Daniel Kaluuya at the Los Angeles event, as well as Denzel Washington, Timothee Chalamet and James Franco, who has faced allegations of sexually inappropriate behaviour.Other British talent up for awards include Victoria & Abdul’s Dame Judi Dench and The Shape Of Water’s Sally Hawkins, who are both for best actress, as is Ireland’s Saoirse Ronan for Lady Bird.Leading the way for films with four nominations is Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – by British and Irish director Martin McDonagh.
Big Little Lies, also with four nominations, leads the way in the television categories, which also have Britons vying for contention.Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown and The Crown’s Claire Foy have two nominations apiece, both for best actress in a drama series and drama ensemble.Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch is nominated for actor in a limited TV series.It will be seen whether stars choose to use the ceremony to keep publicity on the #MeToo anti-sexual harassment movement which gained worldwide recognition in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations.
The organisers announced an all-woman line-up to present the awards, including Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o, who accused Weinstein of harassment, and Olivia Munn, one of the actresses to accuse director Brett Ratner of sexual misconduct, which he denied.
It will also be seen whether The Disaster Artist’s Franco will attend having missed picking up his Critics’ Choice Award.
Earlier that day, the Los Angeles Times reported that five women had accused him of sexually inappropriate behaviour. Franco did not respond but his publicist pointed towards his earlier comment that allegations on social media were “not accurate”.
The SAG Awards are decided by the more than 121,000 members of the SAG-AFTRA guild, which includes actors and journalists.
The annual ceremony is seen as a good indicator for the Oscars because actors are the largest group in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, judges of the Academy Awards.
Kristen Bell will host the 24th SAG Awards at the Shrine Auditorium, which starts at 5pm local time, 1am on Monday in the UK.