LOS ANGELES --Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock stand as Oscar front- runners today, thanks to their victories at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, while Quentin Tarantino's World War II revenge tale "Inglourious Basterds" was making its case for a best-picture prize, winning the SAG Award for best ensemble cast.
Tarantino "pulled together such a wonderful, wonderful cast," actor
Eli Roth said, accepting the ensemble-cast award during the 16th annual SAG
Awards ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium. "We all felt it was really something
"So it was an honor to be a part of it, Quentin. And for every actor
out there, we just want you to know whether you are Brad Pitt, one of the
biggest stars in the world, or someone who has never acted in a motion picture,
your vote is a vote for director Quentin Tarantino, who, if he feels you are
right for the part, he will give it to you.
"And Quentin, your belief in us lets us rise to the occasion and brings
out the best in all of us," Roth said. "It was an honor to be a part of
this. We love you."
Bridges was named best actor for his tortured portrayal of an aging
drunken country singer trying to revive his career and battle his inner demons
in "Crazy Heart."
"This means so much to be acknowledged like this, by my acting
family," Bridges said as he accepted his first-ever SAG Award. "You guys,
that's what it's like, it's like a big family with you guys, playing advanced
pretend. You know, my mom was real good at that. She always encouraged us to
pretend, and this is just like an advanced version of that.
"I love being an actor, you know, pretending to be other people,
getting you into the shoes of other folks," he said.
Bridges and Bullock, who wowed critics with a dramatic turn as a
southern housewife who mentors a poor black teen who becomes a football star in
"The Blind Side," both won Golden Globe awards last Sunday.
"I am Sandra Bullock and I am an actor," said Bullock, who won a SAG
Award in 2006 as part of the ensemble cast of "Crash." "And I am so proud to
say that in a room full of faces that have inspired me and allowed me, six
years ago, to say I'm going to stop working because I wasn't doing good work,
and audition again. And you say goodbye to the money, and you say goodbye to
all the things that you became comfortable with.
"And in 2006 I sat in this room with a little film called `Crash' and I
got to look at the people who got me here, so to the Screen Actors Guild,
thank you so much," she said.
With the exception of "Inglourious Basterds" winning the top prize,
the SAG ceremony was a near repeat of the Golden Globes ceremony, with
"Basterds" co-star Christoph Waltz winning the prize for supporting actor and
Mo'Nique being named best supporting actress for her turn as an abusive mother
in "Precious: Based on the Novel `Push' by Sapphire."
The television categories also closely followed the Golden Globes -- the
only exception being Tina Fey winning the SAG Award for best comedy actress
for "30 Rock" instead of Globe winner Toni Collette of "The United States of
It was the third consecutive SAG Award for Fey, while her co-star, Alec
Baldwin, won his fourth consecutive SAG prize for best comedy series actor.
But "30 Rock" failed to win the award for best ensemble cast in a
comedy series, with that honor going instead to Fox's musical hit "Glee."
"To be chosen by our peers means the world to us," said "Glee"
actress Jane Lynch, accepting the ensemble cast award. "We would like to thank
(executive producer) Ryan Murphy for giving us the parts of a lifetime,
(executive producers/writers) Brad Falchuck and Ian Brennan and Ryan for
pitching into our strike zone every week and we thank them so much.
"And, of course, you don't do this in a vacuum," she said. "We want
to thank our crew who do in 10 days what should take a month and a half, so
thank you so much."
The AMC series "Mad Men" won the SAG Award for best drama ensemble
cast for the second year in a row, while Michael C. Hall was honored for his
lead role in "Dexter" and Julianna Margulies was named best actress for her
work in the new series "The Good Wife."
While accepting her award, Fey thanked some of her acting teachers,
including Baldwin, "because I learn from you every single day."
She also poked fun at NBC and its recent late-night television debacle,
quipping, " I just wanted to take a moment to say to everyone at NBC, we are
very happy with everything. And happy to be there."
Baldwin said working on "30 Rock" is a "great experience with a great
group of people." But he also praised SAG, reminding the star-studded
audience that another round of contract negotiations were on the horizon with
major television and film studios.
"The work that's done by the union is important work to benefit people,
many of whom are not in this room tonight and don't get to star in films and
television projects and so forth, and they rely on the union to work hard for
them for the residuals and their benefits and so forth," Baldwin said. "We
have another negotiation coming up very soon, it will be right around the
corner, as we all remember. And I just want to say I am proud, proud, proud to
be a member of the Screen Actors Guild."
Jon Hamm of "Mad Men" thanked the show's writers and crew while
accepting the award for best drama ensemble cast.
"It is truly a collaborative effort, the making of our show," Hamm
said. "We wouldn't be anywhere without our insanely talented staff of writers,
our amazing writers, our amazing crew that does in seven days what some shows
take even longer to do. So we are very happy to be here, very happy to accept
this. Thank you all very much."
Margulies, who was named best drama actress for her role as an attorney
whose husband is a jailed former state's attorney, said her parents were her
biggest supporters and she thanked them as she accepted her award.
"I just have to say my mother and father call me after every single
episode," she said. "And they've been so supportive of me and have such
interest in my life and every role I take -- well, except `Snakes on a Plane,'
they weren't so proud of that one. But they're proud of this one and I really
appreciate your interest."
Both Margulies and Hall won Golden Globes for the same roles.
"Thank you to our writers for their plate-spinning ability and
audacity, and thank you as well to our crew, who I think have as much to so
with the cohesiveness we manage to maintain on this show as anyone," said
Hall, who was honored for his role as a detective/serial killer in the Showtime
Drew Barrymore and Kevin Bacon, both Golden Globe winners, claimed SAG
Awards for their work in the television movie or miniseries categories for
"Grey Gardens" and "Taking Chance," respectively.