The Screen Actor’s Guild has added its voice to awards season – and with so many Oscar voters being actors, SAG is often seen as one of the most reliable indicators of who will pick up Academy Awards.
Birdman added to its haul of prizes, taking SAG’s honour as the best ensemble cast, the guild’s equivalent of Oscar’s Best Picture. But Birdman’s star Michael Keaton lost out in the individual award to Britain’s Eddie Redmayne, who repeated his Best Actor success from the Golden Globes, for The Theory of Everything. Accepting the actor statuette, for playing the acclaimed cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Redmayne dedicated the award to people around the world living with motor neurone disease and those who have lost their lives to it.
The other acting honours also went to Golden Globe winners; Julianne Moore took the Best Actress prize for Still Alice, Boyhood‘s Patricia Arquette was named the Best Supporting Actress and JK Simmons won another Best Supporting Actor award for his turn in Whiplash.
SAG also honours TV shows. Downton Abbey’s cast won the best dramatic ensemble, while the best comedy cast was Orange is the New Black, whose star Uzo Aduba was named the best actress in a comedy. The best actress in a drama was Viola Davis, for How to Get Away With Murder, marking the first time two black women have taken the TV acting honours. Kevin Spacey won the best dramatic TV actor for House of Cards, while William H Macy won the comedy equivalent, for the US version of Shameless.
Mark Ruffalo was named the best actor in a miniseries or TV movie, for A Normal Heart and Frances McDormand won the corresponding actress award, for Olive Kitteredge.
The Screen Actors Guild also handed a Lifetime Achievement Award to Debbie Reynolds, which was presented by her daughter Carrie Fisher.