By Gabby Pacitti
The 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards was held on Sunday, Feb. 26 at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, California. The ceremony was live-streamed on Netflix’s YouTube channel, with 13 awards presented over the course of the night.
As first-timers at the SAG Awards, Quinta Brunson and Janelle James of “Abbott Elementary” opened the show. The pair introduced a montage of highlights from the night’s nominated performances before the first award was announced.
The first presenters of the ceremony were Zendaya and Paul Mescal, who presented the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series. Jessica Chastain won for her performance as Tammy Wynette in the Showtime series, “George and Tammy,” marking the actress’s third Screen Actors Guild Award.
Following Chastain’s win, Jenna Ortega and Aubrey Plaza took the stage to present the second award of the night, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series. Sam Elliott won the award for his role as Shea Brennan in the Paramount+ series, “1883.” Elliott described the award as “the most meaningful acknowledgement of [his] 55 year career” in his acceptance speech.
Amy Poehler and Adam Scott then presented the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series. Jean Smart won for her role as Deborah Vance in the HBO Max series, “Hacks.” Actor Christopher McDonald accepted the award on her behalf.
The award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series was presented by Ashley Park and Haley Lu Richardson. For his performance as Carmen Berzatto in Hulu’s “The Bear,” Jeremy Allen White took home the award.
“I love what I do. I feel so lucky to be able to do it,” White said during his acceptance speech. About the show, he said, “It’s got a lot of heart; that is no accident.”
Following male actor in a comedy series was the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, presented by Eugene Levy. The cast of ABC’s “Abbott Elementary” received the award, including stars Quinta Brunson, Janelle James and Lisa Ann Walter, among their fellow co-stars.
“What an honor to be honored by our peers in this way,” Brunson said during her acceptance speech.
Taking the stage next were Emily Blunt and Jason Bateman to present the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role. Jamie Lee Curtis won for her role as Deirdre Beaubeirdre in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” In a standout moment of the night, Curtis planted a big kiss on castmate Michelle Yeoh before taking the stage to accept the award.
“I know you look at me and think ‘Nepo baby,’” Curtis said during her acceptance speech. “But the truth of the matter is that I’m 64 years old and this is just amazing.”
Orlando Bloom presented the next award, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. Ke Huy Quan made history as the first Asian actor to win in this category. Quan won for his role as Waymond Wang in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
“This moment no longer belongs to just me. It also belongs to everyone who has asked for change,” Quan said in his emotional acceptance speech. “Thank you, everyone, for rooting for me. I will be rooting for you.”
Presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to beloved actress Sally Field was Andrew Garfield. In his tribute to Field, Garfield called her “a North Star for all of us,” applauding her work as a performer and an activist.
“It’s never been about a need to hide myself behind the characters of other people,” Field said in her acceptance speech. “Acting, to me, has always been about finding those few precious moments when I feel totally, utterly, sometimes dangerously alive.”
Following Sally Field’s Lifetime Achievement Award was the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, presented by Ariana DeBose and Diego Luna. Jennifer Coolidge was the winner for her role as Tanya McQuoid-Hunt in the HBO series, “The White Lotus.”
Jason Bateman took home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series for his performance as Martin Byrde in the Netflix series, “Ozark.” For Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, “The White Lotus” won out over “The Crown,” “Ozark,” “Severance” and “Better Call Saul.”
Before the final three awards of the night were announced, Don Cheadle introduced the “In Memoriam” segment, which paid tribute to the actors and actresses who have passed away in the last year. “They left behind the most beautiful gift — the ability to spend time with them over and over again,” said Cheadle of the deceased performers.
Jeff Bridges presented the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, which went to Michelle Yeoh for her role as Evelyn Quan Wang in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
“This is not just for me — this is for every little girl that looks like me,” Yeoh said in her acceptance speech. “Thank you for giving me a seat at the table.”
The penultimate award of the ceremony was presented by Jessica Chastain for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. Brendan Fraser won for his performance as Charlie in “The Whale.” Advising young actors watching at home, Fraser said in his acceptance speech, “If you just put one foot in front of the other, you’ll get where you need to go.”
To close out the evening, Mark Wahlberg presented the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. The cast of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” took home this final award, which includes 94-year-old actor James Hong.
Hong offered some hopeful perspective as he reflected on his 70-year career in his celebratory acceptance speech.
“Producers said the Asians were not good enough, and they are not box office,” Hong said, “but look at us now.”