History was made at Sunday night’s VirtualScreen Actors Guild Awards as four actors of color, for the first time, took home all four of the major individual film awards.
The late Chadwick Boseman won Best Male Actor for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom “and Viola Davis won Best Female Actress for Ma Rainey Black Bottom. Best Supporting Actress went to Yuh-Jung Youn for Minari and Daniel Kaluuya won the award for Best Supporting Actor for Judas and the Dark Messiah.
Of these, Davis’ victory was the most surprising in a category that often belonged to Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) or Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”). This is Davis’ fifth individual SAG award.
Thank you, August, for leaving a legacy for actors of color that we can savor the rest of our lives on, Davis said, referring to playwright August Wilson.
Sunday’s shortened one hour show has been pre-recorded. In her pre-recorded acceptance speech, Youn, who is also the first Asian winner in an individual SAG film category, tore herself apart while delivering an emotional virtual acceptance speech.
“I don’t know how to describe my feelings. I’m recognized by Westerners,” said the 73-year-old Korean actress. I’m just very, very honored, in particular. [that my] the Actors Fellows chose me as a supporting actress.
While Youn has been celebrated in South Korea for decades, “Minari” is her defining role in the United States. The film follows a Korean immigrant family building a new life in Arkansas. Youn had already made history when she became the first South Korean actress nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars.
As throughout awards season, Best Male Actor once again belonged to Boseman for his final performance. Boseman, who died last August at the age of 43, had already set a record for most four SAG film nominations in a single year. He was also posthumously nominated for his supporting role in Da 5 Bloods and shared the ensemble nominations for the film Spike Lees and Ma Raineys Black Bottom.
SAG Awards 2021: the best looks of the show
It was the SAG Awards where Boseman gaveone of his most memorable speeches.At the 2019 Guild Awards, Boseman spoke on behalf of the Black Panther cast when the film took home the top prize. We all know what it’s like to be told there’s no room for you to be featured, Boseman said at the time. Yet you are young, talented, and black.
Kaluuya, who hosted “Saturday Night Live” a day before winning the Best Supporting Actor award, dedicated the award to his “Black Panther” co-star and fellow nominee Boseman.
The SAG Awards are a harbinger of Oscar up close. Actors make up the largest branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and SAG winners often line up with Oscar winners. The victories of four minority actors in these categories could potentially pave the way for a historically diverse list of Oscar winners.
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