Black Panther” took the top award at Sunday’s 25th Screen Actors Guild Awards, giving Ryan Coogler’s superhero sensation its most significant honor yet and potentially setting it up for more wins at the Academy Awards.
“Well, I’ll be,” Chadwick Boseman, who played the title character, said in accepting the award for best ensemble in a motion picture. “To be young, gifted and black.”
It was the only award “Black Panther” was nominated for besides best ensemble of stunt performers, which it also won.
Actors make up the largest percentage of the Motion Picture Academy, so their preferences can have an especially large impact on the Oscar race. In the last decade, the SAG ensemble winner has gone on to win best picture at the Academy Awards half the time.
Glenn Close, who memorably triumphed at the Golden Globes, won best actress, possibly making her the Oscar front-runner, as well. She has frequently been nominated but has never won an Academy Award.
“One of the most powerful things we have as human beings are two eyes looking into two eyes,” Close said. “Film is the only art form that allows us the close-up.”
Rami Malek won best actor for his Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Emily Blunt was the upset winner for her supporting role in the horror thriller “A Quiet Place,” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” swept comedy series honors.
Malek dedicated his award to Mercury, as he did at the Golden Globes. With the win over Christian Bale (“Vice”) and Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”), Malek seemingly sealed the best-actor Oscar many are predicting for him.
“I get some power from him that’s about stepping up and living your best life, being exactly who you want to be and accomplishing everything you so desire,” Malek said.
Blunt’s win was a surprise, particularly for the actress, herself. Blunt, who was also nominated for her lead performance in “Mary Poppins Returns,” was visibly surprised. She wasn’t among the Oscars nominees for either film.
“Guys. That truly has blown my slicked hair back,” said Blunt, who praised her husband, John Krasinski, the director of “A Quiet Place,” as a “stunning filmmaker.”
“Thank you for giving me the part,” she said. “You would have been in major trouble if you hadn’t.”
Best supporting actor in a film went more as expected. Mahershala Ali, who won two years ago for “Moonlight,” won for his performance in Peter Farrelly’s interracial road trip, “Green Book.” Ali thanked his co-star, Viggo Mortensen, and Farrelly.
The Amazon series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won the first three awards handed out Sunday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. It won best ensemble in a comedy series, as well as individual honors for Rachel Brosnahan and Tony Shalhoub, whose win was a surprise in a category that included Bill Hader (“Barry”) and Golden Globe winner Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”).
“We cannot thank you enough,” Shalhoub said, speaking for the cast. “Stay with us.”
Tom Hanks presented the lifetime achievement award to Alan Alda, who revealed in July that he had been living with Parkinson’s disease for more than three years. Alda took the stage to a standing ovation while the theme to “M.A.S.H.” played. He said the award came at a reflective moment for him.
“And I see more than ever now how proud I am to be a part of our brotherhood and sisterhood of actors,” Alda said. “It may never have been more urgent to see the world through another person’s eyes. When a culture is divided so sharply, actors can help — a least a little — just by doing what we do.
“And the nice part is it’s fun to do it,” he said. “So my wish for all of us is: Let’s stay playful.”
For the second time, the cast of “This Is Us” won for best ensemble in a drama series. Other TV winners included Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”), Darren Criss (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace”), Jason Bateman (“Ozark”) and Patricia Arquette (“Escape at Dannemora”).
Arquette thanked special counsel Robert Mueller “and everyone working to make sure we have sovereignty for the United States of America.”
The SAG Awards have one thing the Oscars don’t: a host. Megan Mullally kicked off the awards by tweaking their role among the many honors leading up to next month’s Oscars. She called the SAGs “the greatest honor an actor can receive this weekend.”
Among those attending Sunday was Geoffrey Owens, the “Cosby Show” actor who caused a stir when he was photographed working at a Trader Joe’s in New Jersey. He was among the performers who began the show with the SAG Awards’ typical “I am an actor” testimony. And Douglas and Close, the co-stars of “Fatal Attraction,” were reunited as presenters.