''American Beauty'' sweeps the SAG Awards
The predictable winners list foreshadows the Oscars
With the Academy Awards looming, the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday presented one of the last ceremonial speed bumps on the road to Oscar glory. For one thing, it indicated that ”The Cider House Rules” may not be such tough competition against the ”American Beauty” powerhouse. ”Beauty” swept the Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Ensemble awards, with only one prize, for Michael Caine’s supporting role, going to ”Cider House.” Though the winners may not have come as much of a surprise, there were plenty of sappy speeches, scary outfits, and awards antics to keep viewers from channel surfing. EW Online went backstage to round up the evening’s more memorable highlights.
Best Award Insight Angelina Jolie, who won Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role for ”Girl, Interrupted” gave her statuette a thumbs-up as one of the sexier prizes on her mantelpiece. ”This one’s got a really good backside, and no mouth, which I just can’t understand,” she said. C’mon, Angelina, some women would call that the ideal man.
Best Tribute To Jennifer Lopez Jane Leeves, who won Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series for ”Frasier,” challenged the Fly Girl’s fashion daring with a plunging Yves St. Laurent neckline. But unlike Lopez, Leeves was happy to reveal how she kept everything in its place. ”It’s stapled to me,” she joked. ”Just a little double-sided tape so when you go like that you’re not offensive.” Costar David Hyde Pierce quipped, ”Also, you were blessed with sticky nipples.” And the award for Too Much Information goes to…
Best Reason to Quit a TV Show Best Male Actor in a Comedy Series winner Michael J. Fox may currently be working on his one-hour farewell to ”Spin City,” but his thoughts were already focused on his life beyond the TV grind. ”I know this gets so corny, but I’ll be taking my kids to school, actually having five minutes to figure out what the hell that crayon drawing is,” he said. ”Instead of just going, ‘Nice colors,’ I’ll be sticking around for the explanation.”
Best Definition of the Meaning of Life Kevin Spacey, who won Best Male Actor in a Leading Role, tried to explain what made ”American Beauty” so beautiful to critics and fans. ”What this movie tries to put out there is our notions of what we’re told is beautiful means we miss the things that are simple and clearly beautiful in our own heart,” he said. ”What I love about this movie is it says don’t miss the plastic bag moments in your life.” Now, there’s a slogan crying out for a bumper sticker.
Best Bad Outfit Though Calista Flockhart’s bulky green ball gown, Portia DeRossi’s overwhelming animal print ensemble, and Helen Hunt’s creepy platinum- blond braids were all notable in their ghastliness, young Thora Birch outdid them all with an oversize fuschia-and-orange shirt dress, stringy black hair, and blood-red lipstick. At last, Christina Ricci has some competition for that coveted Goth-princess title.
Best Advice After winning her award for Best Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture, Annette Bening advised her fellow actresses, ”Don’t wait to have a baby, do it now!” Backstage, Bening (who is eight months pregnant) elaborated, ”When I had my first baby and realized I was the first woman from my acting conservatory class, it gave me pause. A lot of working women postpone having babies, and sometimes that can be a very sad thing because we have a limited amount of time in which to have babies, and men do not. So I wanted to say that to the actresses out there because sometimes we fear that if we have a child it will compromise our ability to work. I wanted to encourage them to not worry about it.” Of course, you may worry about it a little less when you’re married to Warren Beatty.
Best Example Unlike other winners who were happy to chatter endlessly about their upcoming projects, Life Achievement Award winner Sidney Poitier proved to be a rare class act. After admitting he had recently written a book to be published next month, he stopped short. ”Here I am giving a plug for my own self,” he muttered. ”Jesus, I’ve never done this before in my whole life! I’m not gonna do it now!” We can only pray it’s the start of a trend. And now, here are the award winners:
Male Actor in a Leading Role
Kevin Spacey, ”American Beauty”
Female Actor in a Leading Role
Annette Bening, ”American Beauty”
Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Michael Caine, ”The Cider House Rules”
Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Angelina Jolie, ”Girl, Interrupted”
Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture
Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Jack Lemmon, ”Oprah Winfrey Presents: Tuesdays With Morrie,” ABC
Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Halle Berry, ”Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” HBO
Male Actor in a Drama Series
James Gandolfini, ”The Sopranos,” HBO
Female Actor in a Drama Series
Edie Falco, ”The Sopranos,” HBO
Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Michael J. Fox, ”Spin City,” ABC
Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Lisa Kudrow, ”Friends,” NBC
Ensemble in a Drama Series
”The Sopranos,” HBO
Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Screen Actors Guild 36th Annual Life Achievement Award