The steady march of awards season continues this weekend with the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the second of the major guild ceremonies (coming the day after the Producers Guild’s show, to be followed by directors and writers in February), where the stars who put in the greatest film and television performances of the year are recognized by their peers. The SAG Awards are a crucial stop on the road to Oscars, and they’re making some changes this year — so read on for all you need to know before tuning into the most glamorous guild show of them all!
When are the SAG Awards?
The 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will take place Sunday, Jan. 21, at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET. The ceremony will air live on TBS and TNT.
WHAT are the SAG Awards?!
The SAG Awards are the only televised ceremony that honors performers exclusively. Voted on by members of the Screen Actors Guild, the statuettes — called Actors — are awarded in 15 categories (including two for stunt work) across film and television, the most prestigious of which are the three Best Ensemble accolades, the SAG equivalent of Best Picture. You might also remember the SAGs as the ceremony that opens with a bunch of actors sharing stories about their lives and then saying to the camera, “I am an actor.”
Don’t be silly, the SAG Awards never have a host — but wait! This year they’re switching things up. Last month, the Guild announced that Kristen Bell will serve as the very first host in the history of the ceremony. “I’ve been asked to host the SAG Awards this year, which means, to all my friends who’ve been nominated, I get to choose who wins!” the actress said in a video she shared after the announcement was made. After being corrected, however, she continued, “That’s not how it works? Then what am I doing? Like, Anne Hathaway and James Franco did? I’m doing that? Why, did I lose a bet?”
In another break from tradition, this year’s SAG Awards will feature exclusively female presenters. Typically, a male and female pair of stars hands out each award, but in a move “to salute our women,” as the show’s executive producer Kathy Connell told EW, they’re forgoing Y-chromosomes for the statuette presentations. Men will still take part in the ceremony, however, to introduce the films nominated for Best Ensemble — and, of course, as winners. “So many of our women have been very, very brave, as have other women in other industries this year, and we thought it was an opportunity to salute our women, because it’s not just about one issue,” Connell said. “Our women are very famous and yet they face the issues that women across this country do, which is they don’t have equality in income. They don’t have creative equality. And they have the same kind of safety issues that other women have been facing. We just thought we wanted to acknowledge as many wonderful women on our stage this year as we could, while we’re celebrating the best performances by women and men of the year.”
Last month, Olivia Munn and Niecy Nash made the live announcement naming the film and TV stars who are up for Actors. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri led the pack among the various films recognized, with four nominations, followed by Lady Bird, with three. On the TV side of things, Big Little Lies, Stranger Things, and GLOW each scored four nods. The nominees in some of the most high-profile categories are listed below; check out the full list here.
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
The Big Sick — Adeel Akhtar, Holly Hunter, Zoe Kazan, Anupam Kher, Kumail Nanjiani, Ray Romano, Zenobia Shroff
Get Out — Caleb Landry Jones, Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener, Stephen Root, Lakeith Stanfield, Bradley Whitford, Allison Williams
Lady Bird — Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Lucas Hedges, Tracy Letts, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Laurie Metcalf, Jordan Rodrigues, Saoirse Ronan, Odeya Rush, Marielle Scott, Lois Smith
Mudbound — Jonathan Banks, Mary J. Blige, Jason Clarke, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan, Carey Mulligan
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri — Abbie Cornish, Peter Dinklage, Woody Harrelson, John Hawkes, Lucas Hedges, Željko Ivanek, Caleb Landry Jones, Frances McDormand, Clarke Peters, Sam Rockwell, Samara Weaving
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
James Franco, The Disaster Artist
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture
Judi Dench, Victoria & Abdul
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
The Crown — Claire Foy, Victoria Hamilton, Vanessa Kirby, Anton Lesser, Matt Smith
Game of Thrones — Alfie Allen, Jacob Anderson Pilou Asbæk, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, John Bradley, Jim Broadbent, Gwendoline Christie, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Liam Cunningham, Peter Dinklage, Richard Dormer, Nathalie Emmanuel, James Faulkner, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Conleth Hill, Kristofer Hivju, Tom Hopper, Anton Lesser, Rory McCann, Staz Nair, Richard Rycroft, Sophie Turner, Rupert Vansittart, Maisie Williams
The Handmaid’s Tale — Madeline Brewer, Amanda Brugel, Ann Dowd, O-T Fagbenle, Joseph Fiennes, Tattiawna Jones, Max Minghella, Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, Samira Wiley
Stranger Things — Sean Astin, Millie Bobby Brown, Cara Buono, Joe Chrest, Catherine Curtin, Natalie Dyer, David Harbour, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Dacre Montgomery, Paul Reiser, Winona Ryder, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Finn Wolfhard
This Is Us — Eris Baker, Alexandra Breckenridge, Sterling K. Brown, Lonnie Chavis, Justin Hartley, Faithe Herman, Ron Cephas Jones, Chrissy Metz, Mandy Moore, Chris Sullivan, Milo Ventimiglia, Susan Kelechi Watson, Hannah Zeile
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
David Harbour, Stranger Things
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Claire Foy, The Crown
Laura Linney, Ozark
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Lying Detective
Jeff Daniels, Godless
Robert De Niro, Wizard of Lies
Geoffrey Rush, Genius
Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Jessica Lange, Feud
Susan Sarandon, Feud
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Black-ish — Anthony Anderson, Miles Brown, Deon Cole, Laurence Fishburne, Jenifer Lewis, Peter Mackenzie, Marsai Martin, Jeff Meacham, Tracee Ellis Ross, Marcus Scribner, Yara Shahidi
Curb Your Enthusiasm — Ted Danson, Larry David, Susie Essman, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, JB Smoove
GLOW — Britt Baron, Alison Brie, Kimmy Gatewood, Betty Gilpin, Rebekka Johnson, Chris Lowell, Sunita Mani, Marc Maron, Kate Nash, Sydelle Noel, Marianna Palka, Gayle Rankin, Bashir Salahuddin, Rich Sommer, Kia Stevens, Jackie Tohn, Ellen Wong, Britney Young
Orange Is The New Black — Uzo Aduba, Emily Althaus, Danielle Brooks, Rosal Colón, Jackie Cruz, Francesca Curran, Daniella De Jesús, Lea DeLaria, Nick Dillenburg, Asia Kate Dillon, Beth Dover, Kimiko Glenn, Annie Golden, Laura Gómez, Diane Guerrero, Evan Arthur Hall, Michael J. Harney, Brad William Henke, Mike Houston, Vicky Jeudy, Kelly Karbacz, Julie Lake, Selenis Leyva, Natasha Lyonne, Taryn Manning, Adrienne C. Moore, Miriam Morales, Kate Mulgrew, Emma Myles, John Palladino, Matt Peters, Jessica Pimentel, Dascha Polanco, Laura Prepon, Jolene Purdy, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Nick Sandow, Abigail Savage, Taylor Schilling, Constance Shulman, Dale Soules, Yael Stone, Emily Tarver, Michael Torpey, Lin Tucci
Veep — Dan Bakkedahl, Anna Chlumsky, Gary Cole, Margaret Colin, Kevin Dunn, Clea Duvall, Nelson Franklin, Tony Hale, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Sam Richardson, Paul Scheer, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Sarah Sutherland, Matt Walsh
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Sean Hayes, Will & Grace
William H. Macy, Shameless
Marc Maron, GLOW
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is The New Black
Alison Brie, GLOW
Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
Who will win?!
Goodness, we certainly don’t know! Well, actually, we do know that Morgan Freeman will be presented with SAG’s Life Achievement Award, the Guild’s highest honor; last year’s went to Lily Tomlin, whose hilarious and honest acceptance speech was a highlight of the ceremony. Other than that, we’ll have to wait to find out who will be taking home Actor statuettes! To vote for your own favorites and see which stars other EW readers are rooting for, take our SAG poll right here.
What does all this mean for the Oscar race?
The SAG Awards, like all the major pre-Oscars shows, will at least help propel certain films into the spotlight and get Academy voters’ attention. And while a SAG win doesn’t spell certain Oscar glory (Denzel Washington won Best Actor from his Guild colleagues last year, after all, before Casey Affleck took home the Academy’s accolade), it is worth noting that not since 1995 (with Braveheart) has a film won Best Picture at the Oscars without having first been nominated for SAG’s top honor, Best Ensemble. Check out our analysis of how this year’s SAG winners might impact the Oscar race — and how the nominations already have — right here.
Will everyone be wearing black again?
No, that plan was just for the Golden Globes. But we won’t be surprised if the vibe on the red carpet is still slightly more somber than past years, due to the current climate in Hollywood, and it’s a safe bet to expect red carpet hosts to continue to #AskHerMore.
So will everyone be talking about Time’s Up again?
Almost certainly. That conversation is just getting started.