Michael Keaton breaks SAG Awards record with Trial of the Chicago 7 victory
Aaron Sorkin's historical drama won the SAG Award for its ensemble cast.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards ruled in favor of the ensemble cast behind Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7 — and the verdict has resulted in a milestone achievement for supporting actor Michael Keaton.
Following his past SAG ensemble victories for his work as part of the casts in Best Picture-winning films Spotlight and Birdman, Keaton — who had a small role in the Netflix project as former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark — is now the first performer in history to win three awards in the category.
Keaton's win puts him ahead of a band of 17 actors and actresses who've bagged two wins as part of SAG-honored ensembles, including Ben Affleck, Don Cheadle, Allison Janney, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The 69-year-old actor appeared on Sunday's prerecorded broadcast to accept the accolade alongside costars Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Sacha Baron Cohen, John Carroll Lynch, Alex Sharp, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Frank Langella, who spoke on behalf of the group.
"'God give us leaders,' said the reverend Martin Luther King before he was shot down in cold blood on this very date in 1968. A profound injustice. The trial of the Chicago 7 began 18 months later, ruled by a corrupt judge," Langella said of the film's source event, which followed a group of Vietnam War protestors who were accused of inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention. "Aaron Sorkin was determined to tell their story, and his loving and respectful direction transformed a group of disparate actors into an ensemble. Reverend King was right: We need leaders to guide us toward hating each other less. We owe a debt of thanks to the voices of the Chicago 7, and, most especially, Aaron Sorkin, our leader, whose voice is the soul of this movie."
Since SAG began honoring ensemble casts at its annual awards in 1996, only 12 films have won top honors at both the SAG Awards and at the Oscars. Though it was not nominated alongside Trial, Minari, Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and One Night in Miami at the SAG Awards, Nomadland's front-running status at the head of the Oscar race (thanks to a massive haul of pre-Oscars victories on the trail so far) remains relatively unscathed.
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