Actress also thanks her parents for conceiving her on the set of a movie.
The actress won the prestigious industry accolade for her performance as a cutthroat divorce lawyer representing an actress (Scarlett Johansson) during her separation from a powerful New York City playwright (Adam Driver) in Noah Baumbach’s Netflix drama Marriage Story.
Before taking to the stage to receive her statuette, Dern embraced her father, who sat next to her during the presentation.
“I’m emotional because I got to hug my dad!” Dern said as she approached the microphone, fighting back tears. She went on to thank Marriage Story‘s “leader and “hero,” director Noah Baumbach, as well as her fellow cast members Johansson, Adam Driver, Alan Alda, and Ray Liotta, but saved a heartfelt tribute to her family for the end of her speech.
“I literally, literally would not be here if it were not for actors,” Dern said, referencing a story she told on the SAG Awards red carpet in which she claimed her mother (actress Diane Ladd) and father conceived her on the set of Roger Corman’s 1966 film The Wild Angels. “Thank you for raising me in the community of your friends, on your movies, doing your plays, and getting to know the wealth of these extraordinary people, and for my Grandma Mary for raising me and my best friend on daily television reruns and the partnerships, the voices, and people I’ve watched and loved forever”
Dern closed her speech with one more note to her father: “I love you, dad!”
Dern’s Best Supporting Actress victory — the first SAG award for her family, as neither Bruce nor Diane have won in the past despite their robust careers — at this year’s SAG Awards (over stiff competition from Hustlers’ Jennifer Lopez, Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), and Bombshell actresses Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie), cements her lead as the Oscar frontrunner in the category after scoring other major precursor recognition from the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards.
Following its heavily buzzed debut on the festival circuit earlier in 2019, Marriage Story earned rave reviews from movie critics, who praised Dern’s work in particular.
“I mean, as an actor, you can’t dream up speeches that delicious!” Dern previously told EW of performing Baumbach’s screenplay for the film, which received six overall nominations at this year’s Golden Globes. “It’s just crazy amazing. But let me just say, I’ve never cried so hard as when I first read the script. It wasn’t just the emotion of reading the story, it was the perfection of the screenplay. [And] being a parent, I understood this unbelievably sad, broken moment.”