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2017 Awards season: ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Hidden Figures’ take top SAG Awards prizes

“Hidden Figures,” “Stranger Things” and “Orange Is the New Black” took home the top ensemble prizes at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards. While the event was a celebration of actors and their craft, the current political climate was not far from the minds of many stars on the red carpet and on the stage. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mahershala Ali, Bryan Cranston, David Harbour and others used their time at the podium to address recent events and the policies of President Donald Trump.

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SAG Awards: A night when politics blended into the prizes

Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Kirsten Dunst of "Hidden Figures."
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Anyone tuning in to the SAG Awards ceremony on Sunday thinking they might be escaping news headlines for a couple of hours was quickly disabused of that notion as winner after winner used their platform to speak out against President Trump’s immigration ban.

“This immigrant ban is a blemish and is un-American,” said Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the evening’s first award recipient, getting the ball rolling.

Later, life achievement honoree Lily Tomlin noted: “The doomsday clock has been moved up to two and a half minutes to midnight — and this award came just in the nick of time.”

Politics blended into the awards themselves, including the night’s biggest winner, “Hidden Figures,” a historical drama about the largely unknown black women who helped NASA launch the space program. The film’s predominately black cast won for ensemble, and its message of women of color overcoming prejudice was a perfect fit with the mood at the Shrine Auditorium, where the SAG Awards were presented.

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SAG Awards attendees discuss the current political climate on the red carpet

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Celebrities on the SAG Awards red carpet weigh on the current political scene.

Celebrities on the SAG Awards red carpet weigh in on the current political scene.

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‘Alternative facts’ about Hollywood we learned on the SAG Awards red carpet

We ask celebrities at the SAG Awards to come up with their best “alternative fact” they’ve heard about Hollywood.

We ask celebrities at the SAG Awards to come up with the best “alternative fact” they’ve heard about Hollywood.

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Mahershala Ali calls for respect and understanding between those who are different

(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Mahershala Ali took home two prizes at the Screen Actors Guild Awards: for his supporting role in “Moonlight” as well as part of the cast of “Hidden Figures.” Ali gave an emotional acceptance speech after winning for male actor in a supporting role, and the political themes carried over backstage.

On being Muslim and black in American during this political moment:

This is not new to me. These things have existed before. It’s just as painful as it’s always been. It’s sad. It pains me, and I do identify with [the] struggle [that] Muslims are dealing with specifically.

It’s hurtful to see what’s happening to immigrants. It’s a challenging time. I think the positive thing is that as artists, as actors, we have an opportunity to make certain choices that shine light on situations that light needs to be shined on … so we can bring attention to situations that need some work and help start conversations and raise awareness because with awareness you can bring about change.

That’s the optimistic approach I would like to have.

On talking politics on stage at an awards show and the pressure of not alienating an audience who may disagree:

That’s when we have to have respect, when we don’t agree each other. You have to respect that that person’s different than you and just trust that I’ll understand one day.

It’s about how we approach each other. It’s just about giving people the respect you would appreciate having and seeing the other person as just as human as you. That’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to treat people with the respect that I would like for myself. I’m not trying to fix nobody. I’m trying to work on my own stuff.

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Exclusive backstage photos: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Emma Stone, the ‘Hidden Figures’ cast and more at the SAG Awards

Ashton Kutcher and Julia Louis-Dreyfus backstage at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Taraji P. Henson, left, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae backstage at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Emma Stone
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
SAG Award winner Sarah Paulson, right, embraces Michelle Dockery backstage.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

MORE BACKSTAGE PHOTOS >>

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Netflix dominates SAG Awards’ TV categories with ‘The Crown,’ ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘OITNB’

"Stranger Things" actor Finn Wolfhard leaps for joy as his show wins the ensemble award.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The past was very much present Sunday night at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards as two new Netflix period pieces and one veteran show took home the top honors in the television categories and carried the streaming service to the top of the small screen heap with four awards.

“The Crown,” the grand tale of Queen Elizabeth II, copped two trophies; the ’80-set “Stranger Things” took home the award for performance by an ensemble in a drama series; and the cast of Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” took to the stage to accept the honor for performance by an ensemble in a comedy series, the show’s third consecutive win in that category.

The co-winners of the ensemble in a comedy series for "Orange Is the New Black."
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

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Taraji P. Henson says there’s a reason ‘Hidden Figures’ was made now

Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer and the "Hidden Figures" cast and crew.
Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer and the “Hidden Figures” cast and crew.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The cast of “Hidden Figures” took home the top film prize at the Screen Actors Guild Award. Backstage, actors Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer shared their thoughts on why they believed the film was resonating with audiences.

There’s a reason why [Hidden Figures] was made now and not three years ago, not five years ago, not 10 years ago. The universe needed it now.

Taraji P. Henson

This film reminds us that we’ve been through harder times. We got through it back then, and we can get through it now. In the words of Kevin Costner’s [character], ‘We all pee the same color.’

Janelle Monae

Sometimes we need to provide a little escapism from the realities we’re currently existing in. This movie, I was feeling a certain way as an actress in the film representing people that are marginally represented. The fact that the movie is resonating at the box office is saying people are hearing the message.

Octavia Spencer

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David Harbour’s speech seemed to surprise even his ‘Stranger Things’ costars

"Stranger Things' " David Harbour gives a speech as cast and crew look on.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

David Harbour, who plays Jim Hopper in “Stranger Things,” delivered a fiery speech after the show took the drama ensemble prize that brought some of the night’s loudest applause from the audience. It seemed to even take some of his costars by surprise, including an especially expressive Winona Ryder.

Did it? I didn’t see her reaction. We were at dinner the other night. Cara [Buono] and Charles [Heaton]. I was like, ‘Guys, I want to say this crazy speech. Can I run it by you? Charlie was like, no, no, you’ll jinx us.” He says he ended up sharing it but that “it changed last night based on the protest. But they did help me and they reassured me that it was an OK thing to say.

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Backstage and unguarded with the ‘Hidden Figures’ cast after winning their SAG Awards

"Hidden Figures" writer-director Theodore Melfi and actors Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monáe celebrate after winning for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

“Hold it, baby!” Taraji P. Henson urged Janelle Monáe, passing her their cast’s just-won Screen Actors Guild Award as if to prove it was real.

It seemed that no one in the cast of “Hidden Figures” expected to win the biggest film prize of the night on Sunday. Leading up to the telecast, nearly all of the award season pundits had the best film ensemble race between “Moonlight” and “Manchester By the Sea.” So as the “Hidden Figures” cast bounded from the stage, their disbelief was palpable. Octavia Spencer, dabbing her eyes with a tissue, kept screaming suddenly as she made her way toward a room filled with photographers. Every few moments, she would stare down in awe at the envelope Nicole Kidman had delivered to the cast, announcing their win.

“I’m not letting this out of my sight,” she said aloud.

As the cast circulated through the tiny hallways of the Shrine Auditorium, the group swelled when Glen Powell -- who plays late astronaut John Glenn in the film -- invited his family to tag along with the melee. His mother introduced herself to Henson, who took a moment to tell her what a polite son she’d raised. “I’m a mom,” Henson said, “so I know it’s all because of you.”

Anticipating the impending onslaught of selfie-seekers, Henson and Spencer stopped at a L’Oreal touchup station, dabbing off their sweat.

“We are going to take pictures, so pat down, ladies! Pat down!” Spencer advised.

Before they could pose for photos, however, the cast had to pick up their individual trophies. (They’d only been given one onstage by Kidman.) The bronze statues -- which are 16 inches tall and weigh 12 pounds -- were all accounted for, save for Kevin Costner’s. The actor wasn’t in attendance, so his award remained on a table with an unsigned contract meant to acknowledge receipt of the prize.

With the bronze men finally in hand -- “This is heavy!” Henson noted -- the group made its way to the press room to field questions. Saniyya Sidney, the 10-year-old actress who plays one of Henson’s daughters in the film, trailed behind, crying quiet tears of joy.

“Is she still crying?” her mother asked.

“She is an actress, guys,” her father said with a smile.

Sidney pulled herself together before standing on the podium in front of reporters, where the cast fielded questions about the relevance of “Hidden Figures” -- which Henson noted just hit $100 million at the box office.

“The movie reminds us that we’ve been through harder times,” suggested Monáe. “And as Kevin Costner says in the film, we all pee the same color. We’re not that damn different.”

“Well, unless you eat a lot of beets,” noted Spencer.

A publicist signaled it was time for the group to make its way to another stop, and Henson sighed.

“Can we go to the bar now?” she asked Kirsten Dunst, who replied, “I think we can go get a drink!”

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Emma Stone on whether actors should use award shows as a political platform

Emma Stone, winner of female actor in a leading role for "La La Land."
(Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)

I think that right now is an unprecedented time. I would hope that everyone that’s seeing things being done that are absolutely unconstitutional and inhumane would say something in any venue -- whether at school or an award show or their office or online. I would hope that people would fight for what’s right and what’s ... human. It’s amazing to see people speaking up and taking action.

Emma Stone

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Viola Davis reminds Hollywood ‘I have a story that needs to be told’

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Following her acceptance of the Screen Actors Guild award for performance by a female actor in a supporting role, “Fences” actress Viola Davis was asked whether she thought the #OscarsSoWhite controversy played a role in why so many black actors were nominated this year.

Her answer: No.

I think that every nominee, from Naomie Harris to Octavia Spencer to ‘Hidden Figures' to ‘Fences' to ‘Moonlight' to Mahershala Ali, are there because they deserve to be there. They put in the work.

Viola Davis, SAG award winner for her role in “Fences”

“Sometimes, I feel like I’m forced to remind people that I look different,” said Davis. “I saw an absence of people that look like me.

“It becomes a knee-jerk response to write narratives and present a homogenized story. I want to tell people that we, in the past, have not been invited to the party,” Davis continued. “It is intentional.

“But when I do say it, I’m not saying it to put myself on the outside. It’s not to be ultra-political. It’s just to raise my hand and say, ‘Are you aware that I’m here? And that I’m sexual and I have my own beauty and I have a story that needs to be told.’”

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In the winners room with Viola Davis, Emma Stone, the ‘Stranger Things’ kids and more

Viola Davis, winner for female actor in a supporting role for "Fences."
Viola Davis, winner for female actor in a supporting role for “Fences.”
(Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)
Finn Wolfhard, left, Gaten Matarazzo, Millie Bobby Brown, Noah Schnapp and Caleb McLaughlin, winners of ensemble in a drama series for "Stranger Things."
(Paul Buck / European Pressphoto Agency)
"The Crown's" John Lithgow, winner for male actor in a drama series, with costar Claire Foy, winner for female actor in a drama series.
(Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)
Elizabeth Rodriguez, left, Selenis Leyva, Diane Guerrero and Jackie Cruz, co-winners of ensemble in a comedy series for "Orange Is the New Black."
(Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images)

More photos from the 2017 SAG Awards winners room >>

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Take a look at highlights from the Screen Actors Guild Awards

The 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, may have had a political tone, but the exuberance of presenters, winners and members of the audience was on display.

Lily Tomlin accepts the guild's life achievement award.
(Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
Taraji P. Henson receives a hug during the show.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
The "Orange Is the New Black" cast gathers onstage after winning for ensemble in a comedy series.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

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Sarah Paulson commends the ACLU after her SAG Award win

(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

I just wanted to have an opportunity to mention the inclusivity that I think is required right now and the ACLU to me represents that across the board. It’s an odd thing because it’s been a very celebratory time in my life … and at the same time it’s dovetailing with a sort of interesting time. I feel the duality. It feels like a grave time. 

Sarah Paulson, after her SAG Award win for her performance in ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’

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See David Harbour’s fiery acceptance speech for ‘Stranger Things’

“Stranger Things” won the SAG Award for ensemble in a drama series, and David Harbour, who plays Chief Jim Hopper, delivered an impassioned speech about the importance of fighting for the disenfranchised.

Read his speech in full below:

This is unreal. I’m supposed to start talking. I’m sorry. I’m sick.

On behalf of this fearless and talented cast, we would like to thank -- oh, it’s so heavy -- Netflix, Shawn [Levy], Matt [Duffer], Ross [Duffer] and the amazing casting director Carmen Cuba.

I would just like to say that in light of all that’s going on in the world today, it’s difficult to celebrate the already celebrated “Stranger Things,” but this award from you, who take your craft seriously and earnestly believe, like me, that great acting can change the world, is a call to arms from our fellow craftsmen and women to go deeper and through our art to battle against fear, self-centeredness and exclusivity of our predominantly narcissistic culture. And through our craft to cultivate a more empathetic and understanding society by revealing intimate truths that serve as a forceful reminder to folks that when they feel broken and afraid and tired, they are not alone.

We are united, in that we are all human beings and we are all together on this horrible, painful, joyous, exciting and mysterious ride that is being alive.

Now, as we act and the continuing narrative of “Stranger Things,” we 1983 Midwesterners will repel bullies. We will shelter freaks and outcasts, those who have no homes. We will get past the lies. We will hunt monsters. And when we are lost amidst the hypocrisy and the casual violence of certain individuals and institutions, we will, as per Chief Jim Hopper, punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the meek and the disenfranchised and the marginalized. And we will do it all with soul, with heart, and with joy.

We thank you for this responsibility. We thank you.

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Bryan Cranston on politicizing awards shows: ‘We’re allowed to do that’

(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

When accepting the Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance in “All the Way,” Bryan Cranston told the audience that he suspects President Lyndon B. Johnson would “earnestly wish” Donald Trump success. The political theme continued in his remarks backstage.

Is it a challenge to be at an awards show considering all that’s going on?

There’s a lot of strife in the world and in our country, but I think it’s important to embrace the good things that we have as well. And the collective of people coming together and talking about the issues as you’ve seen tonight-- it’s alive.

This is what artists do best: take the anguish, the anxiety and fear, and put it into work. Hopefully it creates a groundswell of understanding. I don’t feel it’s the wrong thing to celebrate—good work that has nothing to do with other things.

On critics who say actors shouldn’t make these award shows political:

We’re human beings and citizens before we ever became actors. If something is important to you, if something appears before you in a way that feels like oppression, it’s up to the citizenry to speak out. Not everyone agrees.

But that’s part of democracy. We’re allowed to do that. Our country was founded on that. We shouldn’t be afraid of it. We should embrace it so voices are all heard and people make up their own minds.

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Life advice from Lily Tomlin’s SAG speech: ‘Don’t leave the house when you’re drunk’

( Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

The 53rd SAG life achievement award recipient, Lily Tomlin, offered some “sage” life advice for young actors, beyond “wear sunscreen.”

  • Don’t leave the house when you’re drunk.
  • And if you’re already out there, well, you must learn to tell when you’ve had too much to drink.
  • Listen to your friends when they stop talking to you and start talking about you. Saying things like, “Did she have a purse?”
  • Don’t be anxious about missing an opportunity. Behind every failure is an opportunity someone wishes they had missed.
  • Mind what Thoreau said, “Beware of any enterprise which requires new clothing.” Doesn’t that ring sort of true tonight, to a few of you? It does to me.
  • Live your life so that when you are being honored for your achievements the people called upon to make laudatory remarks can feel reasonably honest about their comments. Otherwise, in these times, all their words of phrase might be perceived as alternative facts. Or worse yet, fake news.
  • Thank those people on whose shoulders you stand.

After revealing the happy/sad duo face of the big award, Tomlin ended her speech by thanking life partner and writer Jane Wagner (among many others).

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Read (and watch) Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ speech slamming the #MuslimBan

“I want you all to know that I am the daughter of an immigrant. My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France, and I’m an American patriot, and I love this country, and because I love this country I am horrified by its blemishes,” she said in her acceptance speech. “This immigrant ban is a blemish and it is un-American.

“So I say to you this: Our sister guild, the WGA, made a statement today that I would like to read because I am in complete agreeance with it.

“ ‘Our guilds are unions of storytellers who always welcomed those from the nations of varying beliefs who wish to share their creativity with America. We are grateful for them. We stand with them. And we will fight for them.’

“Thank you very much.”

Watch the speech below:

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The SAG Awards are off to a political start

"Veep" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus accepts the award for performance by a female actor in a comedy series.
(Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP)

If anyone thought the winners and presenters at Sunday night’s 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards would avoid addressing the protests happening at airports around the nation, they were wrong.

The show, broadcast on TNT and TBS live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, was political from the opening moments, with a series of nominated actors in the audience talking about what it means to be an actor, which includes, said “Scandal’s” Kerry Washington, expressing political opinions.

Although the show normally eschews a formal host, Ashton Kutcher did welcome viewers to the broadcast and “everyone in airports that belong in my America. We love you and we welcome you.”

The night’s first winner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, addressed the issue head-on in her acceptance speech for performance by a female actor in a comedy series for her role on “Veep.”

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Watch Mahershala Ali’s emotional SAG acceptance speech

Mahershala Ali won the SAG Award for male actor in a supporting role in “Moonlight.”

Read his speech in full below:

I think what I’ve learned from working on “Moonlight” is we see what happens when you persecute people. They fold into themselves and what I was so grateful about in having the opportunity to play Juan was playing a gentleman who saw a young man folding into himself as a result of the persecution of his community. Taking the opportunity to uplift him and to tell him he mattered, he was okay and accept him. I hope that we do a better job of that.

We kind of get caught up in the minutia and the details that make us all different, I think there’s two ways of seeing that. There’s an opportunity to see the texture of that person, the characteristics that make them unique, and then there’s the opportunity to go to war about it. And to say that that person is different than me and I don’t like you so let’s battle.

My mother is an ordained minister. I’m a Muslim. She didn’t do backflips when I called her to tell her I converted 17 yrs ago. But I tell you now, you put things to the side and I’m able to see her and she’s able to see me. We love each other. The love has grown. And that stuff is minutia. It’s not that important.

I’m going to thank Tarell Alvin McCraney for his courage. I’m going to thank Barry Jenkins just for your insight, your brilliance and your direction, and just the collaboration, that opportunity, I’ll always hold that close to me. I want to thank my fellow cast mates. Any one of those young men could be up here holding this, I’m telling you. It’s beautiful work. Plan B, A24, thank you. Peace and blessings be upon you.

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‘Big Bang Theory’ actor makes big anti-Trump statement on the SAG red carpet

Simon Helberg of "The Big Bang Theory" and his wife, Jocelyn Towne, arrive at the SAG Awards.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Actor Simon Helberg of the CBS series “The Big Bang Theory” and wife Jocelyn Towne used the red carpet to protest the recent travel ban from President Trump.

Helberg was seen holding a “Refugees Welcome” sign and Towne had the words “Let Them In” written across her chest.

“Big Bang Theory” was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.

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‘Arrival’ director Denis Villeneuve on boycotting the Oscars

“Arrival” director Denis Villeneuve shared his thoughts about the reports that Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti, star of Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-nominated “The Salesman,” would be boycotting the Academy Awards.

I thought it was a bad idea. It’s not about trying to boycott, it’s the opposite. It’s about building bridges between cultures. It’s more powerful to come. It’s time to talk, not to be silent. that’s what i think.

Denis Villeneuve, director of “Arrival”

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The men of ‘Moonlight’ discuss political unrest and this moment in diversity

Trevante Rhodes greets 'Moonlight' costars.
(Amy Kaufman / Los Angeles Times)

The men of “Moonlight” are just as nuanced and insightful on the red carpet as they are both in front of and behind the camera. Actors Trevante Rhodes (who plays Black) and Mahershala Ali (Juan) and director Barry Jenkins paused to share their insights on the current political climate before continuing on to the SAG Awards ceremony.

On diversity

“I think we’re almost where we think we are. I think when the little kid who saw Obama in office, when he gets to be the tastemaker, we’ll be where we thought we were.” -- Rhodes

Mahershala Ali
(Amy Kaufman / Los Angeles Times)

On the mixed feelings of celebrating in the midst of global crisis

“Given what’s going on in the world, how are we celebrating ourselves when so much is going? I feel so strange, but at the same time I can’t pretend I’m not incredibly happy.” -- Trevante Rhodes

“The gift in our work is we get to advocate for people. Look at ‘Moonlight.’ Look at ‘Hidden Figures.’ We get to tell the stories of people who have been disenfranchised. Hats off to those who are committed to doing projects that are socially relevant.” -- Mahershala Ali

Barry Jenkins
(Amy Kaufman / Los Angeles Times)

On Hollywood “alternative facts”

“Everything I’ve been told is real. My experience right now, from the struggle to the amazingness of being in this small collective of people.” -- Rhodes

“That black movies don’t sell overseas. The response to ‘Moonlight’ in Holland, in Germany, has been amazing. This film about a poor black boy in Miami, I think that’s an alternative fact.” -- Barry Jenkins, director

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‘Fences’ costar Mykelti Williamson on how to bridge a divided culture

Mykelti Williamson of "Fences" arrives at the Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Veteran actor Mykelti Williamson (“Heat,” “Forrest Gump”) is part of the “Fences” ensemble that actor-director Denzel Washington assembled. He stopped to chat while on the SAG Awards red carpet.


What’s an “alternative fact” you’ve heard about Hollywood?

“That the check is in the mail. It’s probably not.”

Where are we right now with the #OscarsSoWhite conversation? Are we making any real progress?

“I think we always will have it. I think the reason we keep having to blow the trumpet [is because] people get busy with their own stuff ... that they can’t think about it. As long as we keep blowing the trumpet, it will be at the forefront of their minds. Because out of sight, out of mind.”

Is it hard being at an awards show with all this political uncertainty going on right now?

“There’s always political uncertainty. I was a kid that grew up in the civil rights era. That was worse than this -- we made it through that. You have to figure out how to get along with [people]. If you ostracize them or they you, you never come together and figure out what you have in common.”

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‘Lion’s’ Dev Patel on ‘injecting art’ into a world in turmoil

Dev Patel on the SAG Awards red carpet.
(Amy Kaufman / Los Angeles Times)

Dev Patel, costar of “Lion,” took a detour on the SAG Awards red carpet to talk about the perils of promoting a movie during a tumultuous political season.

“At times like this, you’re constantly questioning what you’re doing at awards like this or promoting a movie. It feels so pointless. I look to the people around me and they remind me the message of this film, of the art we’re trying to inject into the world right now. It’s about unification. When I think about that, it makes me have a little bit more strength.”

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Dapper meets glamour on the SAG red carpet

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Courtney B. Vance: ‘This is a fight for the country right now’

Q: How do you feel about what’s going on in the world right now? There’s a lot of civil unrest.

We need to vote. Had we all voted, we wouldn’t be here. You don’t like it, you don’t have nothing to say if you didn’t vote. Get a clipboard, get organized and get in it. Don’t sit back on the sidelines. Get in it. This is a fight for the country right now. It’s worth fighting for.

Courtney B. Vance, who is nominated for his performance in “The People v. O.J. Simpson”

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‘Transparent’ stars ponder potential Trump films

Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass and Alexandra Billings of “Transparent” discussed some Hollywood truths and their thoughts on possible Donald Trump films on the red carpet at the SAG Awards.

On some alternative facts about Hollywood that turned out to be not true:

Jay Duplass: I think we’re all told movie stars are obnoxious…

Amy Landecker: And only 90% are.

Duplass: 99.9%. But, no, I swear to God, I feel [actors turn out to be] really nice and really charismatic.. when you meet them, you’re like, “oh, that’s why you’re a movie star.”

On potential films about President Trump:

Landecker: I would want an Oliver Stone full-on biopic.

Alexandra Billings: I would like to play Melania [Trump].

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Sterling K. Brown weighs in on the Illumnati

Sterling K. Brown on the Screen Actors Guild Awards red carpet.
(Amy Kaufman / Los Angeles Times)

Sterling K. Brown, star of “This is Us” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” took time during his jaunt down the SAG Awards red carpet to chat “alternative facts” and the current state of American politics.

Tell us an “alternative fact” about Hollywood.

“When I go home to St. Louis, I get a lot of questions about the Illuminati. Several, in fact. I’m like, “No, Ma, no. It’s not.”

If there’s was to be made a movie about the current political climate, would you want to be in it and who would you play?

I’d probably want to play outgoing President Barack Obama, but that wouldn’t be good casting. I don’t know who I would want to be.

That story’s going to be told 20 to 30 years from now. What the movie says, what the message is, has yet to be determined.

At this point Brown’s wife, actress Ryan Michelle Bathe, interjected: “I know who I would play: Jack Bauer, coming to save the world.”

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Stars arrive at the 2017 SAG Awards red carpet

Sterling K. Brown and Ryan Michelle Bathe.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Millie Bobby Brown
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Michelle Dockery
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM THE RED CARPET >>

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Style icons in the making: the boys of ‘Stranger Things’

Finn Wolfhard, from left, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp and Gaten Matarazzo arrive at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Jan. 29 in Los Angeles.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)

The young men of “Stranger Things” really know how to make an impression on the red carpet -- just look no further than Noah Schnapp’s blue suede shoes -- and we look forward to watching them bring it in the style department for many years to come.

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Millie Bobby Brown hits the red carpet on trend

Millie Bobby Brown at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on Jan. 29 in Los Angeles, California.
(Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)

Millie Bobby Brown was one of the first to hit the red carpet — and her red custom Emporio Armani dress is an early contender for one of our favorite looks. Others hitting the red carpet in red include Annalise Basso and Nancy O’Dell. It’s too early to tell if red will emerge as one of the night’s takeaway color trends.

[For the Record, Jan. 29, 3:51 p.m.: An earlier version of this post misidentified Millie Bobby Brown’s dress. It is a custom Emporio Armani, not Giorrgio Armani. Also, the headline misspelled her middle name. It is Bobby, not Bobbie.]

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Preparing the red carpet and setting the stage for the 2017 SAG Awards

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Work crews set the stage and roll out the red carpet for the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards show.

On Friday work crews set the stage and rolled out the red carpet for the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium.

Here’s a quick behind-the-scenes look at the preparations.

Seat cards used for rehearsals are ready to be placed.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Red carpet ready to be rolled out at the Shrine Auditorium for the SAG Awards.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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SAG Awards predictions: Can the ‘Manchester’ trio beat the ‘Moonlight’ ensemble?

The "Moonlight" cast, from left, Mahershala Ali, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes, Alex R. Hibbert, writer Tarell Alvin McCraney, writer-director Barry Jenkins, Naomie Harris and Andre Holland.
(Jay L. Clendinin / Los Angeles Times)

SAG Awards nominations come from two panels — one for film, one for TV — comprising roughly 2,500 randomly chosen voters from within the membership. But every SAG-AFTRA member in good standing — 121,546, per the group’s count (nearly 5,000 more than last year!) — chooses the winners. That kind of volume usually results in safe choices, particularly on the television side. Here are my predictions for the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards:

CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE

The nominees: “Captain Fantastic,” “Fences,” “Hidden Figures,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Moonlight”

And the winner is: “Manchester” scored the most individual nominations, but, with its triptych structure, the beloved “Moonlight” stands apart here as a true ensemble picture.

Unless: The strong work of the three “Manchester” nominees — Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges — sways voters.

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What time are the 2017 SAG Awards?

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

From the nominees to the host, here’s everything you need to know about the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards.

How can I watch the awards?

This year’s SAG Awards are taking place at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center and will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday at 5 p.m. PST. TBS and TNT subscribers are also able to live-stream the awards through the networks’ websites as well as their mobile apps. TNT will air an encore presentation of the ceremony immediately after the conclusion of the live event.

What about the red carpet?

E! News begins its televised red carpet coverage at 3 p.m., and TNT will be live-streaming red carpet coverage starting at 2:30 p.m.

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The coveted SAG statuette helps mold awards season into shape

SAG Awards statuettes are cast from molten bronze metal at American Fine Arts Foundry in Burbank. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Many actors have stated that the 12-pound, 16-inch-tall Actor statuette that will be awarded by the Screen Actors Guild on Jan. 29 is one of the most important accolades they can receive because it comes from their peers.

Witness the emotion of nominee Sterling K. Brown:

Each of these coveted statuettes -- sculpted by Edward Saenz and designed by Jim Heimann and Jim Barrett -- is produced at the American Fine Arts Foundry and cast in solid bronze, then is given a green-black patina finish and mounted on a base of polished black granite.

With varying numbers of cast members in the ensemble categories -- “Manchester by the Sea,” “Fences” and “Moonlight” lead the 2017 SAG awards nominations -- there’s no telling how many of these objects will be needed. Since 1995, when the first Actor statuettes were presented, 952 have been awarded.

Molten bronze metal is poured into molds in the casting of the actor statuette at American Fine Arts Foundry in Burbank.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Blanca Lemus prepares the wax statuettes to be used to create the final bronze product.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Predictions have been made, and now the bronze has been cast -- a process that photographer Al Seib was able to document.

MORE: See all of the SAG Actor photos >>

MORE: See the complete list of SAG nominees >>

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It’s not me, it’s you: Actors pay tribute to their colleagues in SAG Awards reactions

Claire Foy
Claire Foy
(Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times)

It seems it’s all about group love with this year’s SAG Awards nominations, which were announced Wednesday. Actors have been adamant in saluting their colleagues in their reactions.

“Thank you, SAG, for my nomination and for recognizing the cast of ‘The Crown,’” actress Claire Foy said in a statement. “It means all the more to know your fellow actors have voted!! And working with an ensemble of the most talented, giving and wonderful actors has been a privilege.”

Michelle Williams, honored with both individual and cast nominations for her performance in “Manchester by the Sea,” shared her joy at being nominated alongside her cast mates.

“I’m so honored to be included in such an incredible group of women and to be recognized by my peers in this way,” she said.

“I am proud to stand alongside my fellow nominees Casey Affleck and Lucas Hedges and the rest of our brilliant cast of ‘Manchester by the Sea’. This means so much to me. Thank you”

However, Steve Levitan, co-creator and executive producer of the SAG-nominated “Modern Family,” may have said it best when talking about the honors heaped upon the cast of his show.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer, more-deserving bunch of crazy people.

Steve Levitan, co-creator of “Modern Family”

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Stars of ‘black-ish,’ ‘Westworld’ and ‘Mr. Robot’ giddy over SAG nominations

The reactions continue to roll in as actors across Hollywood process Wednesday morning’s nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Nominees were grateful to SAG, but perhaps even more appreciative of the phenomenal casts they were a part of.

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‘Stranger Things’ creators marvel at cast’s ‘energy, curiosity and heart’

Winona Ryder, left, Charlie Heaton and Natalia Dyer in "Stranger Things."
(Curtis Baker / Netflix)

“We couldn’t be more proud of our cast. They excite and inspire us every day with their energy, curiosity and heart. They bring such humanity to these characters, and we are thankful to SAG for this special recognition.”

Matt and Ross Duffer, Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen, executive producers of “Stranger Things”

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Sweet tweets as stars react to SAG nominations

Nominees for the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced Wednesday morning, and several of them shared their excited reactions on social media.

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‘This nomination truly means the world to me’: Emma Stone on her SAG recognition

Emma Stone stars as an actress in "La La Land."
(Dale Robinette / Lionsgate)

Nominated for her role as an up-and-coming actress in “La La Land,” Emma Stone released a statement about being recognized by the Screen Actors Guild on Wednesday.

“Thank you so much to my fellow actors in the Screen Actors Guild for this incredible recognition,” said Stone, whose performance garnered her a Golden Globe nomination on Monday.

“I am so honored to be in category with women whose work I have such deep admiration for,” she added. “Playing an actor in ‘La La Land,’ stumbling, doubting, and working toward her dreams was a deeply meaningful (and complicated and joyous and crazy) experience. This nomination truly means the world to me. Thank you.”

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Sterling K. Brown moved to tears after SAG nominations

Actor Sterling K. Brown was recognized Wednesday morning with two individual Screen Actors Guild nominations for his work on both NBC’s “This Is Us” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.” And the honor moved him to tears.

Shortly after nominations were announced, Brown shared a video of himself thanking SAG and expressing with deep emotion how meaningful it was to be recognized by his peers.

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Screen Actors Guild selects ‘Fences,’ ‘Manchester’ and ‘Moonlight’ as top nominees

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Denzel Washington directs and stars in “Fences,” which features Viola Davis and Jovan Adepo and is based on the play of the same name by August Wilson.

Screen Actors Guild Awards voters mostly went along with the crowd Wednesday, nominating the actors and ensembles from “Moonlight” and “Manchester by the Sea,” but, notably, overlooking the ensemble from “La La Land” in the cast category.

Among the movie pairings nominated for this year’s SAG Awards: Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone from “La La Land,” Denzel Washington and Viola Davis from “Fences” and Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams from “Manchester by the Sea.”

Read MoreMORE: See the complete list of nominations >>

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Oscar Watch: Can ‘Silence’ turn a papal blessing into Oscar buzz?

Martin Scorsese meets Pope Francis during a trip to Rome to show his latest film, "Silence."
(AFP Getty Images)

When the pope shakes your hand and tells you he hopes that your film “bears much fruit,” everything else — critics groups, career callbacks, splashy openings — kind of falls by the wayside.

Filmmaker Martin Scorsese met Pope Francis on Wednesday shortly before a Vatican screening of his latest movie, “Silence.” The encounter, Scorsese told me over a lengthy interview Saturday, made him “very nervous.”

Can a papal blessing turn into academy acclaim? That’s the question for this week’s Oscar Watch predictions.

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‘Moonlight,’ ‘Birth of a Nation’ and ‘Loving’ lead NAACP Image Award nominations

Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton star in "Loving," which earned five NAACP Image Awards nominations.
(Ben Rothstein / Focus Features)

The 48th NAACP Image Awards nominations were announced Tuesday with Oscar contender “Moonlight” and Nate Parker’s embattled “The Birth of a Nation” each scoring six nods, with “Loving” nabbing five.

The awards aim to celebrate accomplishments of people of color in television, music, literature and film, while also recognizing the efforts of those working to promote social justice through those mediums.

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‘Moonlight,’ ‘Queen Sugar,’ ‘13th’ and ‘Lemonade’ receive top honors from black film critics

Clockwise from top left: Angela Davis from Ava DuVernay's "13th"; Alex Hibbert and Mahershala Ali in "Moonlight"; Beyoncé in "Lemonade"; and Kofi Siriboe, Angela Bordelon and Rutina Wesley in "Q."

The African American Film Critics Assn. announced Monday its honors for the best in film and television of the year. The critics recognized Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” as its top picture (and best independent film) and Ava DuVernay’s “Queen Sugar” as its top show. Also receiving honors were Beyonce’s self-titled film-album “Lemonade” and DuVernay’s Netflix documentary on mass incarceration, “13th.”

“Our members had a plethora of outstanding movies, documentaries and TV shows to choose from this year,” said Shawn Edwards, AAFCA’s co-founder. “It was an exceptional year in terms of the quantity and quality of films about the black experience. And while this by no means solves the diversity issue in the film industry it was definitely refreshing to have such a wide range of exceptional work to choose from to honor and celebrate with our approval.”

The national organization of black entertainment critics, in operation since 2003, will hold the eighth AAFCA Awards in Hollywood on Feb. 9 to formally honor those recognized. The event is expected to be a landmark one, especially considering the group dubbed 2016 the best year ever for blacks in film.

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Los Angeles Film Critics honor ‘Moonlight’ with top awards

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WATCH: Supporting actor Oscar nominee Mahershala Ali talks about his surprise and delight in recognizing traits of people he’s known in the script for “Moonlight.”

The Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. announced its 2016 winners for the best in film Sunday. Leading the pack with honors was “Moonlight,” which took home four awards: for director (Barry Jenkins), supporting actor (Mahershala Ali), cinematography (James Laxton) and best picture.

Also recognized with first place or runner-up honors were “Manchester by the Sea,” “La La Land” and “ OJ: Made in America.”

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New York Film Critics Circle sings the praises of ‘La La Land’

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Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star in “La La Land.”

The New York Film Critics Circle announced its awards on Thursday, giving best picture to “La La Land,” written and directed by Damien Chazelle. The awards were announced in real time on the group’s Twitter feed and took a number of hours to work through the voting process.

It was the only prize for Chazelle’s emotional musical, with other favored awards contenders such as Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” and Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea” each being recognized in multiple categories.

Jenkins took the prize for director and James Laxton received the award for cinematography, also for “Moonlight.” Mahershala Ali won supporting actor for his work in the film.

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National Board of Review names ‘Manchester by the Sea’ best film of 2016

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“Manchester By The Sea” director Kenneth Lonergan talks about collaborating with Casey Affleck on the film, comparing him to a Columbo-like detective who investigates scenes.

The National Board of Review released its annual year-end honors Tuesday, naming “Manchester by the Sea” as best film. The 107-year-old, New York-based group also recognized the film by naming Casey Affleck as lead actor and giving its original screenplay award to Kenneth Lonergan and naming Lucas Hedges for the male breakthrough performance.

Barry Jenkins won the NBR’s directing award for “Moonlight,” with Naomie Harris recognized from the film for supporting actress. Amy Adams took lead actress honors for “Arrival,” while supporting actor went to Jeff Bridges for “Hell or High Water.” Adapted screenplay went to Jay Cocks and Martin Scorsese for “Silence.”

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Big night for ‘Moonlight’ at the Gotham Awards

Jharrel Jerome and Ashton Sanders star in "Moonlight."
(David Bornfriend / A24)

Writer-director Barry Jenkins and his drama “Moonlight” cleaned up at the indie film ceremony Monday night, winning the top prize of best feature as well as the audience and screenplay awards, along with a special jury ensemble honor.

Most surprising among the winners was “Elle” star Isabelle Huppert, who knocked off front-runners Natalie Portman (“Jackie”) and Annette Bening (“20th Century Women”) for best actress, though in a fiercely competitive year, even Huppert’s Oscar nomination in the category is not assured.

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