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SAG Awards updates: Diversity wins, along with ‘Spotlight,’ ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Orange Is the New Black’

“Downton Abbey,” “Spotlight,” and “Orange Is the New Black” won the ensemble awards at the 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards in the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, but diversity was the night’s big winner. An array of actors claimed the awards in pointed contrast to the nearly all-white nominees for the upcoming Oscars. Balloting for the 116,741 voting SAG-AFTRA members was open during the #OscarsSoWhite backlash and closed only yesterday. The SAG Awards have proved to be a reliable indicator of the outcomes of the Oscar acting races.

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The winners in our backstage photo booth

(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

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Michael Keaton: Good journalism could have prevented Flint water fiasco

"Spotlight" cast members John Slattery, left, and Michael Keaton, right.
“Spotlight” cast members John Slattery, left, and Michael Keaton, right.

That’s what’s going on in journalism right now. Newspapers across the world are losing money and don’t have money to have investigative teams and journalists. Had [Flint, Mich.’s local newspaper] had one, I’d argue they may be ahead of the Flint situation. It always happens in poor neighborhoods, which are normally black or Hispanic or filled with people of color. There are a zillion Flint, Mich., out there. If there had been a ‘spotlight’ put on that, I argue they may have been a little ahead of the situation.

Michael Keaton, winning ‘Spotlight’ cast member

Tre’vell Anderson

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SAG awards honor diversity and repeat winners

Winners for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, cast members of "Orange Is the New Black" in the Los Angeles Times photo booth at the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

The Screen Actors Guild could teach the Academy Awards a thing or two about promoting diversity, with four of the six awards for individual performance in a television movie, mini-series, or series going to people of color in Sunday night’s ceremony.

Uzo Aduba’s performance as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on prison dramedy “Orange Is the New Black” topped the comedy actress category, while Queen Latifah was recognized for her work as famed blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO film “Bessie.” In drama actress, Viola Davis was triumphant with her portrayal of Annalise Keating on ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder.”

But it was Idris Elba making history Sunday night. His win for mini-series actor for “Luther” coupled with a victory in supporting actor in a film for “Beasts of No Nation” made him the first man to take trophies for two individual performances in a single night, a feat Helen Mirren accomplished first in 2006.

Meanwhile, things were less diverse in terms of winner turnover. Of the six main television categories, only one yielded a win for a newcomer.

While Davis, Spacey, Aduba, “Orange,” and drama ensemble winner “Downton Abbey” all took trophies last year, only Jeffrey Tambor, who portrays a gender transitioning Maura Pfefferman on Amazon’s “Transparent” was a first-time winner.

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Diversity wins

Cast members from "Orange Is the New Black" posing backstage after their win.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

SAG Awards voters gave awards to several actors of color, including “Beasts of No Nation” standout Idris Elba, whose failure to secure an Oscar nomination helped fuel this year’s continued #OscarsSoWhite backlash.

“Look at this stage,” “Orange Is the New Black” star Laura Prepon said, motioning to the show’s diverse cast while accepting the TV comedy series award. “This is what we talk about when we talk about diversity. Different race, color, creed, sexual orientation.”

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Kevin Spacey on ‘Cards’ after Beau Willimon: ‘I have no ... idea how to answer you’

Kevin Spacey accepts his SAG Award.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

When “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey accepted his award for male actor in a drama at Sunday’s SAG Awards, he gave a tip of the hat to the series’ showrunner, Beau Willimon.

The Netflix political drama was recently renewed for a fifth season, to premiere in 2017 — but Willimon will not return as its ringleader. The news comes ahead of the show’s fourth season, which rolls out March 4.

“I would like to first thank our creator — no, not that one, the one grounded here on Earth,” Spacey joked, before continuing, “Beau ... you have been an extraordinary collaborator, a remarkable challenge, I’ve loved every single time that we have tousled, fought and argued these four seasons.”

Asked backstage about Willimon’s exit and what it means for the show going forward, Spacey was ever the Frank Underwood with the profane beginning of his response.

“I have no ... idea how to answer you,” said Spacey, who serves as an executive producer on the series. “We haven’t made any decisions about who might come in. There’s a tremendous amount of discussion and work to be had. I wish Beau all the best. He’s worked tirelessly for four seasons — whatever he goes on to, he’s going to show extraordinary range as a writer.

“I hope we will work together again some day .... we will without question honor the road that he paved.”

“House of Cards,” which Willimon adapted from the BBC miniseries of the same name, helped Netflix make a name for itself in the original-series arena. From its debut, the quickly drew awards recognition winning three Emmys for its freshman season in 2013.

Yvonne Villarreal

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Leonardo DiCaprio is looking forward to more films like ‘The Revenant’

(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

SAG Award winner Leonardo DiCaprio acknowledged that it’s been an extraordinary awards season for himself and “The Revenant.”

“To have done a film that was this challenging for all of us -- honestly, to have this kind of recognition, it feels amazing because I think certainly our director Alejandro tried to achieve something different cinematically and that process was a very different one for everyone and it was challenging,” DiCaprio told The Times.

I just feel deeply honored that I’m getting to represent a film that I think is an artistic epic -- the kind of film that we don’t see coming from the Hollywood studio system very often. And all this recognition means we’re going to see more films like this -- so there’s a level of satisfaction.

How does he feel about his Oscar chances?

“It’s something I have no control over,” he laughed.

Jessica Gelt

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Viola Davis on how to show Hollywood you want more diverse stories

“I think people should do what they want to do. If they want to watch it, that’s fine. If they don’t, that’s fine,” Viola Davis said. “What’s more important is that when you walk into a theater [is] to be open to the experience of the story.

“I think that sometimes people feel like stories of people of color are not inclusive. They are.”

She continued: “But you can’t act alone. You need the actor, the writer, the director and the audience. So plop your money down to see ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and ‘Dope’ and ‘Selma.’ Support directors like Ava DuVernay, Lee Daniels, Spike Lee. Their stories are just as valid and important as anyone else’s. That’s more important than boycotting.”

Tre’vell Anderson

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‘Spotlight’ cast wins for performance in a motion picture

Cast in a motion picture award for "Spotlight."
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

‘Spotlight’ actors win for performance by a cast in a motion picture. Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton spoke for the cast as they accepted the honor.

“I was not expecting that honestly,” Ruffalo said. “I have to first of all thank Open Road, thank Participant, thank our producers, thank [director] Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer who just took every single opportunity to tell the truth. They didn’t take any cheap way. It was always the truth and honored these people, these victims who are dead and survivors who are still alive.”

“This is not only for the survivors for this horrific situation,” Keaton said. “This is for every Flint, Mich., in the world. This is for the powerless, this is for the powerful who take advantage of the powerless... There’s fair and there’s unfair and I’m always gonna vote for the fair. I’m always going to pull for the good guys.”

The other nominees were:

“Beasts of No Nation”

“The Big Short”

“Straight Outta Compton”

“Trumbo”

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Leonardo DiCaprio wins for male actor in a leading role

Leonardo DiCaprio
( Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Leonardo DiCaprio wins the SAG Award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role for his work in “The Revenant.”

“I’m truly humbled by this because it comes from all of you, my fellow actors,” the nine-time nominee said in his speech.

DiCaprio recalled being “lucky enough” to be cast in “This Boy’s Life” at age 15 because it gave him “such a tremendous respect for this craft” and he has enveloped himself in the greats of the cinema since then.

“For any young actors out there, I encourage you to watch the history of cinema, he said. “We all stand on the shoulders of giants.”

The actor also thanked director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and costars Domhnall Gleeson and Tom Hardy.

“And to my parents,” he added. “Thanks to you for listening to an overly ambitious, slightly annoying 13-year-old who wanted to go on auditions every day after school. I would not be here without you.”

The other nominees were:

Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”

Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”

Johnny Depp, “Black Mass”

Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”

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Brie Larson wins for female actor in a leading role

Brie Larson
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Brie Larson wins the SAG Award for performance by a female actor in a leading role for her work in “Room.”

Accepting her statue, the actress thanked, among others, her fellow guild members for helping her as she grew up and came up in the business.

“Watching your movies ... made me feel less alone,” she said, “and made me feel like there was a safe place to explore my creativity.”

The other nominees were:

Cate Blanchett, “Carol”

Helen Mirren, “Woman in Gold”

Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”

Sarah Silverman, “I Smile Back”

Updated at 7:22 p.m.

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Leonard Nimoy mention closes out ‘in memoriam’ montage

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Fred Dalton Thompson, Maureen O’Hara, Dick Van Patten, Betsy Palmer, Natalie Cole, Taylor Negron and Alan Rickman are among the many actors who died in the past year and were honored in the SAG Awards’ in memoriam montage.

The piece ended with an acknowledgement of Leonard Nimoy’s passing, and featured a shot of the USS Enterprise heading off into space.

Christie D’Zurilla

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‘Downton Abbey’ cast wins for ensemble in a drama series

(Kevin Winter / Getty Images for Turner)

The cast of “Downton Abbey” wins the 2016 SAG Award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series.

“Hello lovely room of fellow actors,” said Lesley Nicol, who plays Mrs. Patmore on the British show and spoke on behalf of the cast. “Can I just say ... we’ve been coming here for six years and we’ve encountered the most amazing kindness and generosity from American actors.

“So to be nominated in this category is mind-blowing for us -- we’re a British show and we’re nominated against TV royalty.”

Nicol acknowledged that acting is a collaborative process and went on to thank “the other people around us who make us look good,” including “two of our big burly crew ... who on our last day of shooting, they were found in a corner, sulking.”

“We love you.”

The other nominees were:

“Game of Thrones”

“Homeland”

“House of Cards”

“Mad Men”

Updated at 7:17 p.m.

For the record, 7:55 p.m.: An earlier version of this post misspelled Lesley Nicol’s first name as Leslie.

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Kevin Spacey wins for male actor in a drama series

Kevin Spacey
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Kevin Spacey wins the SAG Award for performance by a male actor in a drama series for his work in “House of Cards.”

It’s his second win in this category, and his third SAG Award.

“First of all, I’d like to thank our creator, no not that one. The one grounded here on Earth,” Spacey quipped in his speech.

He also thanked his manager and fellow cast members.

“I just want to talk about the theory of relativity for a second. Apparently they say if you’re in an elevator you don’t know if you’re going up or if you’re going down. But right now I feel like I’m going up.”

The other nominees were:

Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”

Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”

Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot”

Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”

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Viola Davis wins for female actor in a drama series

Viola Davis solo, and the best actress in a TV series nominee with Julius Tennon during arrivals at the 22nd Screen Actors Guild awards.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Viola Davis wins the SAG Award for performance by a female actor in a drama series for her work in “How to Get Away With Murder.”

“There’s a famous saying, ‘I’m not who you think I am, you are who you think I am,’” she said in her acceptance speech. “I think about that, because people always say Annalise is an antihero ... and I always think, why do i have to be a hero? And why do you have to like me?

“My job as an actor is to portray a human being to the best of my ability. Flawed, messy.”

She then thanked her fellow “HTGAWM” actors, proclaiming, “It’s a fabulous young cast.”

The other nominees were:

Claire Danes, “Homeland”

Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”

Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”

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What’s a ‘Luther’?

Idris Elba with his SAG Award for male actor in a supporting role at the 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Idris Elba became only the second person in history (give or take a Helen Mirren) to take home two actors for individual performance in a single night. While his prize for male supporting actor in a film role for “Beasts of No Nation” is relatively self-explanatory, his win for male actor in a television movie or miniseries for “Luther” left some scratching their heads.

Airing on BBC One in the UK and BBC America stateside, “Luther” centers around a brilliant detective chief inspector who finds himself so invested in his job that he is constantly battling to not be subsumed by the darkness he is exposed to. It’s this darkness that Elba made reference to in his acceptance speech.

The series has run for three seasons, as well as an abbreviated fourth, totaling 16 episodes and received eight Emmy Award nominations in various categories and is available for viewing on Netflix.

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Queen Latifah: ‘I feel very positive about this day’

Queen Latifah, in The Times' backstage photo booth
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Commenting on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, a thoughtful Queen Latifah, who won the award for her portrayal of legendary blues singer “Bessie Smith,” told us:

“I think this is what happens when you have the SAG group — a group of very diverse people who understand the work that we all put in and that we all deserve the same opportunities. ... I feel very positive about this day.”

Jessica Gelt

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Settle in, everyone

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Carol Burnett honored for life achievement

(Vince Bucci / Invision / AP)

Carol Burnett was a woman in a man’s world when “The Carol Burnett” show was in its heyday -- and it took two women now very comfortable in comedy to introduce her as the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

As Tina Fey and Amy Poehler lauded Burnett, they called out performers including “Spotlight” actor Michael Keaton and “The Revenant” star Leonardo DiCaprio as examples of how comedy is harder than drama.

“Michael Keaton knows,” Fey said. “He takes the dramas to relax ... what was harder, looking seriously at boxes of files in ‘Spotlight,’ or making a grilled cheese with an iron while holding a baby in ‘Mr. Mom,’?”

Poehler piled on.

“Let’s all calm down about Leo DiCaprio and how hard it was to shoot ‘The Revenant.’ So you slept in a horse and aite bison liver. Big whoop. Carol would have slept in that horse, worn it, done a song and dance, and made a much funnier face after eating something disgusting,” she said.

“Thing is, Carol’s better than all of us. We’re going to give her a prize for it.”

And that they did, after a montage then ended with her trademark ear tug, and a standing ovation that went on and on.

— Nardine Saad and Christie D’Zurilla

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Two actor awards in one night

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Netflix makes an early splash at the SAG Awards

Laura Prepon, foreground, and the cast and crew of “Orange Is the New Black” accept the award for outstanding ensemble in a comedy series at the 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Laura Prepon, foreground, and the cast and crew of “Orange Is the New Black” accept the award for outstanding ensemble in a comedy series at the 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
(Vince Bucci / Invision / AP)

Just halfway through the ceremony, Netflix has already taken home three awards. In addition to individual and ensemble nods for Uzo Aduba and the cast of “Orange Is the New Black,” the streaming provider also scored with Idris Elba’s performance in the film “Beasts of No Nation.”

Coupled with Jeffrey Tambor’s award for comedy actor, a win for Amazon, streaming providers appear to be a force to be reckoned with in both TV and film alike.

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Idris Elba wins for male actor in a TV movie or miniseries

Idris Elba
(Vince Bucci / Associated Press)

Idris Elba wins the SAG Award for performance by a male actor in a TV movie or miniseries for his work in “Luther,” taking home his second statue of the night.

“Shout-out to Neil Cross ... he writes this, which is the darkest show on TV, from a lovely little window in New Zealand. ... I really don’t know what to say,” Elba says in his second trip to the stage after winning for his performance in “Beasts of No Nation.”

“Two wins in one night, that’s incredible,” he adds -- then calls out his kids and mom for recognition as well.

The other nominees were:

Ben Kingsley, “Tut”

Ray Liotta, “Texas Rising”

Bill Murray, “A Very Murray Christmas”

Mark Rylance, “Wolf Hall”

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How did the film academy not nominate Idris Elba?

Seeing Idris Elba onstage, it’s still remarkable to me that the film academy did not nominate him for his towering turn as the sadistic warlord in “Beasts of No Nation.” SAG not only nominated Elba, its voters gave him the award. It’s a stinging rebuke to the voters in the academy’s actors branch.

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Uzo Aduba: ‘I can’t believe it. This is so weird’

When asked if she felt extra pride winning during a year of controversy regarding Oscar diversity, Aduba became serious.

“You know what it feels like?” she said. “It’s amazing to see actors have the opportunity to celebrate other actors work and to feel empowered by the voting process so they can see whatever actor they want reflected up there.”

Jessica Gelt

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Queen Latifah wins for female actor in a TV movie or miniseries

Queen Latifah during arrivals at the 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Queen Latifah wins the SAG Award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a television movie or miniseries for her work in “Bessie.”

“Thank you my compadres, my brothers and sisters in the struggle,” she said. “Respect to everyone in this category and everyone who voted for me, because anyone could have won it. ... I am in shock right now. I shouldn’t be. I’m really just very grateful.”

The actress continued with a message, saying, “I hope that anyone out there who does not come in the package that they say you should, keep fighting for it. Flip those rocks over. Knock that thing away. Do you!”

It is Queen Latifah’s second win in this category.

The other nominees were:

Nicole Kidman, “Grace of Monaco”

Christina Ricci, “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles”

Susan Sarandon, “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe”

Kristen Wiig, “The Spoils Before Dying”

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Diversity is a major theme already

"Orange Is the New Black" star Uzo Aduba.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

SAG Awards made a strong show of its diversity in that opening segment. From the actors included in the show-opener (Rami Malek, Queen Latifah, Jeffrey Tambor, Anna Chlumsky, Kunal Nayyar) to the night’s first winner (Uzo Aduba from “Orange Is the New Black”) to the big win for the cast of “Orange,” the show was a marvel of inclusion. “Look at this stage,” “Orange” star Laura Prepon said, accepting the series award. “This is what we talk about when we talk about diversity. Different race, color, creed, sexual orientation.”

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Idris Elba wins for male actor in a supporting role

Idris Elba
(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Idris Elba wins the SAG Award for performance by a male actor in a supporting role for his work in “Beasts of No Nation.”

"[Director] Cary Fukunaga, you are a god for making this movie. ... We made a film about real people and real lives, you know, and to be awarded for it is very special,” said Elba, who is up for two other awards tonight and was Golden Globe-nominated for his “Beasts” performance. “So thank you for giving this film some light and some love.”

The other nominees were:

Christian Bale, “The Big Short”

Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”

Michael Shannon, “99 Homes”

Jacob Tremblay, “Room”

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Alicia Vikander wins for female actor in a supporting role

Alicia Vikander
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Alicia Vikander wins for performance by a female actor in a supporting role for her work in “The Danish Girl.”

The other nominees were:

Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”

Rooney Mara, “Carol”

Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight”

Helen Mirren, “Trumbo”

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Jeffrey Tambor’s empathy is the real winner

Jeffrey Tambor and Kasia Ostlun on the SAG awards red carpet.
Jeffrey Tambor and Kasia Ostlun on the SAG awards red carpet.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Jeffrey Tambor may have won the SAG award for comedy actor tonight, but the plight of the less fortunate was not far from his mind.

“I play Maura Pfefferman,” Tambor said in his acceptance speech, “She’s very entitled, and she has a lot of money. I would just like to dedicate this award to the non-Maura Pfeffermans who don’t have a lot of cash for their operations, for their medicine, for their freedom.”

Tambor’s performance as Pfefferman has been lauded, but it’s the actor’s sensitivity in portraying a woman transitioning from a life lived as a man that may be the most impressive thing of all.

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‘Orange Is the New Black’ wins for performance by an ensemble in a comedy series

Cast of "Orange is the New Black"
(JoJo Whilden / Netflix)

The cast of “Orange Is the New Black” wins for performance by an ensemble in a comedy series, taking home loads of trophies for the second year in a row.

“Look at this stage, this is what we talk about when we talk about diversity,” Laura Prepon said, speaking for the ensemble.

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Jeffrey Tambor wins for performance by a male actor in a comedy series

Jeffrey Tambor and guest
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Jeffrey Tambor jokingly started into the story he’d told as part of the show’s introduction as he accepted the award for his work in “Transparent.” Then he got real.

“Thank you for the responsibility of Maura Pfefferman ...,” said Tambor, who also won a Golden Globe this year. “She’s very entitled and she has a lot of money, so I would like to dedicate this award to the non-Maura Pfeffermans who don’t have cash for their operations, for their medicines, for their freedom.”

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Apparently, it’s easy being green on the SAG Awards red carpet

Among those going green on the SAG Awards red carpet were, from left, Marisa Tomei, Eva Longoria, Kate Winslet and Carol Burnett
(Photographs from left, Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP; Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP; Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images; Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)

The standout color on this year’s SAG Awards red carpet turned out to be ... green. Among the notable on-trend attendees were Kate Winslet in a custom Giorgio Armani silk cady teal gown with a deep V-neck and satin detailing on the décolleté and arms, Marisa Tomei in a green, long-sleeve silk gown with a plunging neckline, front slit and crystal embellishments from Zuhair Murad’s fall 2015 Couture Collection, Eva Longoria in a green, form-fitting Julien Macdonald gown with a bare back and plunging neckline and Julianne Moore in a glittery green dress whose provenance we didn’t quite catch.

But our favorite variety of the verdant? That’d be Carol Burnett, who hit the red carpet in an emerald green evening suit by Bob Mackie -- the fashion designer who made thousands of suits for the actress during the run of “The Carol Burnett Show.” Of course, Burnett couldn’t play it completely safe -- rounding out her ensemble with a pair of blue bedroom slippers.

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Uzo Aduba wins for female actor in a comedy series

Uzo Aduba accepts the award for outstanding female actor in a comedy series for “Orange is the New Black.”
(Vince Bucci / Invision / AP)

The first award of the night, presented by Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm, goes to Uzo Aduba for performance by a female actor in a comedy series.

“I would like to take an opportunity to acknowledge the actors that are at home and not in this room with us ... no matter if anyone tells you to get out of that line that you’re waiting in, stay in that line,” she said while accepting her honor.

It was the second nomination in this category and the first individual performance SAG Award for the “Orange Is the New Black” actress. She’s up for the ensemble award as well -- “OITNB” won that trophy last year.

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Michael Shannon on diversity: ‘You should be representing the world as it is’

(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

“Boardwalk Empire” alum Michael Shannon, up for a SAG Award for his performance in the film “99 Homes,” said the entertainment business has long benefited from the artistic creations produced by people of color — and the current discussion Hollywood is wrapped up in is an important one to have.

“The world is a diverse place,” Shannon said on the red carpet. “The great entertainment of all time, from all mediums, is from nonwhite people. You should be representing the world as it is.”

Yvonne Villarreal

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Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello are fashionably late

She’s a nominee, he’s her husband, and they’re both fashionably late: Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello zoomed down the red carpet right before it closed on Saturday.

And looked fantastic doing it.

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The couples who walk the red carpet together ...

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Carol Burnett opts for comfortable -- really comfortable -- footwear

Carol Burnett rocks slippers on the SAG Awards red carpet.
(Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

Carol Burnett apparently went with the ultimate in comfort footwear to accessorize her Bob Mackie ensemble on the SAG Awards red carpet -- a pair of fuzzy slippers.

We’re not totally sure, but from here they look like they might be Uggs.

Well played, Ms. Burnett, well played.

Updated at 4:48 p.m.

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Winning a SAG Award doesn’t necessarily mean Oscar gold

(Laurie Sparham / Miramax Film)

The Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding cast in a motion picture is considered the guild’s equivalent of the best picture Oscar. But since the first ensemble award was handed out to 1995’s “Apollo 13,” not all the winners winners have gone on to win the Academy Award’s top prize although a healthy number have.

The 1996 comedy “The Birdcage” is the only SAG winner in the category not to be nominated for an Oscar for best picture, and 1995’s “Braveheart” is the only Oscar winner for best film not to be nominated for the SAG ensemble honor.

Susan KingRead More

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Final predictions!

The red carpet at the SAG Awards.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Read MoreFor performance by a cast in a motion picture category the nominees are “Beasts of No Nation,” “The Big Short,” “Spotlight,” “Straight Outta Compton” and “Trumbo.”

Who’ll win the big award? Awards columnist Glenn Whipp is going with “Spotlight.” He writes:

“The actors in this outstanding ensemble — Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, among them — have struggled to find individual recognition with critics groups and awards voters. But as a group, they’re going to be hard to beat.”

The exception, he says, is “The Big Short,” another expertly assembled ensemble.

Read MorePs. Here’s the complete list of nominees.

Alexandra Le Tellier

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Unexpected red-carpet duos

We don’t know why they’re posing together, but they are and we approve.

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Eva Longoria wears the first eye-catching, jaw-dropping dress of the night

We didn’t quite catch the name of the designer who made Eva Longoria’s dress, but we certainly didn’t miss the dress itself — the first standout gown of the evening, a green, body-hugging, bareback lace (or is it mesh?) number with a plunging neckline.

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Donald Trump ‘more ridiculous than our reality’ on ‘Veep,’ Matt Walsh says

There are a lot of kooky characters on HBO’s political comedy “Veep,” and Matt Walsh is one of them as Mike McClintock, the buffoonish press secretary to Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ President Selina Meyer.

Asked if any of the current presidential hopefuls would survive in the “Veep” universe, Walsh said Donald Trump might be too zany, even for this show, which is nominated for ensemble performance in a comedy series.

“He’s more ridiculous than our reality,” the actor said. “We would never write a character like that in the writers room.”

Yvonne Villarreal

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‘In art, you use all colors,’ says ‘Compton’ actor

“Straight Outta Compton” actors Neil Brown Jr. and Aldis Hodge weighed in on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy on the red carpet. “America is an eclectic place ...and in art, you use all colors,” Brown told Times reporter Yvonne Villarreal. Hodge added: “As entertainers, we have a responsibility” to better reflect the diversity of the world.”

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See the best dresses and tuxes so far

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SAG member Mayor Eric Garcetti praises ‘Straight Outta Compton’

With a whip of the wrist, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti pulled out his SAG-AFTRA card.

“I’m a member!” said Garcetti, who’d helped roll out the red carpet he was standing on Saturday afternoon.

Among the mayor’s credits: “Major Crimes,” “The Closer” and most recently the TBS comedy “Angie Tribeca,” usually portraying — surprise, surprise — a mayor.

Asked what his favorite film from the past year, Garcetti listed “The Martian,” “Spotlight” and “Straight Outta Compton.”

“That was a true L.A. story,” Garcetti said of “Straight Outta Compton,” which is nominated for a SAG Award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture. “I would have liked to see the film get Oscars recognition.”

Updated at 4:26 p.m.

Yvonne VillarrealNardine Saad

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Pretty in pink: ‘Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke is red carpet ready

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For nominee Alicia Vikander, each film is a new love

(Los Angeles Times)

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Presenter Julianne Moore gets glossy

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‘Modern Family’s’ Jesse Tyler Ferguson dresses to impress

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‘Mad Max,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ win early in stunt ensemble categories

Action performance by a stunt ensemble in a motion picture nominees:

“Everest”

“Furious 7"

“Jurassic World”

“Mad Max: Fury Road” WINNER

“Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation”

Action performance by a stunt ensemble in a comedy or drama series nominees:

“The Blacklist”

“Game of Thrones” WINNER

“Homeland”

“Daredevil”

“The Walking Dead”

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‘Straight Outta Compton’ star Neil Brown Jr. hits the red carpet

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Presenter Jeremy Renner shows off his ‘monkeysuit’

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Laverne Cox puts #FlintWaterCrisis -- and some leg -- in the spotlight

Who cares who she’s wearing?: Laverne Cox, nominated with the rest of the “Orange Is the New Black” cast in the comedy ensemble category, spent some of her camera time during E! News’ red carpet broadcast to speak about the water crisis in Flint, Mich., and urge people to donate to the cause.

“Because everyone in America deserves clean water,” Cox told Giuliana Rancic. Then the actress followed up with a tweet that directed her followers to a website where they could make donations.

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Behind the scenes, red carpet edition

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Don’t worry, we’re Snapchatting from the carpet. Follow LosAngelesTimes

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The velvet tuxedo times two

Tony Hale, left in a velvet Tommy Hilfiger tux jacket and Brad Goreski, right, in Isaia.
(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Image (left) / Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Before we get sidetracked with all the gorgeous gowns that will most assuredly be coming down the red carpet, we’d like to draw your attention to the tuxedo-clad men.

While it’s a little more challenging to stand out from the pack in a tux, the first two guys who crossed our TV screen are doing their best — by choosing to go with velvet. Tony Hale (“Veep”) told E!'s Giuliana Rancic that he was feeling “rat-packish” in his velvet Tommy Hilfiger tuxedo, and “Live From the Red Carpet” host Brad Goreski is also rocking a velvet jacket from Italian luxury brand Isaia.

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SAG Awards chair JoBeth Williams: ‘We try to represent ... what the world looks like’

With the Oscars just weeks away, Hollywood’s diversity problem continues to be a hot topic on the red carpet. At the start of Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards press line, JoBeth Williams, SAG Awards Committee chair, said the actor-focused awards show has “worked very hard to reflect the real world.” She cited its roster of presenters and nominees as proof of that.

“We try to represent a wide range of what the world looks like,” Williams said. “There’s always room for improvement.”

Yvonne Villarreal

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Presenter Pedro Pascal is en route with pal Sarah Paulson

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Women of comedy ensemble nominee ‘Orange Is the New Black’ prepare for the red carpet

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Carol Burnett to wear Bob Mackie

Even before the first stylish heel has hit the SAG Awards red carpet, social media is abuzz with one outfit in particular -- Carol Burnett’s emerald-green evening suit which she reportedly asked fashion designer Bob Mackie to design for her. Burnett, who is set to accept a Life Achievement Award tonight, has a long history with the designer, having designed, by Burnett’s estimate, more than 17,000 outfits over the course of “The Carol Burnett Show.”

[Updated 3:20 p.m.: And earlier version of this post incorrectly described the award Carol Burnett is receiving this evening. It is the Life Achievement Award, not the Lifetime Achievement Award.]

Adam Tschorn

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The red carpet action is about to begin

Watch L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti help roll it out a bit earlier in this trippy slow-mo video.

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‘Spotlight’s’ Brian D’Arcy James already feels like a winner

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‘Kimmy Schmidt’ star Ellie Kemper shows off her bling ... and PJs

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Christian Bale makes a cameo at the USC game nearby

Christian Bale won for best actor in a comedy at the Critics Choice Awards on Jan. 17.
(Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)

The Screen Actors Guild Awards are held at L.A.'s Shrine Exposition Center, which is right next to the University of Southern California, which had a basketball game against the University of Washington that started at noon Saturday.

At least one actor made the most of the coincidence: Christian Bale’s face popped up on the big screen during the game, and fans were treated to a wave and a smile from the nominee for performance by a male in a supporting role for “The Big Short.”

Also very L.A. were the dozens of cars being towed off South Figueroa Street around noon, in preparation for arrivals. Gotta make sure there’s room for all those limos, right?

Christie D’Zurilla

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Nominee Kaley Cuoco shows off her red carpet smoky eye look

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Behind the scenes with ‘Scandal’ actress Katie Lowes

Watch the video above to see where Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are sitting this evening. “Titanic” forever.

P.S., remember when this happened at the Golden Globes?

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‘Scandal’ star Katie Lowes puts in some Facetime with mom

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Our crew is on the red carpet, ready to go

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Nominee Julia Louis-Dreyfus is ‘feeling confident’

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Will the crowd go crazy for ‘Straight Outta Compton’?

(Todd MacMillan / Universal Pictures, L.A. Times staff photo / Los Angeles Times)

Perhaps you’ve heard. “Straight Outta Compton” did not receive an Oscar nomination for best picture. But it did earn a SAG Award nod for its ensemble. And ballots were out while the #OscarsSoWhite controversy was dominating headlines. (In fact, voting closed at noon Friday.) Might the backlash help boomerang the popular N.W.A biopic into the winner’s circle?

Glenn Whipp

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Will ‘Spotlight’ receive the big award tonight?

A scene from "Spotlight."
A scene from “Spotlight.”
(Kerry Hayes / TNS)

When the journalism drama about pedophile priests premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September, we wrote that the Screen Actors Guild would go crazy for its impeccable ensemble. And here we are, a week after “The Big Short” won the Producers Guild’s top honor, and the feeling is that “Spotlight” needs to take SAG’s ensemble award to maintain a potency in the Oscar race.

“Spotlight,” with that deep bench including Oscar nominees Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo, remains the slight favorite, even if none of its actors garnered individual nominations. (The entire membership votes on the awards, while a randomly selected committee handles the nominations.) But if “The Big Short” wins here, it will be awfully hard to bet against it at the Oscars.

Glenn Whipp

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And this year’s presenters are ...

(in alphabetical order)

Patricia Arquette

Abraham Attah

Christian Bale

Jason Bateman

Steve Carell

Priyanka Chopra

Bryan Cranston

Taye Diggs

Idris Elba

Anna Faris

Tina Fey

Tony Hale

Jon Hamm

Corey Hawkins

SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard

O’Shea Jackson Jr.

Michael Keaton

Keegan‑Michael Key

Diane Lane

Brie Larson

Eva Longoria

Julia Louis‑Dreyfus

Anthony Mackie

Rachel McAdams

Helen Mirren

Jason Mitchell

Julianne Moore

Pedro Pascal

Amy Poehler

Eddie Redmayne

Jeremy Renner

Saorise Ronan

Mark Ruffalo

Susan Sarandon

Sarah Silverman

J.K. Simmons

Jacob Tremblay

Kristen Wiig

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Comedian Carol Burnett to receive Life Achievement Award

Carol Burnett at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena on Jan. 7.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Comedian Carol Burnett will receive the Life Achievement Award on Saturday evening at the 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards. And it’s very apropos that two queens of comedy — Tina Fey and Amy Poehler — will be giving the award to the legend who has influenced countless contemporary funny ladies.

The award honors professional and humanitarian accomplishments and has previously been given to Betty White, Clint Eastwood, Mary Tyler Moore and Sidney Poitier.

The 82-year-old — a recipient of six Primetime Emmys, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and the Kennedy Center Honors — has kept audiences laughing with her rubber-faced blend of physical humor, musicality, zaniness and sweetness, which have long made her one of America’s best-loved performers.

“Carol Burnett is a creative dynamo and a comedic genius,” SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard said when Burnett was announced as this year’s honoree over the summer. “She embodies the generosity and courage that the greatest actors use in creating enduring and memorable characters.”

Susan KingRead More