How Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway and Other Stars Got Their SAG Cards

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A wave of nostalgia hit the red carpet (and main stage) at Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards as Hollywood’s elite reminisced about their days as struggling artists and how they finally got their golden ticket: the coveted SAG card.

The long-running NBC cop drama Law & Order paved the way for actors such as Nurse Jackie's Peter Facinelli and Modern Family’s Ty Burrell to make their mark in the business. Facinelli spoke candidly about his start, admitting he dropped out of college to be on the show. “I didn't get my diploma, but I got my SAG card," he shared on the red carpet. 

Funnyman Burrell shared a SAG Award for outstanding comedy series ensemble with his Modern Family castmates Sunday but said his dramatic turn on the crime show was a little less memorable, which allowed him to keep coming back for different roles. “Nobody noticed that now I was playing an assassin," he quipped. 

Her Olivia Pope might be a no-nonsense crisis manager on Capitol Hill, but Scandal star Kerry Washington had a more PG-rated beginning. “The ABC Afterschool Special Magical Makeover is what earned me my SAG card, and I'm back here at ABC still,” the actress revealed to E! on the red carpet. "I think I was a cheerleader in it."

Helen Hunt of The Sessions made everyone feel unaccomplished for their age after revealing she earned her way into the club at age 9 and since has held an assortment of roles including a "waitress, a cuckoo clock, a quarterback and a sex surrogate," she deadpanned at the beginning of the broadcast. 

During her acceptance speech for outstanding supporting actress, Les Miserables star Anne Hathaway became emotional when recounting her beginnings in Hollywood. "I got my SAG card when I was 14," she said. "It felt like the beginning of the world. I have loved every single minute of my life as an actor." 

Jane Krakowski of 30 Rock poked fun at her age when recounting her SAG card moment at the start of the show. The star got her start at 12, playing Chevy Chase’s niece in National Lampoon’s Vacation, but joked she’d play a much different role for the same film in 2013. “Today, I would be cast as his wife," she said. "In two years, I will play his mother." 

But the award for best SAG card story goes to Jennifer Lawrence, who mentioned her first gig during her acceptance speech after winning the outstanding actress award for her work in Silver Linings Playbook. The refreshingly unfiltered actress began her turn at the podium by thanking MTV.

“I did an MTV promo for My Super Sweet 16," she said. "I remember getting [the card] in the mail and it being the best day of my entire life because it officially made me a professional actor -- which put me in a category with all of you. And now I have this naked statue that means that some of you even voted for me.”

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