SAG Award winners' reactions

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The stars of "Slumdog Millionaire" -- who took home the prize for best cast in a motion picture -- may be suddenly famous. But they're as much in awe of other celebs as the next guy. Dev Patel had a weird moment on the SAG Awards red carpet: he saw Kate Winslet and fulfilled a childhood dream. "I remember when I was a little kid watching the movie ('Titanic') in the theater with my mum. It was the first movie I cried at. she was my first love, Kate Winslet. And she knew who I was!"
Patel's co-star Anil Kapoor, meanwhile -- who said the appeal of the underdog romance was "Rocky" meets "Titanic" -- told of how he spotted Angelina Jolie on the red carpet and begged co-star Irrfan Khan, who had acted with Jolie in "A Mighty Heart," to introduce him to the mega-star. Khan was hesitant, saying that in America you just didn't walk up to stars unannounced. "Go be an Indian and introduce me!" Kapoor responded.

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After winning a SAG award for female actor in a supporting role, Kate Winslet noted that playing the part of illiterate Nazi guard Hanna Schmitz in "The Reader" may have been the most difficult role she's ever undertaken. "When I was asked to play Hanna, I couldn't find anything in my own life to compare to," she said. "I didn't like her all the time, and it was hard coming to a place I could understand her." Winslet, who's also nominated for her role as a repressed housewife in "Revolutionary Road," said that her time on the kudos circuit has not yet paid dividends. "I'm so bad at this. I wish there were lessons in award-season, because clearly I'm still learning."

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The cast of "30 Rock" was keeping the podium sarcasm going backstage. "An imminent tidal wave of backlash," is how star and writer Tina Fey described the reaction of the group's sweep through awards season. Judah Friedlander riffed on evolving technologies, saying he hopes screens get bigger, while Fey said she hopes they get smaller -- "Because I look better when they're smaller," she said.
After acknowledging the residuals issue onstage, Fey addressed it backstage. "I think there are a lot of really complicated issues that need to be resolved. The future is here. Young people watch TV on the Internet," she said, then sounded a note of SAG solidarity. "The beauty of having a union is that none of us have to individually come forward. We're protected by our union and we'll do whatever our union needs us to do."

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Reporters kept the tone sober and serious when Sean Penn stepped backstage to answer questions after his male actor in a leading role win for "Milk" -- probably because Penn affected a serious and sober tone himself. The actor said that despite all the social relevance of Harvey Milk and the ongoing fight for gay rights, he saw his part in the biopic as smaller than that. "I can't personally approach my work in a way, as an actor, where I'm speculating about the bigger movements. Politics and movies, for example, come from emotion as well as nonpolitical movies," he said. Giving a shout-out to Gus Van Sant and Dustin Lance Black's script, Penn said, "It's filmmaking and writing that I think are making this thing work. A lot of failed movies have been made of great stories also."

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An inordinate amount of questions for the cast of "Mad Men" -- which won best ensemble in a drama series -- seemed to focus on the uncharacteristically floppy hair of star Jon Hamm. "A piece of the set fell on my hair and I had seven stitches, but my hair did not move," he said of his locks' sturdy strength on the show. Fellow cast member Elisabeth Moss was forced into a bit of a corner when someone asked her what cast members were coming to her wedding; she quickly said it would be private and small. "But it will have all the people I love," she said.
On the subject of a possible SAG strike, Hamm offered a general note of support for the guild. "It's a difficult time for the union and a difficult times for unions in general. "But," he said, "good things can come out of the most challenging times."

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Laura Linney, who won best female actor in a television movie or miniseries for playing a first Lady in "John Adams," was at the current inaguration -- and had a few stars in her eyes. "I was at the podium closest to the First Family and the Bidens. I couldn't look over for very long. It's like looking at the sun."

Compiled by Borys Kit and Steven Zeitchik
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