SAG Awards 2016: How the Winners Reacted Backstage

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Here's what Jeffrey Tamblor, Laverne Cox and other winners had to say about their kudos.

Alicia Vikander, winner for female actor in a supporting role for The Danish Girl

“I grew up and looked up to American cinema. That was fairytale land. It was beyond anything that I could ever dream of,” said Vikander, revealing that she used to watch the SAG Awards the day after they aired on YouTube when she was younger. “I was always just so amazed by this awards show with actors celebrating other actors.” She credits her success to her friends and family, who have given her support along the way: “I had people who told me that anything would be possible and that means a lot, even though I would have never believed this.”

Jeffrey Tambor, winner for actor in a comedy series for Transparent

“Tonight in my speech, I wanted to reach out to people who are not Maura Pfeffermans and who don’t shop at the mall — the people who are really scrapping by to get their freedom and their medicine and their surgeries,” Tambor told the press, acknowledging that he was shaking when he gave his acceptance speech on the Shrine Auditorium stage. “It’s not a red-carpet thing; it’s a people thing.” The Transparent star went on to applaud new platforms, including his show’s home, Amazon, for how they’ve transformed the television landscape. “People who are not paying attention to streaming are missing a big thing because entertainment is being reformed. The story arc and the way that characterization is being done, the whole thing is changing,” he said, adding, “It’s a brave new world. Welcome to it.”

Laverne Cox and Selenis Leyva, among the winners for ensemble in a comedy series for Orange Is the New Black

“This show happened on Netflix and four years ago, streaming shows weren’t a thing. [OITNB creator Jenji Kohan] has said that this show probably couldn’t have happened on a network four years ago. But now, maybe it can, because streaming channels like Netflix and others have paved the way,” said Cox, adding: “It’s really about changing and revolutionizing television. And that’s what Netflix has done, and I think that’s what our show has done.” For her part, Leyva spoke about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, contending that the issue doesn’t start with the Academy Awards. “The problem starts in the writing rooms, in the studios," she said. "The producers, the directors and casting people need to open up their eyes that this is a different world that we’re living and diversity is not just black and white. Diversity is universal, and it’s a lot more than we are focusing on — it’s religions, it’s sexuality. It doesn’t start with the Academy Awards. The solution starts before that.”

Queen Latifah, winner for female actor in a television movie or miniseries for Bessie

When asked about when films will start looking as diverse as television does, Latifah said that it depends heavily on want viewers want. “Some of it is already happening, but I think the public has to continue to demand that. We are in a capitalist society, so hopefully supply and demand will kick back in. I don’t know what happened to that, but it used to make pretty darn good sense,” she said, adding: “People want it. Give it to the people. It’s OK to evolve and change and grow. Change is inevitable, so let’s go.” The Bessie star also had some words for the next President of the United States: “Please continue to have some damn sense. Do what’s right for the damn people, and climate change is a real thing. I hope our next president takes time to use his or her wisdom before speaking and acting to make the right decisions for all of us as Americans as well as for the world.”

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