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Allison Janney won the SAG Award for best supporting actress for I, Tonya on Sunday night.
She beat out Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), Hong Chau (Downsizing), Holly Hunter (The Big Sick) and Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird).
After thanking the other nominees for their “extraordinary performances,” Janney dedicated the majority of her acceptance speech to thanking her I, Tonya co-stars — in particular, Margot Robbie.
Calling her co-star “fearless,” “brave” and “such a rock star,” Janney praised the actress for deciding to take on the lead role of the controversial figure skater, which she found “courageous.” She added, “She paved the way for all of us to make courageous choices in these roles we got to play.”
Though Janney and Robbie portray a mother and daughter with a tumultuous and abusive relationship, Janney revealed backstage that her own personal critics helped her embrace her award-winning role. “The little secret I have about playing this role is we all have our inner critics, we’re meanest to ourselves…. I’d pretend I’m talking to myself. I’ve been that mean to myself, and i think we all understand that,” Janney said.
Backstage, the actress spoke with reporters about the film, which she said gives “a better idea of who [Tonya Harding]
is.… I feel she did get a raw deal. She’s been punished for what she may or may not have had been involved in.” She added, “I have empathy for what she’s been through.”
Janney also commended the Time’s Up initiative and Hollywood’s “watershed moment.”
“There’s a new national safe word: I’m uncomfortable,” she said. “I’m encouraged by all the conversations because that’s really going to affect change.”
The SAG Awards, simulcast live on TNT and TBS, took place at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles. Kristen Bell served as the first-ever host of the show, which featured an all-female lineup of presenters.
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