What to Watch for at This Year's SAG Awards

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The Screen Actors Guild Awards will be handed out on Jan. 30.

Saturday night's Screen Actors Guild Awards are all about the actors.

The SAG Awards' 15 categories are devoted to the individual actors and ensemble casts that make up this year's nominated film and TV picks. Voted on by their peers — the nominees are determined by 2,250 randomly selected members of SAG-AFTRA — the SAG Awards will bring viewers one step closer to predicting who will win the coveted Oscar race.

Designed to celebrate the craft of acting, the SAG Awards highlight the year's best onscreen performances, while enlisting the famous faces in the audience to share memorable "I'm an Actor" anecdotes.

The star-studded affair, which is held at the Shrine Exposition Center in downtown Los Angeles, requires 700 staffers to put on the annual awards ceremony. Inside, more than 500 bottles of champagne, wine and liquor and a menu catered by famed chef Wolfgang Puck will be served to the 1,200 place settings. More than 5,000 white roses will greet the guests, who will walk down a 17,100-square-foot red carpet.

The long list of presenters includes a slew of nominees: Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren (Trumbo); Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay (Room); Sarah Silverman (I Smile Back); Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl); Idris Elba and Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation); Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams (Spotlight); Jason Mitchell, O'Shea Jackson Jr. and Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton); Jon Hamm (Mad Men); and Julia Louis‑Dreyfus (Veep).

The 22nd annual SAG Awards will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT on Saturday, Jan. 30. The Hollywood Reporter will provide full coverage of the awards ceremony on Twitter, Facebook and THR.com.  

In the meantime, here are five things to watch for during this year's show:

The opening "I'm an Actor" segment

Traditionally, at the start of each year's awards, the camera pans to several actors in the audience — nominated or not — so they can share brief anecdotes that range from touching to comical before saying the signature "I'm an actor" line. (Think: "When I was a little girl growing up in New York City, all I ever wanted to be was Scarlett O'Hara ... Oh well. I'm Jennifer Aniston, and I'm an Actor.")


There's no host for the SAG Awards, but that doesn't mean that the Hollywood controversy on the minds of many industry members won't be discussed. The issue of diversity could likely be addressed in acceptance speeches, especially if some of the black actors and films that were snubbed by the Oscars take home SAG Awards. Beasts of No Nation and Straight Outta Compton are nominees for best motion picture ensemble — the acting union's equivalent of a best picture Oscar mention — and Idris Elba earned a supporting actor nomination for his role in Beasts. (The omission of both movies and Elba on the list of Oscar nominations contributed to some stars choosing to "boycott" the ceremony as well as the Academy's recently unveiled plan to increase the diversity of its membership.)

Predictions, snubs and surprises

While the Golden Globes dependably honor what's new and buzzy, the SAG Awards tend to go with longtime favorites. Despite this year's big push for Leonardo DiCaprio to finally win the Oscar for his performance in The Revenant, SAG favorite Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) provides stiff competition in the lead actor category. Trumbo also leads the film categories with three nominations, while Beasts of No Nation, The Big Short, Carol, The Danish Girl, Room, Spotlight and Steve Jobs all follow with two. And the question of the night: Will best ensemble go to Spotlight or The Big Short?

On the TV side, returning favorites Game of Thrones, Homeland and House of Cards earned three nominations each, but the leading faces of ended series Key & Peele, Mad Men, Parks and Recreation, Downton Abbey and Nurse Jackie will all get their last shot at nabbing actor statuettes.

Emotional and viral moments are sure to abound — Viola Davis, who moved the Emmy audience to tears when she became the first black lead actress winner, is once again nominated for her leading role in How to Get Away With Murder, and Room's 9-year-old Jacob Tremblay , who has stolen awards shows with his adorable speeches, is a first-time nominee. Check out the full list of nominees here. 

Carol Burnett gets feted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

What's an awards show without the duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler? The pair have been tapped to present the life achievement award to comedic trailblazer, actor, singer, dancer, producer and author Carol Burnett. 

Burnett, the star of one of the longest-running and most beloved musical-comedy hours in TV history, called Fey and Poehler two of the female comics leading the comedy landscape. The legendary actress — who also will reunite with Bob Mackie, as The Carol Burnett Show designer is dressing her for the awards show — is the 52nd recipient of the honor, joining the likes of Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore and Betty White.

The red-carpet fashion

The star-studded evening salutes the best in film and television and, for many, the best in fashion. Brie Larson, a first-time SAG nominee for Room, has been the breakout star of awards season, but as of Friday, her outfit was "yet to be determined." Check to see what Larson and all of the stars will be parading down the 17,100-square-foot carpet in on THR’s style site Pret-a-Reporter come Saturday night.