SAG Awards: Actors Embrace Time-Tested Hollywood Tale 'A Star Is Born'

A STAR IS BORN Still 1 - Publicity -H 2018
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The Bradley Cooper-Lady Gaga musical drama leads the film field with four nominations.

Embracing a time-tested Hollywood tale of one performer who succeeds as another fades away, a theme that may have struck close to home, the members of the acting guild SAG-AFTRA have thrown their weight behind A Star Is Born, which dominated Wednesday's nominations for the 25th annual SAG Awards as it picked up four nods. The fourth retelling of the classic Hollywood story not only earned an ensemble award mention, but picked up noms for lead actor Bradley Cooper, lead actress Lady Gaga and supporting actor Sam Elliot.

In the category of outstanding performance for a cast in a motion picture, SAG-AFTRA’s equivalent of a best picture nomination, A Star Is Born was joined by a diverse collection of films that includes the superhero tale Black Panther; BlacKkKlansman, an exploration of racism; the rock biopic Bohemian Rhapsody; and the all-Asian romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians.

With three noms, BlacKkKlansman was close behind A Star Is Born, as it also collected mentions for its lead actor John David Washington and supporting actor Adam Driver. The period drama The Favourite also scored three noms, but didn’t earn a nod for its ensemble despite the fact that Olivia Colman was nominated for lead actress, while Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz were both nominated for supporting actress. 

A number of other films also scored dual acting noms: Viggo Mortensen (lead) and Mahershala Ali (supporting) for Green Book; Christian Bale (lead actor) and Amy Adams (supporting actress) for Vice; and Melissa McCarthy (lead actress) and Richard E. Grant (supporting actor) for Can You Ever Forgive Me? Emily Blunt also collected two noms in the film categories all by herself, for outstanding performance by a female actor in a lead role for playing the title character in Mary Poppins Returns and for outstanding performance for a female actor in a supporting role for playing an endangered mom in A Quiet Place.

The left a number of other performers as the sole representatives of their respective films: Rami Malek was nominated in the lead actor category for playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody; Timothee Chalamet for supporting actor for playing an addict in Beautiful Boy; Glenn Close for lead actress for playing a woman who has sublimated her life to her husband’s in The Wife; and Margot Robbie for supporting actress for playing Queen Elizabeth in Mary Queen of Scots.

Sterling K. Brown was the day's most nominated actor, since he is part of the Black Panther ensemble and earned a TV mention for lead actor in a TV drama for This Is Us, which also was cited for drama ensemble. Adams and Stone also figured in both film and TV categories: Adams for Vice and as female actor in a limited series for Sharp Objects and Stone for The Favourite and as female actor in a limited series for Maniac.

Marvel dominated the film stunt ensemble category, claiming three slots for Ant-Man and the WaspAvengers: Infinity War and Black Panther, while the other two noms went to the Tom Cruise action pic Mission: Impossible – Fallout and the Coen brothers’ dark Western The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

And since the SAG nominating committee chose to overlook Roma, one of the season’s critical favorites with its mix of professional actors and non-pros, the only film nomination that Netflix could claim was for Buster Scruggs, although the streamer was far and away the biggest force in the TV noms, where it claimed 15.

Fox Searchlight and Warner Bros. topped the studio list, with five nominations each, thanks to Searchlight's The Favourite and Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Warners' A Star Is Born and Crazy Rich Asians.

The SAG Awards is set to take place Jan. 27.