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  1. #1
    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    SAG Awards

    Witherspoon and 'Crash' take SAG Honours

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Reese Witherspoon as singer June Carter in "Walk the Line'' and Philip Seymour Hoffman as author Truman Capote in 'Capote'' won lead-acting awards Sunday from the Screen Actors Guild, while the ensemble drama "Crash'' pulled off an upset win over Brokeback Mountain'' for the overall cast award.

    Rachel Weisz of the murder-thriller 'The Constant Gardener'' and Paul Giamatti of the boxing drama 'Cinderella Man'' received supporting-acting honors.

    "Oh, my God, y'all. Sometimes, I can't just shake the feeling that I'm just a little girl from Tennessee,'' said Witherspoon, who plays Carter during her long, stormy courtship with country legend Johnny Cash. 'I want to say my biggest inspiration for this movie obviously was June Carter. She was an incredible woman.''

    Hoffman, considered the favorite for the best-actor Oscar as Capote amid the author's struggles to research and write the true-crime novel "In Cold Blood,'' had gushing thanks for his 'Capote'' co-stars.

    ``It's important to say that actors can't act alone, it's impossible. What we have to do is support each other,'' Hoffman said. ``Actors have to have each others' backs. It's the only way to act well is when you know the other actor has your back, and these actors had my back, and I hope they know I had theirs.''

    ``Brokeback Mountain'' has been considered the best-picture front-runner at the Oscars, whose nominations come out Tuesday with awards presented March 5. Its loss to ``Crash'' could prove a speed-bump on the film's path toward becoming the first explicitly gay-themed movie to win a best picture award at the Oscars, but it has dominated earlier Hollywood honors, so it will likely continue to be considered the favorite.

    Last year, the wine-country romp ``Sideways'' won SAG's ensemble prize, while ``Million Dollar Baby'' went on to earn best-picture.

    ``Crash'' follows the lives of a far-flung cast of characters over a chaotic 36-hour period in Los Angeles.

    ``We believe that it really celebrates the definition of what an ensemble is all about. I mean there's 74 of us,'' ``Crash'' co-star Don Cheadle said of the film's huge cast.

    Weisz won supporting-actress for her role as a rabble-rousing humanitarian-aid worker, while Giamatti was honored as supporting actor for playing the manager of Depression-era fighter Jim Braddock. Both had gracious thanks for their fellow actors.

    ``I can't imagine a greater honor than being acknowledged by my peers,'' Giamatti said. ``Being an actor is a hell of a thing. It's a hell of a thing. It's up and down. It's great, but I found the best thing about it is hanging around the craft-service table with other actors and crew people, eating doughnuts.''

    ``It's so special to be honored by fellow actors, so thanks very much to the tribe,'' said Weisz, who also won the Golden Globe supporting-actress prize.

    Felicity Huffman, who has been considered the best-actress Oscar front-runner for her gender-bending role in ``Transamerica,'' lost to Witherspoon but won the guild prize for best actress in a TV comedy for ``Desperate Housewives,'' which also won for best comedy ensemble.

    ``I love actors. I married one. OK, I married a fantastic one,'' Huffman said, of her husband, William H. Macy. ``But even more than acting, I love the community of actors. I love the green room. I love the hair and makeup trailer. ... I'm so happy I can make a living at it, because I was never very good at math.''

    The best-actress honor for a television drama series went to Sandra Oh for the medical drama ``Grey's Anatomy.'' Oh said she was gratified at how the casting of the show reflected real-world diversity.

    ``This is unbelievable. I thank every single actor out there. I'm so grateful for having a job,'' Oh said. ``To all my fellow Asian-American actors out there, I share this with you, and be encouraged and keep shining.''

    Kiefer Sutherland won as best actor in a TV drama for the action series ``24,'' while the airplane-disaster show ``Lost'' won for TV dramatic ensemble.

    ``A friend of mine always says if you don't have something nice to say about someone, let's hear it,'' said ``Lost'' co-star Terry O'Quinn, surrounded by fellow cast members. ``So about our cast, I'd like to say that this is the saddest collection of climbing, grasping, paranoid, back-stabbing, screen-grabbing losers and schmoozers that you ever saw on your stage in your life. But we love each other very much.''

    ``Brokeback Mountain'' led the Jan. 16 Golden Globes with four wins, among them best dramatic film and director for Ang Lee, who took the same prize Saturday from the Directors Guild of America.

    Adapted from Annie Proulx's short story about old sheepherding buddies who conceal a homosexual affair from their families, "Brokeback Mountain'' also has earned top honors from key critics groups and the Producers Guild of America.

    Sean Hayes, won for best actor in a TV comedy for his role as a gay man in 'Will & Grace,'' had a ready wisecrack about 'Brokeback Mountain.''

    "First of all, I would like to thank Ang Lee for taking a chance on me,'' said Hayes, who is not in "Brokeback Mountain.''

    Live simply ~ Love generously~ Care deeply~ Speak kindly

  2. #2
    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    Backstage With SAG Award Winners


    LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Capote" star Philip Seymour Hoffman, who now can add another best actor statue to his mantel, thanks to his best actor win at the SAG Awards, said he has experienced plenty of highs this awards season. But nothing compares to the feeling he experienced when, as a 24-year-old novice, he landed a part in "Scent of a Woman."

    "I don't think I've been more joyful since that moment," the six-time SAG nominee and first-time winner told reporters backstage at the SAG Awards Sunday.

    With "Capote," Hoffman experienced the unfamiliar pressure of trying to re-create the life of an iconic figure without succumbing to crass imitation.

    "The challenges of it is you have to let go actually," he said of his Truman Capote incarnation. "The challenges are heady things. You have to let go of your pride and wanting to please everyone and the memory of him. And you have to treat the character as if it were another fictional character. The difference is you have all this material at your disposal, and it's very helpful, but it's a very tricky process."

    In fact, Hoffman said he nailed the part by paying attention to the story rather than the technique. "I did all the technical work you can imagine, but it was all for naught if I didn't understand what actually was driving him."

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    "I never thought I'd be an actor," Reese Witherspoon said after her lead actress win for "Walk the Line." "I never knew any actors. And it wasn't a serious profession where I was from."

    Even as recently as seven years ago, she said, her mom was asking, "Are you going to make another one of your little movies?" and wanting to know whether she was going to choose a profession when she finished college.

    "I never finished college, so I have no skills," Witherspoon said. "I am here by the skin of my teeth."

    Being in the Johnny Cash biopic allowed her to overcome a fear that had been growing since childhood: singing. When she was little, Witherspoon begged her parents to let her go to a Broadway play camp. But when she got there, "They said that no matter what, I should never sing," she said. "It was a seed that was planted in my mind."

    So when "Walk the Line" director James Mangold asked her to play the part of June Carter, she said yes but told him she could not, and would not, sing. Since the movie took so long to get made, though, Mangold was able to sand down her apprehensions over the years. And while Witherspoon still had her fear when shooting began, she said, "(Making the film) was a good way to conquer it."

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    Even as Rachel Weisz continues to rack up pre-Oscar accolades, including SAG's best supporting actress award, she insists that there is something missing.

    "It's beyond my comprehension (why co-star Ralph Fiennes has been overlooked on the awards-season circuit)," said the "Constant Gardener" star, who earned her first SAG win with her first nomination. "I feel that any award or any acclaim I get I share with him 50-50."

    In fact, the pregnant actress could have used some help carting around the evening's haul. "I might have to set it down. It's 12 pounds," she said of her new statuette, placing it on the ground. "But that's not how I feel about it."

    As for the film's impact, Weisz said she was thrilled that politically minded projects are enjoying their place in the spotlight. "I think if movies reach people and they ask people about the big themes, like 'Syriana' . . . I think it's wonderful. If it raises debate, then it's a wonderful thing."

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    Paul Giamatti, who won for outstanding performance in a supporting role for "Cinderella Man," had his own ideas about who should have taken the statuette in his category. "Clooney. He's good-looking . . . and a good actor." Who else? "Don Cheadle. He should have won. He's good."

    When asked about how he planned his path, Giamatti scoffed at the idea that his success had something to do with scheming. "Was I on a path? I thought I was just lost in the woods. I've had a very particular career. I never thought I'd end up here."

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    Lifetime achievement award recipient Shirley Temple Black isn't entirely comfortable with the attention she still draws.

    "I never thought of myself as an icon," the one-time child star said. "I always thought that I should be put in a museum or something. But I'm touched that people still enjoy my films so much."

    And though she doesn't make it down to Tinseltown often anymore -- she now resides in San Francisco -- she enjoys rubbing shoulders with the new generation of actors, like presenter and child star Dakota Fanning.

    "We like each other," she said of Hollywood's biggest prepubescent star. "She's fantastic."

    But there was one actor she wanted to corner before the evening ended. "The handsomest guy in the room is (George) Clooney," she said. "I haven't talked to him yet. I will later."

    Live simply ~ Love generously~ Care deeply~ Speak kindly

  3. #3
    Congrats to the cast of "Lost" on their win. And many thanks to them for choosing Terry O'Quinn to give the acceptance speech. (Did anybody notice who was giving Jorge Garcia a big ol' smooch as the closing credits rolled?)

    I was pretty pleased with the overall results. My main let-down was "Desperate Housewives" winning Best Comedy Ensemble. Although I enjoy their show very much, I find the cast of "Arrested Development" to be vastly superior, and I thought if anyone would be able to figure that out it would be the Screen Actors Guild.

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