The 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards was an in-person celebration on Sunday, held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif.
Here are the top five most touching behind-the-scenes celebrity moments:
1) “I’m on a Zoom,” exclaimed Jessica Chastain post-win in the virtual press room of the 2022 SAG Awards. “This is familiar.”
After four previous nominations, the actress took home Best Actress, her first individual SAG trophy for her role as evangelist Tammy Faye Bakker in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”
“I was shocked,” she said of the win, noticeably stunned. She was up against Lady Gaga, Jennifer Hudson, Olivia Colman and Nicole Kidman. “I’m still really shocked. I’m really emotional.”
The project was 10 years in the making, Chastain said. “It was a labor of love for me.”
2) Will Smith — winner of best male actor in a leading role — was also quick to point out the virtual platform.
“So, it’s like a press conference but on Zoom,” he joked.
When a reporter’s microphone was muted prematurely, he chuckled. “That’s the thing with the virtual press conference, they just shut you off.”
It was his first SAG award, as well. And he, too, was visibly choked up.
“In this business, working with children or young people — this business can be so brutal and many times I’ve seen young people’s spirit broken by the brutality of this business,” he said, explaining he felt a responsibility, a “personal endeavor” to be “protector” of the young cast of “King Richard,” where he played tennis coach Richard Williams, father of sports stars Venus and Serena Williams.
At the award ceremony, he was joined by 15-year-olds Saniyaa Sidney and Demi Singleton, who embody Venus and Serena in the film, respectively.
“I just got overwhelmed with the joy of being blessed enough to escort them to the doors of this profession,” Smith said of his teary-eyed speech.
3) “I didn’t realize how heavy this is,” said Troy Kotsur of the trophy, through an interpreter. “It’s my first time holding something like this. I think I’m going to sleep in bed with it tonight.”
His win for Best Supporting Actor (for “CODA”) marked the first time a deaf person won a SAG award.
“It was a tough journey, but here’s the payoff, so I’m really proud,” the 53-year-old went on to say, sharing that he has had to live in his car and sleep in dressing rooms at times during his career while traveling for work in theater.
The actor is also up for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars on March 27.
4) “It’s a night that I have been waiting for for 35 years,” said his costar, Marlee Matlin, as the “CODA” cast reflected on their Best Ensemble win.
“It has been time, and this just validates among those people who voted for us at SAG — they knew that we are their peers, their equals,” said Marlin, the only deaf performer to have won an Academy Award — for “Children of a Lesser God” back in 1987.
“We are all actors,” she continued. “This has to really give more opportunities for other actors out there who are, whatever they may be, as long as they’re talented. Thank you everyone for your support. I love my family here.”
“I hope this changes opportunities for deaf people, so they have more opportunities and things are better,” added fellow actor Daniel Durant.
5) Ariana DeBose, who received Best Supporting Actress for her role as Anita in “West Side Story,” also took a moment to reflect on her win and what it means for Afro-Latinas.
“It’s just indicative that doors are opening,” DeBose said. “It’s an honor to be seen. It’s an honor to be an Afro-Latina — an openly queer woman of color, a dancer, a singer and an actor. It’s indicative to me that I will not be the last, and that’s the important part. Whatever firsts are attached to my name, they are immensely special to me, but I’m focused on the fact that if I’m the first of anything that means I won’t be the last.”