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Feature: Screen Actors Guild

The Ninth Annual Awards

SAG winners

The Hollywood Awards Continue…

Continuing on its breathtaking journey to the Oscars, Chicago collected three more trophies at the Ninth Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards – Best Supporting Actress for Catherine Zeta-Jones, Best Actress for Renée Zellweger and perhaps the most unusual category, Best Ensemble Cast.

A very pregnant Zeta-Jones gasped in astonishment when her name was called, telling her peers, “If I wasn’t pregnant, we’d do it all over again, I promise you.” Backstage, the actress admitted that she would have done the movie, even if nobody had come to see it. “It was such a great experience,” she noted, “it’s been so critically acclaimed, and people who never would’ve gone to a movie musical are enjoying it. That’s the thing that gives me such pride. It’s now on film forever.”

At the mention of her Oscar nomination, Zeta-Jones laughed as she remarked, “I am just trying to find something to wear. It’s a long night to sit for me – four hours – but with it being the 75th anniversary, and all the winners over the years being there, it’s going to be a very special night.”

The Best Supporting Actor award went to Christopher Walken for his touching portrayal as Leonardo DiCaprio’s father, Frank Abagnale Sr, in Catch Me if You Can. Backstage in the pressroom, the actor gratefully spoke about the role. “I’ve played a lot of villains in my time; it was nice to play a Human Being for once, and even nicer to be recognized for it.”

Many pundits felt that Jack Nicholson would win Best Actor for About Schmidt, but the members of SAG honored Daniel Day-Lewis for his flawless performance a Bill ‘The Butcher’ in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. Dressed in a purple suit, he thanked his colleagues, recalling, “From the moment I first set foot in this country, my fellow actors have shown me generosity, friendship and great encouragement. I can’t thank you enough for that.”

The celebratory atmosphere took a sombre tone when a journalist backstage asked the actor how he would feel at the Oscars if we were at war with Iraq? “It will be different,” he said, “People will be fearful, they will be very thoughtful, and other people will be extremely sad – and these are not feelings that we can leave at home.”

Renée Zellweger looked positively stunned when she was named Best Actress for her role as Roxie Hart in Chicago. After thanking her fellow cast members, Zellweger turned her attention to the movie’s director, Rob Marshall. “He’s my friend, who I love so much. You’re the most generous person that I’ve ever worked with in my life. I’ve never seen a person multi-task like you did, take chances on so many people like you did, and help such a great vision come alive the way that you did, because you were so kind.”

by Judy Sloane

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Photo © Sue Schenider/Moonglow
Feature © Visual Imagination 2003. Not for reproduction

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Film Review (May)
#630, May 2003
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