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Cillian Murphy wins Best Actor at SAG Awards

Cillian Murphy picked up the award for Best Actor for his role in Oppenheimer during the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, while the film won Best Cast in a Motion Picture.

Christopher Nolan’s biopic, in which Murphy plays theoretical physicist J Robert Oppenheimer – described as the father of the atomic bomb – continued its awards season success during the 30th SAG Awards ceremony.

The event, held at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles, follows the longest strike in Sag-Aftra history and serves as a key Academy Award indicator ahead of the ceremony next month.

“Twenty-eight years ago when I was trying to become an actor, I was a failed musician and I felt extremely like an interloper, but now looking out at you guys here today, I know I am part of something truly wonderful, so thank you,” Murphy said.

Oppenheimer co-star Robert Downey Jr won the prize for Best Supporting actor for his role as Lewis Strauss, head of the Atomic Energy Commission, while the film was also presented with the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

Kenneth Branagh, who plays physicist Niels Bohr in the film, described the award as a “full circle moment”.

“Thank you Sag-Aftra, thank you for fighting for us,” he said. “Thank you for every Sag-Aftra member whose support and whose sacrifice allows us to be standing here, better than we were before.

“When we were all last together, it was at the premiere of this film on July 14 when the strike was just about to begin, led by our fearless leader, the great Cillian Murphy.

“We went from the red carpet and we didn’t see the film that night. We happily went in the direction of solidarity with your good selves.

“So this is a full circle moment for us.”

Lily Gladstone was named Best Actress for her role as Mollie Burkhart in Martin Scorsese’s Killers Of The Flower Moon, while Da’Vine Joy Randolph picked up the prize for best supporting actress for her role as Mary Lamb in The Holdovers.

“I am beyond humbled and I am so incredibly grateful to be considered among you,” Randolph said of her fellow nominees Emily Blunt, Penelope Cruz, Jodie Foster and Danielle Brooks.

“How lucky are we that we get to do what we do… For every actor still waiting in the wings, it is not a question of if, but when. Keep going.”

It was a successful night for TV comedy-drama The Bear, the story of a star chef who returns to Chicago to run the family business after the death of his brother.

Stars Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri were presented with the awards for Best Actor and Actress respectively, while the series won Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series.

Edebiri said: “I am going to butcher a James Baldwin quote because I heard it the other day, but the act of love is really an act of mirroring and I think anything that anyone sees in me that is worth anything is because of the people who love and support me.

“One of the biggest displays of that is The Bear.”

Steven Yeun and Ali Wong won Best actor and Actress in a Limited Series for their roles in Beef, about a duo who start a life-changing feud after a road rage incident.

Actor Pedro Pascal appeared visibly shocked and emotional as he appeared on stage to collect the award for Best Male Actor in a Drama Series for his role in The Last Of Us.

“This is wrong for a number of reasons, I’m a little drunk, I thought I could get drunk. I’m making a fool of myself, but thank you so much for this,” Pascal told the audience, before becoming visibly emotional.

He later told host Tan France he was going to celebrate the win by kissing Succession star Kieran Culkin as “revenge”, as the pair have made jokes at each other’s expense during their awards season speeches.

TV juggernaut Succession, about warring siblings in a media dynasty, was named Best Ensemble for a Drama Series.

Star Alan Ruck said the cast had made “friends for life” and described it as “one last hurrah” following the end of the last series.

“Right now, you are looking at some of the luckiest people on the planet. And some of the most grateful,” he said. “Because not only did we get to work on one of the best television shows maybe ever, we made friends of life.

“I think the magic of Succession was the writing was so fabulous it inspired all of us to bring our A game from the very beginning, we got off watching each other work, we caught lightning in a bottle. Lucky.”

Naomi Watts introduced the In Memoriam segment of the show, which honoured actors including Harry Potter star Michael Gambon and Friends actor Matthew Perry.

Michael Cera, Colman Domingo, Hannah Waddingham and Idris Elba kicked off the SAG Awards ceremony, each performing in the traditional “I am an actor” segment, telling the audience a personal story from when they were making it into the industry.

Source: Press Association

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