SAG AWARDS 2011: ‘The King’s Speech’ reigns supreme with ensemble win

Anthony Andrews, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, and Colin Firth pose with their Actors as the SAG winners for Cast in a Motion Picture for 'The King's Speech.' Firth also received the SAG Award for Male Actor in a Leading Role. (credit: Paul Buck/EPA)

There’s a new King in town: Following surprising wins at the Producers Guild last week and Saturday’s night win for Tom Hooper at the Directors Guild Awards, The King’s Speech continued its tide-turning sweep on Sunday, picking up the biggest prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for Cast in a Motion Picture. Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, and Anthony Andrews accepted the Actors.

“It shouldn’t be the SAG—it should be ‘The Uplifting Award’!” Rush exclaimed as he took the podium.

Firth also won the award for Male Actor in a Leading Role as the stammering King George VI in the film, which was announced right before the ensemble award winner. He shouted out to the other members of the cast by name, calling them “my dream team” and adding “I want to take you all on tour.”

Natalie Portman won the award for Female Actor in a Leading Role for Black Swan. She thanked her parents, who were in the audience and who “always taught me to work my hardest and never be an asshole [bleeped out].”

Actors from The Fighter received honors in the supporting role categories. Christian Bale, the Male Actor in a Supporting Role winner, was surprised onstage by Dicky Eklund, the former boxer he portrayed in the film. “Thank you for living the life. Thank you for letting me play you,” Bale said to Eklund. Melissa Leo, Female Actor in a Supporting Role winner and the thespian who portrays Bale and Mark Wahlberg‘s mother in the film, toughened up in her speech, calling for SAG and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) to merge. “Unions made this country great because they give the voice to the working people,” she said. “We’re in an industry where power comes in numbers.”

The award for Stunt Ensemble was presented earlier in the day on the red carpet, which went to the stunt ensemble for Inception.

In television, the casts of Modern Family and Boardwalk Empire took home top honors for Ensemble in a Comedy Series and Ensemble in a Drama Series, respectively. Boardwalk Empire‘s Steve Buscemi was also named the winner for Male Actor in a Drama Series, while The Good Wife‘s Julianna Marguiles was honored as Female Actor in a Drama Series. Alec Baldwin won his fourth SAG for Male Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in 30 Rock while 89-year-old Betty White received her first award for Female Actor in a Comedy Series (Though she won the Lifetime Achievement Award last year) for Hot in Cleveland. Al Pacino and Claire Danes were the winners in the Television Movie or Mini-Series categories for You Don’t Know Jack and Temple Grandin, and True Blood won for Stunt Ensemble.

Morgan Freeman presented Ernest Borgnine with the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award. The humble 94-year-old actor, best-known for films such as McHale’s Navy and The Wild Bunch and still works as the voice of the Mermaid Man in SpongeBob SquarePants, acknowledged the audience, “We are a privileged few who have been chosen to work in this field of entertainment…I hope we never let our dedication to our craft fail.”

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