Tina Fey's 30 Rock and HBO's John Adams swept their categories at the Screen Actors Guild Awards to continue their hot streaks as actors took a break from their focus on a possible strike to celebrate their best work of the last year.
30 Rock won best female actor for a comedy series for Fey, best male actor in a comedy series for Alec Baldwin, and best ensemble in a comedy series. SAG has been locked in a contract dispute with producers for months, and Fey took a jab at studios as she noted that her daughter would someday be old enough to watch 30 Rock on the Internet.
"She'll look up at me and say, what do you mean you don't get residuals for this?"
Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti won in the TV miniseries or movie categories for John Adams. In other key television categories, House's Hugh Laurie won for lead male actor, Brothers & Sisters' Sally Field won for lead female actor, and Mad Men won for ensemble.
Oscar prognosticators often look to the SAG awards and the Golden Globes for guidance, particularly because actors are the largest voting bloc at the Academy Awards. Slumdog Millionaire's win in the film ensemble category may have improved its odds after its Golden Globe wins for best film, director, screenplay, and score. (Read our Academy Awards coverage here.)
But Kate Winslet's win in the supporting actress category and Sean Penn's win for lead actor brought mixed signals about the lead actor and actress categories at the Oscars.
Winslet won in the supporting actress category for The Reader on Sunday and at the Globes, where she also won best lead actress for her role in Revolutionary Road. But at SAG, Meryl Streep denied Winslet two double wins in a row by taking the lead actress prize for her role in Doubt.
Complicating the odds-making, Winslet is nominated in the lead actress category for her Reader role at the Oscars, meaning she and Streep will go head to head in the category.
"There is no such thing as the best actress," said Streep, who has received a record 11 SAG nominations. "There is no such thing as the greatest living actress. I am in a position that I have secret information that I know this to be true."
Penn's win improved his Oscar odds against The Wrestler's Mickey Rourke, who won in the category at the Globes.
As expected, Heath Ledger received a posthumous win in the male actor supporting role category for playing The Joker in The Dark Knight. The award came roughly a year after Daniel Day-Lewis movingly remembered him in accepting his SAG award for There Will Be Blood.
After a long standing ovation for Ledger's win, his Dark Knight co-star Gary Oldman accepted the award on his behalf.
The full list of winners follows.
Outstanding Performance by:
A Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture — The Dark Knight
A Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series — Heroes
A Female Actor in a Comedy Series — Tina Fey (30 Rock)
A Male Actor in a Comedy Series — Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
An Ensemble in a Comedy Series — 30 Rock
A Female Actor in a Drama Series — Sally Field (Brothers and Sisters)
A Male Actor in a Drama Series — Hugh Laurie (House)
An Ensemble in a Drama Series — Mad Men
A Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries — Laura Linney (John Adams)
A Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries — Paul Giamatti (John Adams)
A Male Actor in a Leading Role — Sean Penn (Milk)
A Female Actor in a Leading Role — Meryl Streep (Doubt)
A Male Actor in a Supporting Role — Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
A Female Actor in a Supporting Role — Kate Winslet (The Reader)
The Cast of a Motion Picture - Slumdog Millionaire
What did you think of the awards?