Every once in a while, you have to thank the universe for the gifts it gives you. A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to work on a new untitled project by director, Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace.) However, technically, I wasn’t in front of the camera. I was able to be a stand-in for none other than Kathy Bates. I’m not sure how in the world I got the call at 6:00 in the morning, let alone how I got called in to be her stand-in. Yet, I was excited to be back in an environment I love and learn from every time I work on a film. I will be eternally grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and the observations I made during my three day work week. Honestly, it was like one big master class. I got to watch Kathy Bates, Danny Glover, Michael Shannon & Rachel Weisz work, rehearse, and just be. well, normal human beings. More importantly, I got to be a part of something that will no doubt yield wonderful performances from its cast members. I also learned more about the ins and outs of the process in three days, than I have in a long time. I was there to do a job and contribute to what they needed at the time. That pretty much sums it up about the film industry in general, you do your job for the time allotted and move on. I’m glad that i got the opportunity to work with and learn from four of the most talented actors in the business.
Here is the complete list of nominees, followed by who I voted for.
Performance by a cast in a motion picture
“Boyhood” — I wasn’t too crazy about the actual story, go figure, but I was impressed that the core group of actors made up of Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater came together for 12 years and kept the dynamic together. However, I probably would have voted for Birdman, but let’s face it, it’s really Michael Keaton’s movie.
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“The Theory of Everything”
Performance by a male actor in a leading role
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”— This was a difficult one, but I truly believe that this is Michael Keaton’s best performance. It’s his comeback year.
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”
Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
Performance by a female actor in a leading role
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice” — I have never been more torn about who to vote for in this category. While I thought the other nominees performances were amazing, the minute I saw Julianne Moore’s portrayal of Alice, I made up my mind I was astounded, and I have never been more impacted by a film in my life.
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Jennifer Aniston, “Cake”
As a member of the Screen Actors Guild, I am able to vote in the SAG Awards. Below are my choices for each award.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards air Saturday, January 18th on TNT & TBS at 8p.m.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE
Nominated: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, August: Osage County, Dallas Buyers Club, Lee Daniels’ The Butler.
Voted for: August: Osage County seems to me to be a true ensemble piece in itself, but with these specific actors, they gave performances that helped move the film along as a whole. As an ensemble. Plus, filming dinner scenes are actually extremely complex.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips) Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club), Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler), Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Voted For: Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave): I was so impressed with his performance. It’s truly amazing because it has made me want to become a better actor. To learn as much as I can. Although, I was impressed with Matthew McConaughey, I thought the depths that Chiwetel Ejiofor had to go to in order to give a complete portrayal of his character were so much deeper. *Side note, he’s BRITISH and does one of the best American accents I’ve ever heard.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Nominated: Meryl Streep (August: Osage County), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine). Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Voted For: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine): It was a toss up between Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett for me once I narrowed my choices down. Ultimately, I thought the arc of Blanchett’s character was played beautifully, her performance as Jasmine simply impressed me more than the others. Although, it was extremely difficult NOT to vote for Meryl Streep (BECAUSE she’s MERYL STREEP)
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Nominated: Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave), Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club), James Gandolfini (Enough Said), Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
Voted For: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club): He truly immersed himself into this character and the power of his performance, for me, is undeniable. Although, before I saw it, I was convinced I would be voting for Michael Fassbender because there is nothing forgivable about his character, and it’s extremely difficult to play the bad guy well. Leto blew the competition out of the water for me.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Nominated: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), June Squibb (Nebraska), Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)
Voted For: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave): She truly gave a supporting performance and was so visceral in the process of playing Patsey, that I felt I had so other choice but to vote for her. I was blown away by her skill and talent. Although, there were pleasant surprises from Julia Roberts and Oprah, but Lupita is one to watch. She was fantastic.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A DRAMA SERIES
Nominated: Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland.
Voted For: Breaking Bad
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY SERIES
Nominated: 30 Rock, Arrested Development, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, Veep.
Voted For: Modern Family
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Nominated: Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
Voted For: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) *There was no contest. Seriously.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Nominated: Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey), Claire Danes (Homeland), Kerry Washington (Scandal)
Voted For: Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) *Side note, this was the most difficult decision I had to make this year. I love them all.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Nominated: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Ty Burrell (Modern Family) Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Voted For: Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Nominated: Tina Fey (30 Rock), Julie Bowen (Modern Family) Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
Voted For: Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINISERIES
Nominated: Matt Damon (Behind the Candelabra), Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra), Rob Lowe (Killing Kennedy), Al Pacino (Phil Spector), Jeremy Irons (The Hollow Crown)
Voted For: Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra)
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINISERIES
Nominated: Angela Bassett (Betty & Coretta), Helena Bonham Carter (Burton & Taylor), Elisabeth Moss (Top of the Lake), Holly Hunter (Top of the Lake), Helen Mirren (Phil Spector)
Voted For: Helen Mirren (Phil Spector)
OUTSTANDING ACTION PERFORMANCE BY A STUNT ENSEMBLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Nominated: All is Lost, The Fast the Furious 6, Lone Survivor, Rush, Wolverine.
Voted for: Wolverine.
OUTSTANDING ACTION PERFORMANCE BY A STUNT ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES
Nominated: Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Homeland, The Walking Dead.
Voted For: Game of Thrones. Due to the sheer amounts of stunts in this series, for me, it was a clear choice. Plus, it seems like they would have more fun. Voting for stunt ensembles is really difficult.