28th Screen Actors Guild Award Predictions

Tomorrow morning, the Screen Actors Guild will announce their nominations for the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards. This year they will be an even stronger indicator of Oscar success than normal, as they will not only serve as an indication of how the largest Academy voting branch is leaning, but they will also be the first televised awards show of the season (most likely). So, with all this pressure on SAG’s shoulders, how will they likely be voting? I have some thoughts.

The word of the day tomorrow will likely be “safe.” SAG predominantly lines up with the Oscar’s groups of 5, with a few crazy outliers. We’ll get to those in a moment. But for now, expect Best Male Actor to line up with the usual frontrunners 5/5 – that is to say, Andrew Garfield, Will Smith, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Dinklage, and Denzel Washington. All five are the right level of showy big names, and SAG will likely just go straight down the line. I expect the Female Actors and Supporting Actor category to stay par for the course with 4 of their 5 picks as well – the Belfast parents, the mother-son team from Power of the Dog, and frontrunners Troy Kotsur, Kristen Stewart, and Ariana DeBose, just to name a few.

So who will be sneaking in just to mess things up? Well, let’s move down the list, starting with the toughest category: Best Female Actor in a Leading Role. While Stewart, Olivia Colman and Nicole Kidman feel like locks, and Lady Gaga feels fairly safe (the Academy loves big swings like that), there’s a fifth slot up in the air, which several actresses are currently fighting over. Jessica Chastain has not missed an awards show yet for her great work in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and Rachel Zegler is hot off a Golden Globe win (not to mention appearing in a more-acclaimed film), but personally? I think that SAG is gonna go weird with this one. Look for Penelope Cruz to earn a nod for Parallel Mothers – she’s a bigger name, a previous winner, and it’s supposedly her best work to date. Similarly, look for Ann Dowd to earn a nod for Best Supporting Female Actor for Mass. While she hasn’t found much love to date, Dowd is an industry favorite, and if she’s going to land anywhere, it’s here. As for Best Supporting Male Actor…look, SAG loves big, goofy swings. And if there’s anyone who took a big, goofy swing this year, it’s Jared Leto. Look for him in that fifth slot.

But what about the big category: Best Ensemble? Well, this category seems as obvious as Best Male Actor – perhaps deceptively so. SAG loves a musical ensemble, so expect West Side Story to represent the pack for Tick, Tick…Boom!, In The Heights, and Cyrano. Family dramedies like Little Miss Sunshine, Parasite, and more have a strong history with SAG, so Belfast and Coda both seem like locks. And SAG loves a massive ensemble, so expect Don’t Look Up and its cast of…everyone to earn a slot here. This leaves one spot wide open, which normally goes for a wild card, like Beasts of No Nation, or Bombshell. Trumbo earned a slot here in the past, which bodes well for Being The Ricardos. And as one of the two frontrunners, The Power of the Dog needs this nod to continue its domination. But I’d say the smart money is King Richard – big cast, including young actors, all doing great work in a crowd-pleaser. This is the Screen Actors Guild’s catnip.

Television should be slightly easier. Succession and Ted Lasso both have massive ensembles of great performers, and should lead their respective genres. Lasso will look to Jason Sudeikis and Hannah Waddingham to represent, while the question for Succession – which has never been nominated for, shockingly – is not “will it,” but more of “how many?” I can see it getting anywhere from 0 to 5 – I’m willing to double down and say that on top of Ensemble, it will earn a nod for Sarah Snook and three for its Male Actors – Strong, Cox, and one of the Supporting boys. I’m thinking Macfadyen, personally. The Great and Hacks should both earn some love, and I’d consider Jean Smart a lock to win Female Actor In A Comedy. The Morning Show should rake in some love for its star-studded casts (similarly, expect Michael Douglas to earn a nod for Kominsky Method’s swan song). Sandra Oh should earn yet another SAG nod for her work on The Chair. Oh, and based on being the best of their field and being huge names, expect Steve Martin and Martin Short to earn nominations to lose to Sudeikis.

Rounding out the television categories, expect the big guns like Mare of Easttown, Maid, and Dopesick to earn nods. The White Lotus should rack up its first few nods of the season (Coolidge is a lock). And don’t be surprised if the Marvel-hating actors’ branch edges out WandaVision. And finally, expect the Comedy Ensemble categories to look to award some out-there ensembles, like What We Do In The Shadows (likely) or Reservation Dogs (unlikely, but it’s fun to dream), while Squid Game’s ensemble, if eligible, will earn its sole nomination. But who knows? We’ll find out soon enough, as the 28th Screen Actors Guild Award nominations will be announced tomorrow morning at 10:00 am by Rosario Dawson and Vanessa Hudgens. I’ll be back tomorrow with those announcements in real time.

Film

Best Male Actor In a Leading Role

  • Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power of the Dog
  • Peter Dinklage – Cyrano
  • Andrew Garfield – Tick, Tick…Boom
  • Will Smith – King Richard
  • Denzel Washington – The Tragedy of Macbeth

Best Female Actor In a Leading Role

  • Olivia Colman – The Lost Daughter
  • Penelope Cruz – Parallel Mothers
  • Lady Gaga – House of Gucci
  • Nicole Kidman – Being The Ricardos
  • Kristen Stewart – Spencer

Best Male Actor In a Supporting Role

  • Jamie Dornan – Belfast
  • Ciaran Hinds – Belfast
  • Troy Kotsur – CODA
  • Jared Leto – House of Gucci
  • Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog

Best Female Actor In a Supporting Role

  • Caitriona Balfe – Belfast
  • Ariana DeBose – West Side Story
  • Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard
  • Ann Dowd – Mass
  • Kirsten Dunst – The Power of the Dog

Best Ensemble

  • Belfast
  • CODA
  • Don’t Look Up
  • King Richard
  • West Side Story

Best Stunt Ensemble

  • Black Widow
  • The Last Duel
  • No Time To Die
  • The Many Saints of Newark
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home

TV

Best Male Actor In A Miniseries/TV Movie

  • Murray Bartlett – The White Lotus
  • Oscar Isaac – Scenes From A Marriage
  • Michael Keaton – Dopesick
  • Ewan McGregor – Halston
  • Clive Owen – Impeachment: American Crime Story

Best Female Actor In A Miniseries/TV Movie

  • Jessica Chastain – Scenes From A Marriage
  • Jennifer Coolidge – The White Lotus
  • Beanie Feldstein – Impeachment: American Crime Story
  • Margaret Qualley – Maid
  • Kate Winslet – Mare of Easttown

Best Male Actor In A Drama Series

  • Brian Cox – Succession
  • Billy Crudup – The Morning Show
  • Matthew Macfadyen – Succession
  • Billy Porter – Pose
  • Jeremy Strong – Succession

Best Female Actor In A Drama Series

  • Uzo Aduba – In Treatment
  • Jennifer Aniston – The Morning Show
  • Elisabeth Moss – The Handmaid’s Tale
  • MJ Rodriguez – Pose
  • Sarah Snook – Succession

Best Male Actor In A Comedy Series

  • Michael Douglas – The Kominsky Method
  • Nicholas Hoult – The Great
  • Steve Martin – Only Murders In The Building
  • Martin Short – Only Murders In The Building
  • Jason Sudeikis – Ted Lasso

Best Female Actor In A Comedy Series

  • Elle Fanning – The Great
  • Sandra Oh – The Chair
  • Issa Rae – Insecure
  • Jean Smart – Hacks
  • Hannah Waddingham – Ted Lasso

Best Drama Ensemble

  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • The Morning Show
  • Pose
  • Squid Game
  • Succession

Best Comedy Ensemble

  • The Great
  • Hacks
  • Only Murders In The Building
  • Ted Lasso
  • What We Do In The Shadows

Best Stunt Ensemble

  • Cobra Kai
  • Mare of Easttown
  • Squid Game
  • The Walking Dead
  • WandaVision

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