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Screen Actors Guild Awards: Coda Boosts Oscar Hopes With Two Wins

March 1, 2022

Indie coming-of-age drama Coda boosted its Oscar hopes with two wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday.

Troy Kotsur, who plays the deaf parent of a hearing teen in the film, won best supporting actor, making him the first deaf winner of an individual SAG Award.

Coda also won the main prize for best ensemble cast in a film. It is up for three awards at next month’s Oscars.

Will Smith won best film actor for King Richard, and Jessica Chastain took best actress for The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

And West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose won best supporting actress, making her the first openly queer woman to win an individual film prize in the ceremony’s 28-year history, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In his acceptance speech, which he also signed, Kotsur thanked Apple TV for their “authentic” casting of the film.

He joked that he had been a member of SAG since 2001 and “now I feel like I’m finally part of the family”.

His co-star Marlee Matlin, who is the only deaf performer to have won an Academy Award, said she was “stunned” by Coda’s ensemble success and thanked director and writer Siân Heder.

“Thank you for including deaf culture, we love you. We deaf actors have come a long way,” she said.

“This validates the fact that we deaf actors can work just like anyone else. We look forward to more opportunities for deaf actors.”

Coda centres on teenager Ruby – played by Emilia Jones, star of Netflix’s Locke & Key and daughter of British TV presenter Aled – who is the only hearing person in her family.

In the TV categories at Sunday’s ceremony, South Korean Netflix hit Squid Game made history by becoming the first non-English language series to win any SAG awards.

Lee Jung-Jae and Jung Ho-Yeon took home the male and female awards for outstanding performance in a drama series.

The show also won outstanding action performance by a stunt ensemble in a comedy or drama series.

The ceremony also saw some stars send messages of support for Ukraine, while noting leader Volodymyr Zelensky’s roots in entertainment.

“The president of Ukraine was a comic,” said Succession actor Brian Cox while accepting the award for best TV drama ensemble. “He was a wonderful comic performer, and we should respect that for him, and to come to the presidency was amazing.

“But the thing that’s really distressed me is what’s happening in Russia to my fellow actors and actresses and performers and writers and critics. They are told under pain of high treason that they cannot say a word about Ukraine. And I think that is pretty awful.”

Chastain said during her speech that “my heart is with [those] fighting for their safety and their freedom”, while TV host Greta Lee walked the red carpet in a blue and yellow dress – the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

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