17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Acceptance Speeches


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series


STEVE BUSCEMI: Wow, I was given an award by Alec and Betty White. That’s - thank you so much, I really appreciate that. This is a little – I didn’t know this was going to be the first one, so I’m a little – I’m very nervous. I want to thank, and tip my hat to Bryan Cranston, Michael C. Hall and Jon Hamm, and Hugh Laurie; it’s an honor to be nominated with you. [applause] 

I want to thank our amazing crew on “Boardwalk,” they’ve been a second family to us. I want to thank Ellen Lewis, our wonderful casting director, on the pilot. I want to thank her especially for sticking with me and having faith after my awful audition 27 years ago when she brought me in to see Brian de Palma for “The Untouchables.” So, I was, you know, just like, “Huma-huma-huma, thank you. Huma-huma, okay,” and I left. And Meredith Tucker, who cast the show now, thanks for bringing us all the wonderful actors that you bring – that you bring in. I can’t talk, I’m sorry.

I want to thank all our wonderful directors led by my hero Tim Van Patten. I want to thank all the writers on the show, and especially the one who is, you know, he does every role in his head: Terry Winter. Thank you so much, we love you. [applause] Congratulations to Martin Scorsese, yesterday for his DGA win. Marty, we love you, we hope you feel better and we love working with you. Please come back. I want to thank Staci Wolfe, Lee Stollman, Esther Chang and everybody at WME. My wife Jo and Lucian. I want to thank my mom and dad, thank you so much for just letting me be me. I love you.

I love all of you, I love actors. Thank you so much, I really appreciate this. [applause]


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series


JULIANNA MARGULIES:  What an honor this is, I can’t even tell you, I’m incredibly moved.  I love my job so much and I’m so grateful to Robert and Michelle King for giving me just the role of a lifetime really.  And all the writers and producers on our show are so spectacular, and make going to work such a joy.  And thank you New York for keeping us – well the Teamsters who have been digging us out of the snow for the past two weeks.  And my brilliant, brilliant crew, and my talented cast, I cannot tell you – Fred Murphy, I’m the luckiest actor on television to be standing in your light.

And Dan Lawson to be wearing your clothes, and Beth Kushnick  to be on your sets.  And Andrea and Rose and Colleen and my Joe for taking such good care of me.  And Alex Nhancale, I could not survive without you.  And Cari Ross, thank you for 16 years of friendship and pristine guidance.  Oh God, Michelle Bohan, Steve Dontanville, Frank Frattaroli, I cannot thank you for all your dedication and support.  My beautiful family and my sweet friends, you’re all so inspiring to me.

And I just want to say thank you to my in-laws.  [laughter]  Ken and Jane Lieberthal, thank you for producing truly the most spectacular human being who I get to call my husband.  Life is just better with you in it, Keith.  [applause]


Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series


GREG ANTONACCI/ Johnny Torrio 

STEVE BUSCEMI/ Nucky Thompson 

DABNEY COLEMAN/ Commodore Louis Kaestner 

PAZ DE LA HUERTA/ Lucy Danzinger 



KELLY MACDONALD/ Margaret Schroeder 

GRETCHEN MOL/ Gillian Darmody 


VINCENT PIAZZA/ Lucky Luciano 

MICHAEL PITT/ Jimmy Darmody 

MICHAEL SHANNON/ Agent Nelson Van Alden 

PAUL SPARKS/ Mickey Doyle 


ERIK WEINER/ Agent Sebso

SHEA WHIGHAM/ Sheriff Elias Thompson 

STEVE BUSCEMI:  I lost my speech, I had it written on the other paper and I don’t know where it is, so I don’t have any of the names that I wanted to thank.  But I’m so glad that this cast won because I love them all so much.  We love all the actors in our cast.  We want to thank HBO for giving us this opportunity and all the support that they give us:  Richard Plepler, Sue Naegle, Michael Lombardo, Jocelyn Diaz – who am I forgetting, I don’t know.  Gene Kelly, we want to – well, all the producers.  Now I have time left and I have to keep talking.  Somebody else could talk, I’m supposed to represent.

PAZ DE LA HUERTA:  Thank you Ellen Lewis in believing in me and everybody here.  You’re phenomenal.  And Martin Scorsese, of course.  And Terry Winter.

STEVE BUSCEMI:  Thank you so much.  This is an honor, thank you so much.


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

MELISSA LEO/ Alice Ward - "THE FIGHTER" (Paramount Pictures)

MELISSA LEO:  [choking up]  My God!  [applause]  Thanks, Dick...  I’m much better when I have my words written for me, and somebody’s costumes to put on, like Mark Bridges’ beautiful outfits.  But when he showed them to me on the hanger, boy, I thought, “I don’t think so.”  [laughter]

This has been an extraordinary season for me.  I am so proud to be a part of “The Fighter.”  I’m here tonight with six of the seven girls that played my daughters in the film.  I couldn’t be here with all y’all actors and not bring them along, right?  [applause]  Thank you, girls.  Thank you for helping me get a man I can bring home with me tonight.  [laughter]

Thank you, Screen Actors Guild, I don’t know what is ahead for all of us in the future now.  If we’re talking about joining together and making the voice of the working actor stronger, let’s join together.  Let’s make it a real voice.  Unions made this country great because it gives the voice to the working people.  I’m sorry to get political, and they’re saying wrap it up.

Thank for this opportunity, Mark Wahlberg and David O. Russell. Thank you, Brad Gray.  Thank you Relativity.  Thank you.  [applause]


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

ALEC BALDWIN/ Jack Donaghy - "30 ROCK" (NBC)

ALEC BALDWIN:  Oh wow, man, that’s so weird.  I have to say, all the best lines I had obviously come from Tina, and Tina said, when Melissa Leo won for “The Fighter,” she goes, “She’s doing Poehler, she’s doing Amy.”  [laughter]  “She’s just doing you in the show.”  And if you know Amy, that’s Amy.  Anyway, never mind.  [laughter]  Anyway, I’m so happy to get this from you.  

Listen, I don’t know what to say, this is ridiculous.  [laughter]  I’m so happy, we’ve had a great year with the show, and I feel compelled – because of everybody else – to thank the Teamsters.  Thank you to the Teamsters, in New York.  When you work in New York and you gotta go to work, you don’t want to have to get a cab or the subway; it was very nice to have these people drive us to work every day.

But most of all I want to thank Lorne and Marci, and Tina, Robert Carlock, John Riggi, Matt Hubbard, all of our writers, our cast.  I’m going to wrap it up and say thank you all.  Thank you to all the people from SAG who gave me this award again.  Thank you so much.  [applause]



Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

BETTY WHITE/ Hot in Cleveland- “Elka Ostrovsky” (TV Land)

BETTY WHITE:  I cannot believe this.  I... I – and, and they had to get the old broad up those stairs, and that’s not easy.  [laughter]  I must say, this is the biggest surprise I’ve ever had in this business.  There wasn’t a prayer, I am so lucky to be at this – at 89 to be working with... [applause] You didn’t applaud when I turned 40.  [laughter]  I don’t know when...  No, but I’m working on the happiest set I think in the business.  

We have these ladies: Valerie Bertinelli, and Wendie Malick, and Jane Leeves, and all of the – the whole wonderful cast of “Hot in Cleveland.”  We can’t wait to go to work every day.  I know that sounds like a cliché to say we’re family, we’re more than family.  We fell in love the first day we worked together and it’s still like that.  I just can’t believe – but to have this happen, on top of... ooh!  [laughter]  On top of everything else, I cannot say thank you enough.  [laughter]  [applause]>


Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series


JULIE BOWEN/ Claire Dunphy
TY BURRELL/ Phil Dunphy
JESSE TYLER FERGUSON/ Mitchell Pritchett
NOLAN GOULD/ Luke Dunphy
SARAH HYLAND/ Haley Dunphy
ED O’NEILL/ Jay Pritchett
SOFIA VERGARA/ Gloria Delgado-Pritchett

ED O’NEILL:  Hi, how ya doing?  When the cast told me they wanted me to speak, I started to think, “Gee, I hope we don’t win.”  [laughter]  But thank you Screen Actors Guild members, this was one that I think we all wanted because the show, as you know is set up for an ensemble.  And we’re having a ball doing it, I’m very lucky to have the job – we all are.  I’d like to thank our producers: Chris Lloyd and Steve Levitan.  [applause]   Our directors, our writers are great.  The kids are wonderful, and that’s it.  Thank you.


Screen Actors Guild Awards 47th Annual Life Achievement Award


Ernest Borgnine:  Thank you my friend.  And thank you, Tim.  Yes, it all started with a question:  Have you ever thought of becoming an actor?  When I came home from World War II, mother asked me, “Have you ever thought of becoming an actor?  You always wanted to be an Arlequino, a clown, in front of people.”  Now, I hadn’t – became an actor.  So it’s a long other story, of course, but I want to say one last thing about us.  There are millions of those in the world who would love to be in our shoes.  We are a privileged few who have been chosen to work in this field of entertainment.

There are members of our group who will be long remembered for their work, and whom we still enjoy today.  I hope that we will never let our dedication to our craft fail.  That we will always give the best we possibly can to our profession, so the people may enjoy us in later years.  On behalf of my family, my wife Tova – who I love – our thanks and our best wishes for your high success always.  Thank you so very much for this great honor.  Thank you.  [applause] 


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in Telvision Movie or Miniseries


ROBIN WRIGHT:  Al Pacino couldn’t be here this evening so we’re happy to accept the Actor on his behalf.  Thank you.  [applause]


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries


CLAIRE DANES:  Wow, okay.  So, this is an incredible category.  These are my friends who I’m nominated with:  Winona, Susan, my fellow little ladies – little women – Catherine and Julia.  Okay, so in some ways this was a very isolating character to play, I played an autistic woman who had trouble reciprocating.  And I couldn’t even look my fellow actors in the eye, but I was so crazy blessed to work with really some of the finest actors out there: David Strathairn, Julia, Catherine.
On the second day of filming I was just suddenly so panicked, I was overwhelmed – I had a real crisis of confidence.  And I was shooting a scene with Catherine and she just used every tool in her, like, bag of funny.  She just – she, like, was mugging and making faces, and she, like, crossed her eyes, and she did anything she could to just make me laugh and get out of my head, and chill out!  And she rescued me then, and that kind of support was so abundant throughout this whole experience.  So thank you.

Thank you, Mick Jackson for creating such a provocative, imaginative, wonderful story.  Thank you, Temple, who is no act.  She’s a real thing, I just played her on TV – on HBO.  And thank you to my favorite, my favorite husband, my favorite actor, my favorite man, my Hugh – my Hugh, my love.  I love you.  Thank you.


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

CHRISTIAN BALE/ Dicky Eklund - "THE FIGHTER" (Paramount Pictures)

CHRISTIAN BALE:  Well, thank you so much, you know, this being...


CHRISTIAN BALE:  Hey, Dicky!  All right!  [laughs]  All right.  This is the original “placker”  [sp] right here, you know! [cheers]

DICKY EKLUND:  All right, buddy.  Good job, Christian.

CHRISTIAN BALE:  Thank you, mate.  Thank you for living the life, and thank you for letting me play you, you know.  

DICKY EKLUND; How do you like me now?

CHRISTIAN BALE: You’re a real gentleman, you know, mate? I like you now.  I like you now.


CHRISTIAN BALE:  Thank you so much, guys.  This is really meaningful getting it from fellow actors. I truly appreciate that.  And, you know, these speeches often get boring because the problem is that when you win something you realize just how many other people you’re dependent upon.  So, you know, absolutely, to my fellow actors, they were just stunning.  To my director, producers, the writers, Relativity, Paramount for pushing this, recognizing what they had here, you know, I really appreciate that.  Thank you so much.

You know, I love acting, I love what we do. It’s so bloody silly at times, isn’t it?  You know, it’s like playing dress-up and other times it is so meaningful and I just enjoy that so much; we get to walk in other people’s shoes.  And, you know, a life without empathy is no fun at all, and I appreciate being able to do that.

I sometimes get asked by young actors, you know, hey, how did you get into this business, and it’s such an elusive, so mysterious business to get into, isn’t it?  And I’ve never had any bloody answers whatsoever.  One thing is, just in finding people fascinating.  You know, I find people endlessly fascinating and as long as you can do that, then each project seems like something new.  And like you’ve got no idea how to do it, you’ve got to discover something once again.

Also, bumping into Mark Wahlberg ain’t bad.  All right?  I mean, it helped me immensely.  If anybody else can manage to fix that one, it’s good for... Having a great team around you, and my mate, Patrick Whitesell, has had my back for so many years.  And then the most important team of all, my wife and my daughter.  Thank you, my loves.  I love you.  Cheers.  [applause]


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

NATALIE PORTMAN/ Nina Sayers - "BLACK SWAN" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

NATALIE PORTMAN:  Thank you so much.  Jeff Bridges, thank you.  [applause]  And to all the actresses in this category and the performances this year in general.  I’m so humbled to be among you.  And I’ve been working since I was eleven years old, and SAG has taken care of me.  They made sure that I wasn’t working too long and made sure that I got my education while I was working. 

And I’m so grateful to have this Union protecting me every day.  And... [applause] my fellow actors in the film: Mila, Vincent, Winona, Barbara, all of the dancers, everyone who helped me prepare for the film; Mary Helen Bowers who trained me for a year.  And of course, Darren Aronofsky, our director, who I love so much.

My parents who, you know, always tell me to work my hardest and never me an asshole, never acceptable.  [laughter]  And my fiancé, Benjamin Millepied, I love you very much.  Thank you. [applause]


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

COLIN FIRTH/ King George VI - "THE KING’S SPEECH" (The Weinstein Company)

COLIN FIRTH:  Oh, this is really something.  Thank you.  Now, until today I would say probably if ever I felt that I’ve had a trophy which is – told me that something’s really happening for me – it was my SAG card.  And, you know, to be a part of this extraordinary collective, if you – growing up in England you – it’s not something you expect to see in your wallet really.  And so it has this glow and I used to flash it around, hoping it would get me female attention.  And... [laughter] entry into night clubs and top level government departments – and it didn’t.  [laughter]  And now I’ve got this.

So, I’d like to thank – looking out at who’s here – I’d like to thank security for letting me into the building.  [laughter]  And I would like to single out just three of I think the most extraordinary members of my profession: Anthony Andrews, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.  They’re my dream cast.  [applause]  I want to take you all and just – and go on tour.  And I’d like to bring my resident magician, Tom Hooper; our extraordinary writer, David Seidler.

It would have to be produced by Emile Sherman, Ian Canning, and Gareth Unwin, and of course, the intrepid Harvey and everyone at the Weinstein Company.  And just for their company alone, if not for their extraordinary wisdom and skill: Jessica Kolstad, Chris Andrews, Pauline Marois, and my friend Tom Ford.  And, you know, at the heart of it all, as always, would be my constant beautiful traveler, Olivia.  Thank you very much.  [applause]


Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

THE KINGS SPEECH (The Weinstein Company)

ANTHONY ANDREWS/ Stanley Baldwin
DEREK JACOBI/ Archbishop Cosmo Lang
TIMOTHY SPALL/ Winston Churchill

GEOFFREY RUSH:  Thank you to the – it shouldn’t be called the SAG Award, it should be called the “Uplifting” Award.  [laughter]  They’ve asked me to speak because at one point the film was going to be called The King’s Speech Therapist.  [laughter]  But then they decided against that.  You’re aware, this is an amazing ensemble.  There are two families in this story: there’s a royal family, there’s a colonial family.  I’d like to steal this opportunity because you know all these people.  I would like to congratulate as part of this ensemble win the members of my onscreen family: Dominick Applewhite, Ben Wimsett, and Calum Gittins who played my family, [applause] along with Jennifer Ehle.  [applause] 

Playing Helena and Calum’s children, the lovely Freya Wilson, who plays our current queen when she was 10-years-old.  And Ramona Marquez, the young boy, Jake Hathaway.  To me it’s one of the most heartbreaking shots in the film, when he comes up as my protégé to welcome the Duke of York into his first lesson.  I think it’s an astonishing performance. 

At the top end of the scale we have such a roll call of extraordinary heavy hitter actors, the likes of Michael Gambon and Derek Jacobi, and Timothy Spall, the list goes on and on.  On top of that I would particularly like to sing about the delicious Claire Bloom who I only got to meet in the trailer.  [applause]  That she puts us all in this company one degree of separation from Charlie Chaplin, which I find kind of overwhelming.

If we think about it, if young Freya Wilson for example, reaches the maturity and goes on to act in a way that Claire Bloom has done, she could well be standing up here in 2070, and that’s what our industry’s about.  Thank you very much.  [applause]

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