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Jessica Chastain was “completely stunned” to be named Best Actress at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards on Sunday (27.02.22).
The 44-year-old actress was nominated for the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her work on ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’ accolade alongside Olivia Colman (‘The Lost Daughter’), Lady Gaga (‘House of Gucci’), Jennifer Hudson (‘Respect’) and Nicole Kidman (‘Being the Ricardos’) and admitted she felt like the “luckiest person ever” when she was announced as the winner.
Speaking on stage at Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar, she said: “Whoa. Wow. Okay I’m really surprised. Thank you SAG-AFTRA for this, I’m completely stunned. I’m the luckiest person ever…
“I wanted to be an actor my whole life, and ever since I was a kid it was the only thing I ever really thought about, and there were years of studying and auditioning and not getting jobs. And I know what that feels like and I know the loneliness of what that feels like.
“And so, for those of you who are struggling and feeling unseen I just want you to keep going because you’re one job away, I promise! And the thing that really kept me going was you. It was everyone in this room and it was this community.”
Jessica admitted it had been a “dream” to play evangelist Tammy Faye Bakker in the movie and paid tribute to the “trailblazer”.
She said: “She wrapped her arms around those who were repeatedly cast aside and she launched herself into decades of LGBTQ love. I worked on the project for 10 years, and I hope that we made her story in a way that she would be proud of.”
Like many other winners, the actress touched on the situation between Ukraine and Russia.
She concluded: “And I love my artistic family, and my heart is with our international family all over the world right now who is fighting for their safety and their freedom. I love you all so much, thank you very, very much.”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role was awarded to Will Smith for his portrayal of Richard Williams in ‘King Richard’ and he gave a shout out to her alter ego’s real-life daughters, tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams.
He said: “That may have been one of the greatest moments of my career just now because my name was called for King Richard sitting next to Venus Williams and her sister.”
Will hailed Richard a “dreamer like no one you’ve ever known” before thanking his castmates Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton.
He said: “You guys are actors, so you know how sometimes your onscreen characters kind of bleed into real life. To walk you around this room tonight, to parent you on this film, to deliver you into this business has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life. “
Javier Bardem (‘Being the Ricardos’), Benedict Cumberbatch (‘The Power of the Dog’), Andrew Garfield (‘Tick, tick… BOOM!’) and Denzel Washington (‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’) were also nominated for the award.