The 2021 SAG Awards are finally taking place on Sunday.
After COVID-19 delays – and being bumped by the Grammys – the 27th Screen Actors Guild Awards is dramatically changing course. Instead of its annual live show at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium, this year’s awards show will head into the stars’ homes for a pre-taped one-hour special.
The SAG Awards will lean into its signature “I Am an Actor” declaration that has become a beloved show-opening staple. This year presenters and winners have been filmed at their homes giving humorous, often inspiring stories of becoming a working actor.
Here’s what you need to know about Sunday’s reimagined SAG Awards.
SAG Award leaders:‘Trial of the Chicago 7,’ ‘Da 5 Bloods,’ ‘Minari,’ ‘Ma Rainey’
How do we watch the show?
The SAG Awards be simulcast on TNT and TBS at 9 EDT/6 PDT with a TNT encore airing at 11 EDT/ 8 PDT. Cable subscribers can also watch the SAG Awards live using the networks’ websites, mobile apps and connected device apps such as Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.
Will there be a SAG Awards red carpet?
There will not be a traditional red carpet during the virtual, pre-taped show, though stars will likely be dressing up, a la the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards. The official live-stream pre-show (8 EDT/ 5 PDT) will feature “Grey’s Anatomy” star Jason George and JoBeth Williams (“The Big Chill”) announcing the winners of the SAG stunt honors.
Stars like Helen Mirren will share stories from home
The SAG Awards, which has experimented with hosts in the past, will be without a host this year in the special format.
Leading up the show, SAG Awards organizers sent camera crews to stars’ homes, or asked the performers to record themselves for the program. Expect to see Riz Ahmed, Sterling K. Brown, Lily Collins, Common, Ted Danson, Viola Davis, Daveed Diggs, Cynthia Erivo, Jimmy Fallon, Josh Gad, Henry Golding, Ethan Hawke, Mindy Kaling, Dan Levy, Helen Mirren, Rita Moreno, Daisy Ridley and Mary Steenburgen.
Expect home videos from Los Angeles as well as far flung countries such as England, Turkey, South Korea, Ghana, Australia and Germany. USA TODAY has an exclusive preview of Helen Mirren’s home video, in which she shares her most bizarre acting role — improvisational theater on a camel.
Winners are claiming their trophies in pre-recorded presentations, which organizers hope will remain under wraps until showtime.
What are the races to watch ahead of the Oscars?
The voting block for the SAG Awards are actors, who also make up the largest voting block for the Academy Awards. So winning The Actor, as the SAG statuette is called, is more than an honor — it also shows that the performance is in serious contention for the Oscars on April 25.
So if Carey Mulligan pulls off a best actress SAG Award for “Promising Young Woman,” as award pundits predict she will, the best actress Oscar race is altered dramatically.
Aaron Sorkin’s courtroom thriller “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Spike Lee’s war movie “Da 5 Bloods,” Lee Isaac Chung’s Korean American family drama “Minari” and playwright August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” each lead the movie field with three nominations — including the SAG Awards version of the best picture prize, outstanding cast in a motion picture.
The late Chadwick Boseman looks to continue pulling in posthumous honors for his SAG Awards-nominated performance in “Ma Rainey.” Boseman set a record for most SAG nominations in one year with four: two individual nods, including supporting actor in “Da 5 Bloods,” plus ensemble honors for “Ma Rainey” and “Da 5 Bloods.”
Oscar nominations 2021: ‘Mank’ leads with 10 honors, Viola Davis makes history
In the top TV categories, “The Crown” is going for back-to-back wins for best drama cast against “Better Call Saul,” “Bridgerton,” “Lovecraft Country” and “Ozark.” Emmy darling “Schitt’s Creek” will compete against emerging comedy “Ted Lasso,” “Dead to Me,” “The Flight Attendant” and “The Great” for outstanding comedy ensemble.
“The Crown” and “Schitt’s Creek” led all TV nominees this year with five nods each, with “Ozark” close behind with four.