‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ dominates at SAG Awards

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The unlikely awards season juggernaut “Everything Everywhere All at Once” marched on at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Feb. 26, and even gathered steam with wins not just for best ensemble, Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan but also for Jamie Lee Curtis. The SAG Awards, often an Oscar preview, threw some curve balls into the Oscars race in a ceremony streamed live on Netflix’s YouTube page from Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

But the clearest result of the SAG Awards was the overwhelming success of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s madcap multiverse tale, which has now used its hotdog fingers to snag top honors from the acting, directing and producing guilds. Only one film (“Apollo 13”) had won all three and not gone on to win best picture at the Oscars.

After so much of the cast of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” had already been on the stage to accept awards, the night’s final moment belonged to 94-year-old James Hong, a supporting player in the film and a trailblazer for Asian American representation in Hollywood. He brought up the ignoble yellowface history of the 1937 film “The Good Earth.”

“The leading role was played with these guys with their eyes taped up like this and they talked like this because the producers said the Asians were not good enough and they were not box office,” said Hong. “But look at us now!”

Hong added that the cast of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” wasn’t all Chinese, though he granted Jamie Lee Curtis had a good Chinese name. Curtis’ win was one of the most surprising of the night, coming over the longtime favorite, Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”), who had seemed to be on a clear path to becoming the first actor to win an Oscar for a performance in a Marvel movie.

The actors guild, though, lent some clarity to the lead categories. Though some have seen best actress as a toss up between Yeoh and BAFTA winner Cate Blanchett (“Tár”), Yeoh again took home the award for best female lead performance.

“This is not just for me,” said Yeoh, the first Asian actress to win the SAG Award for female lead.

“It’s for every little girl that looks like me.”

Quan, the former child star, also won for best supporting male actor. The “Everything Everywhere All at Once” co-star had left acting for years after auditions dried up. He’s also the first Asian to win best male supporting actor at the SAG Awards.

“When I stepped away from acting, it was because there were so few opportunities,” said Quan.

“Now, tonight we are celebrating James Hong, Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Hong Chau, Harry Shum Jr. The landscape looks so different now.”

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