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SAG Awards Predictions: Who Will Win for Film and TV in 2020

Who will the actors spotlight during their time in the awards season's sun?

Renne Zellweger in Judy

“Judy”

Roadside Attractions

On the film side, SAG nominations are often seen as a bellwether for the Oscar race since the Academy acting branch dominates the votes. As usual, this year’s SAG nominations don’t entirely overlap with the Oscar race; SAG voting closes Friday. Last year’s upsets included winner Emily Blunt for her non-Oscar-nominated role in “A Quiet Place” and musical Globe winner Rami Malek prevailing over Drama Globe and Critics Choice winner Christian Bale. Could snubbed Oscar hopefuls Lupita Nyong’o, Taron Egerton, or Jennifer Lopez pull sympathy upsets? Tune in Sunday to find out.

While “The Irishman,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Jojo Rabbit,” and “Parasite” could build some momentum for their Oscar bids by winning SAG Ensemble, “Bombshell” didn’t score a Best Picture nomination, but could pull a surprise win for Charlize Theron or Margot Robbie. And while “Marriage Story” and “Joker” didn’t make Ensemble, Adam Driver is looking to topple Best Actor favorite Joaquin Phoenix. And Academy actors showed defiant support for non-SAG nominee “Little Women” by voting in Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh.  — Anne Thompson

When it comes to TV, the SAGs are often a signifier of viewership. While a small portion of the guild’s massive membership votes on the nominees, the full body is called upon to cast their ballots for the winners. That means shows that may not have the best ratings (like “Fosse/Verdon” or, presumably, “The Morning Show”) can make their way into the final five, but they’ll have a harder time taking the stage.

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Last year saw a comedy sweep from “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” widely touted as one of Amazon’s most popular shows. Meanwhile, the NBC smash “This Is Us” won back-to-back Ensemble Drama prizes, right after the first season of Netflix megahit “Stranger Things” took home the win. Individual winners, like Jason Bateman in “Ozark,” have big, easily accessible platforms helping actors watch their colleagues’ best work. So in 2020, look for “Fleabag” to continue its impressive awards run, “The Crown” to build more momentum post-Globes, and maybe even one more win for “Game of Thrones.” — Ben Travers

Check out our film and television picks.

Cast in a Motion Picture (Ensemble)

“Bombshell”
“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
“Parasite”

Will Win: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Could Win: “The Irishman”
Should Win: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Quentin Tarantino’s elegy to a lost Hollywood won the Comedy Globe and Critics Choice awards; the movie is hugely popular with actors partly because it’s about them. “The Irishman” is packed with beloved icons of acting and won the Critics Choice Best Acting Ensemble award, but Robert De Niro was squeezed out of the competitive Male Actor category in favor of Leonardo DiCaprio.

Female Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees:

Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Lupita Nyong’o, “Us”
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
Renee Zellweger, “Judy”

Will Win: Renee Zellweger, “Judy”
Could Win: Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
Should Win: Renee Zellweger, “Judy”

This one is Globe and Critics Choice winner Zellweger’s to lose. Her comeback narrative is like catnip to SAG voters. But “Bombshell” was so popular with this group that it scored an Ensemble slot over “Joker,” “1917,” “Little Women” and “Marriage Story.”

Joker

“Joker”

Nico Tavernese/Warner Bros.

Male Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees:

Christian Bale, “Ford v. Ferrari”
Leonardo DiCaprio, ”Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
Taron Egerton, “Rocketman”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”

Will Win: Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
Could Win: Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
Should Win: Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”

The Globe and Critics Choice winner should continue his winning streak through the Oscars; Phoenix is this year’s Gary Oldman, only he lost 40 pounds instead of wearing elaborate prosthetics. Driver’s performance as a divorcing father fighting to spend time with his son may be too subtle to play to this mainstream crowd, who voted for Rami Malek as flamboyant Queen star Freddie Mercury ahead of his Oscar win. “Rocketman” musical Globe-winner Egerton could extract some sympathy votes for his Oscar snub.

Scarlett Johannson and Laura Dern'Marriage Story' premiere, 76th Venice Film Festival, Italy - 29 Aug 2019

Scarlett Johannson and Laura Dern, ‘Marriage Story’ premiere, 76th Venice Film Festival, Italy – 29 Aug 2019

Camilla Morandi/Shutterstock

Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees:

Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”
Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
Nicole Kidman, “Bombshell”
Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”

Will Win: Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”
Could Win: Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”
Should Win: Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”

This race could go several different ways. In another year, dual nominee Johansson (“Marriage Story”) would win here for Ensemble entry “Jojo Rabbit.” But Robbie stars in two ensemble nominees, “Bombshell” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” And even though “Marriage Story” did not land an Ensemble slot, legacy actress and Hollywood royalty Dern is the frontrunner in this category, having won Globe and Critics Choice awards. Coming up from behind is Lopez, likely to earn some sympathy votes for being snubbed at the Oscars.

"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Sony Pictures

Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees:

Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
Jamie Foxx, “Just Mercy”

Will Win: Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Could Win: Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
Should Win: Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Nothing will take this away from Pitt; it’s his time. It’s likely Pacino and Pesci will split “The Irishman” vote; both are popular.

Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

Nominees:

“Avengers: Endgame”
“Ford v Ferrari”
“The Irishman”
“Joker”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Will Win: “Ford v Ferrari”
Could Win: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Should Win: “Ford v Ferrari”

This is a good place for popular race car movie “Ford v Ferrari” to notch a win, especially if “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” takes the top prize. But finally, it may prove irresistible to give the award to a movie in which Brad Pitt actually plays a stuntman.

The Crown Season 3 Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman in “The Crown”

Sophie Mutevelian / Netflix

Ensemble in a Drama Series

Nominees:
“Big Little Lies”
“The Crown”
“Game of Thrones”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Stranger Things”

Will Win: “The Crown”
Could Win: “Big Little Lies”
Should Win: “The Crown”

With the two-time defending champion “This Is Us” out of the way, the path to victory has been cleared for Netflix’s “The Crown”… right? Not exactly. Though Netflix’s dominance at awards shows is only growing — especially with a large voting body like the SAGs — and Peter Morgan’s heralded drama has been nominated three times in three seasons, its track record isn’t great. Season 1 lost to fellow Netflix title “Stranger Things” (which was quite the upset) and Season 2 fell to the NBC favorite. One could argue both of those first seasons were absolute sensations, making them irresistible to voters, and the 2020 race lacks the same buzzy debut to beat out “The Crown.” But “Big Little Lies” never had a shot at ensemble as a limited series, and now it’s added Meryl Streep to the already beloved cast. Critics may have been disappointed by the new season, but actors likely were not.

Peter Dinklage and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, "Game of Thrones"

Peter Dinklage and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, “Game of Thrones”

HBO

Male Actor in a Drama Series

Nominees:
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
Steve Carell, “The Morning Show”
Billy Crudup, “The Morning Show”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”

Will Win: Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
Could Win: Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
Should Win: Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”

Despite multiple Emmy wins and a Golden Globe, Peter Dinklage has never won a Screen Actors Guild Award. Though he’s facing a former champion in Sterling K. Brown (who’s still doing excellent work in “This Is Us”), as well as David Harbour’s sympathetic character arc on “Stranger Things 3,” this should be Dinklage’s year.

Female Actor in a Drama Series

Nominees:
Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”
Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
Olivia Colman, “The Crown”
Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Will Win: Olivia Colman, “The Crown”
Could Win: Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”
Should Win: Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”

Much like the Globes, this one is likely to come down to Jennifer Aniston and Olivia Colman. In a race too close to call — Aniston has a history of SAG attention behind her, while Colman is nominated three times this year — I’m going with the “Crown” star, who’s been on quite an awards run filled with many memorable speeches. Why not one more?

Ensemble in a Comedy Series

"Fleabag" Season 2, Episode 1 Phoebe Waller-Bridge

“Fleabag”

Screenshot

Nominees:
“Barry”
“Fleabag”
“The Kominsky Method”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“Schitt’s Creek”

Will Win: “Fleabag”
Could Win: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Should Win: “Barry”

It may be too soon to count out last year’s winner, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” but with the world in love with “Fleabag,” it’s hard to bet against it. (Meanwhile, with another great season, “Barry” will get its due next year.)

Male Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees:
Alan Arkin, “The Kominksy Method”
Michael Douglas, “The Kominksy Method”
Bill Hader, “Barry”
Andrew Scott, “Fleabag”
Tony Shaloub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Will Win: Andrew Scott, “Fleabag”
Could Win: Bill Hader, “Barry”
Should Win: Bill Hader, “Barry”

SAG Awards voters, in their collective wisdom, gave their 2019 trophy to Tony Shaloub over Bill Hader, so I have no confidence they’ll make the right decision this year. That being said, Andrew Scott should win something for his breakout role as The Hot Priest. If he’s the spoiler, so be it.

Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees:
Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”

Will Win: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”
Could Win: Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Should Win: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”

Divine intervention is the only way Phoebe Waller-Bridge loses, and not even an angry god would cast a ballot against the “Fleabag” star.

WHEN THEY SEE US

“When They See Us”

Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series

Nominees:
Mahershala Ali, “True Detective”
Russell Crowe, “The Loudest Voice”
Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”
Jharrel Jerome, “When They See Us”
Sam Rockwell, “Fosse/Verdon”

Will Win: Jharrel Jerome, “When They See Us”
Could Win: Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”
Should Win: Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”

Jared Harris is still without a win for “Chernobyl,” losing out at the Emmys to Jharrel Jerome and then, even with Jerome out at the Globes, losing again to Russell Crowe. Odds are he’ll go home empty-handed one more time, as the large viewership around “When They See Us” combined with Jerome’s recent snub will result in another (deserving) trophy for the young actor. Harris will get one someday — well, one more. He did win as part of the “Mad Men” ensemble.

FOSSE VERDON "Life is a Cabaret" Episode 1 (Airs Tuesday, April 9, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: (l-r) Sam Rockwell as Bob Fosse, Michelle Williams as Gwen Verdon. CR: Craig Blankenhorn/FX

“Fosse/Verdon”

Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series

Nominees
Patricia Arquette, “The Act”
Toni Collette, “Unbelievable”
Joey King, “The Act”
Emily Watson, “Chernobyl”
Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon”

Will Win: Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon”
Could Win: Toni Collette, “Unbelievable”
Should Win: Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon”

Here’s where prestige vs. popularity is really put to the test: Michelle Williams has won award after award for her nuanced, technically challenging portrayal of Gwen Verdon, but “Fosse/Verdon” didn’t pull monster viewership numbers. “Unbelievable” did (at least, according to Netflix), and Toni Collette did a damn fine job herself. Both are deserving candidates, so we’ll see if the sheer volume of viewers behind the newer Netflix series can trump a niche cable show pre-loaded with Hollywood ties.

Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series

“Game of Thrones”
“GLOW”
“Stranger Things”
“The Walking Dead”
“Watchmen”

Will Win: “Game of Thrones”
Could Win: “Watchmen”
Should Win: “Game of Thrones”

“Game of Thrones” has gone seven-for-seven so far, absolutely owning this category. “GLOW” won last year, when “GoT” wasn’t eligible, but look for a return to the status quo in 2020.

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