SAG Awards 2011: Backstage with Julianna Margulies, 'Modern Family,' Melissa Leo of 'The Fighter,' and many more

modern-family-sag-awardsImage Credit: Lester Cohen/WireImage.comWhat happens after the SAG Award winners accept their statuettes, give their speeches, and head off stage? They go backstage for a mini-media tour, of course, where they talk to the press and eventually make their way back to the main press room to take questions from all sorts of reporters, including yours truly from EW. It wasn’t until nearly an hour after the show started that the first winner made her way to the press room (thanks to The Good Wife’s Julianna Margulies!), but after that, the winners came through in a near-constant parade, glowing all the way over the accolades they’d just gotten from their fellow actors. Here, enjoy a minute-by-minute, fly-on-the-wall account of the winners’ tours backstage from the Screen Actors Guild Awards press room.

5:56 p.m. PT: The Good Wife’s Julianna Margulies — who took home a trophy for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series — appears as the first winner to come backstage, looking composed and beautiful as always. (Would you honestly expect anything less?) Margulies talks about several topics, but most interestingly, how the most nerve-wracking part of the night is always the red carpet. She also tells the press about her first movie role, way back in 1994: She played, in her words, “a hooker with a heart of gold” opposite Steven Seagal in Out for Justice.

6:03 p.m. PT: The Fighter’s Melissa Leo — who won for Outstanding Performance by Female Actor in a Supporting Role — shows up backstage in her glittery dress. “I just don’t think about it,” Leo says about her nerves at awards shows. What’s the appeal of The Fighter? “It’s a great f—in’ movie.”

6:07 p.m. PT: Steve Buscemi and the rest of the Boardwalk Empire cast — he won for Outstanding Performance by Male Actor in a Drama Series and the cast won for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series — take the stage to take questions. The ever-interesting Paz de la Huerta takes over answering questions from Buscemi quickly — she’s quickly proving to be one of the most interesting people from this cast. When a question comes up about de la Huerta’s nudity in Empire, she tells the media that she approaches the scenes just like any other and advises everyone with a stern turn: “Pay attention to the performance.”

6:24 p.m. PT: The bright and shiny cast of Modern Family including Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, and Sofia Vergara — which just won for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series — comes backstage to cheers from the press corps! The first to speak? The always-effervescent Sofia Vergara, of course. “Why do you put yours there?” Vergara screeches to Eric Stonestreet in her thick accent, after he put his SAG statuette on the tiny podium set aside for the awards (it’s intended for individual nominees, obviously). She cackles. As you might imagine, Vergara rules the room, as she’s the press darling. Someone asks: How does the cast stand being around the super-sexy Vergara all the time? “We got all the lurid comments out of the way about the fourth day of working together,” Stonestreet cracks. No doubt they did!

6:32 p.m. PT: A second reminder comes over the loudspeaker for winners to keep their speeches short, as the telecast is running over and they’re “in trouble.” Actors are encouraged, once again, to keep their acceptance speeches to 45 seconds or less.

6:38 p.m. PT: Life Achievement Award recipient, McHale’s Navy vet Ernest Borgnine, comes backstage to take two questions. He’s asked: Why is this so special to you tonight? “Above all, it’s from my peers, and what more can you say when your fellow actor says, ‘You!’? They already gave me an Oscar once, but to receive a thing like this again is beyond comprehension.” Borgnine then welcomes his wife of 38 years, the regal Tova Traesnaes, to the stage. “She’s the love of my life,” he sweetly says. Tova clarifies after Borgnine references their 38 years together: “I was four and a half [when we got married],” she cleverly offers up. On his way out, the publicist totes Borgnine’s award off the stage for him — hey, it’s huge! (The Life Achievement Award statuette is even bigger than the regular SAG statuettes, if you can imagine.)

6:46 p.m. PT: Temple Grandin winner Claire Danes — who won for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries — struts on stage. “This is the heaviest of them all,” she says of her SAG statuette. She’s first asked: Is it time to let go of Temple Grandin after she’s basically swept all the TV awards this season? “It does feel excessive at this point,” Danes says, with a smirk, in reference to previous Emmy and Golden Globe wins for the role. “This was a really extraordinary role — one that I’m not going to find again anytime soon.” What actors’ work inspires you? “Meryl,” Danes says, referencing Meryl Streep. “Meryl! What are you going to do?” What role got you your SAG card? “My first job was when I was 12 with Dudley Moore,” Danes says with a smirk, “that was a more dud.” She must have had that joke prepared, right?

7:19 p.m. PT: Christian Bale arrives! The Fighter actor is toting the statuette he won for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. “Any performance is dependent on everyone else,” he says of his win and his Fighter cast mates. “It’s a domino effect…. Every other actor shares this with me.” What actors’ work inspires you most? Robert Duvall, Melissa Leo, and Amy Adams, he reveals. “The quiet roles are the toughest to be recognized for,” Bale adds, “and this one was loud.” What would you do if you weren’t in show business? “Go nuts, probably. That’d be about it.” Also: It’s Bale’s birthday today! How’s it feel to get such an award on his birthday? “Pretty friggin’ good!” Bale says.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Read more:
SAG Awards 2011: The complete winners list
Jane Lynch, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jon Hamm, and lots more celebs make EW’s pre-SAG Awards party a starry night
SAG Awards 2011 Seating Assignments: First look at who’s sitting where — EXCLUSIVE
Screen Actors Guild Awards on EW’s Must List
Awards Season Calendar 2011: See it here!
SAG Awards give ‘True Grit’ stars some love: A look at Oscar implications
SAG’s TV nominations: What did they miss?
SAG Awards: ‘Modern Family’ and Betty White(!) nab honors
Oscar predictions: Post-SAG rankings

Comments (24 total) Add your comment
  • Arturo D.

    Sofia Vergara should’ve delivered the acceptance speech. She is just so naturally funny!

  • MWeyer

    Hmm….I can’t help but wonder if Melissa’s outspoken manner might cost her some votes with the more conservative Academy members….

  • Chloe

    The TKs arent revealing anything, Mr. Stransky! What film was Melissa Leo discussing?

    Saw her performance in The Fighter today. Oscar-worthy!

  • TKC

    Am I the only one who thought Julianna Marguiles’ husband was soooo hot?! I’m off to Google Image search him…

    • dee

      You’re not the only one…

      • jj6

        agreed he is a total hottie.

    • Carrie

      So good looking! She’s a lucky lady- and he’s a lucky guy!

    • Grace

      She’s no slouch herself!

  • Matt2

    The Fighter is looking more and more like a lock for more acting awards at the Oscars.

  • SaraS

    I feel sorry for Mark Wahlberg; he was magnificent in that role. But also happy for Colin Firth :)
    I agree the writer left out the interesting parts of the backstage — what did Juliana say about the red carpet being a nightmare? Also I know Claire Danes is intelligent and funny, I’m sure she had better quotes than that.

  • Carrie

    When writing about Claire Danes, you used “smirk” twice- is this code for her being insufferably up her own ass? Because that’s the impression I get from her…

    • Katyo

      I noticed that too. She “strut”ted onto the stage and “smirk”ed twice. Hmmm. Interesting.

    • Lylith

      I agree. Seems the claws came out for Danes, huh?

    • Meg

      Is Claire Danes the new Gwyneth Paltrow?

  • jason

    Christian Bale on his way to his first Oscar win in about 3 weeks(Finally..) Still shocked Christopher Nolan wasn’t nominated for Directing…just hadda say it again

  • Lawrence

    Jon Hamm was robbed.

  • Mae

    Jon hamm was robbed! And Paz de la Huerta scares me.

    • Sara

      CONCUR about de la Huerta! I jumped back a let out a gasp when she took the mic.

    • Nyamekye

      post it up! It’s very colorful and leovly OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thick

  • Cici217

    Thank goodness Glee did not win. Maybe the bloom is finally off that overated rose. Although I would love to see Jane Lynch continue to win awards, but the show – no thanks

    • Brit

      I am happy that their own peers didn’t vote for them. Still like the show at times, but they needed to be knocked down a peg (specifically Ryan Murphy).

      • jules

        Agreed…except I can’t even watch the show anymore because I am so sick of their overexposure.

  • CeCe

    Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Moss and the entire cast were all robbed. Maybe because they are all so good people forget they are actors and think they are watching a documentary.

    • Lore

      you are the best There are certainly a lot of deitlas like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing wil

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