SAG Awards: The Queer Quotient
By Matthew Breen
Hollywood does have seasons: summer, pilot season, and awards season. The Screen Actors Guild Awards heralds the beginning of the latter. So dust off your tux, practice your acceptance speeches (remember the spouse!) and if you're an actor, just remember how tiresome it is to feign being flabbergasted so long that you have to scramble though your thank yous. We get it, you're humbled.
In movies, Matthew McConaughey was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for Dallas Buyers Club playing an antigay straight man with AIDS who makes some unusual alliances in order to battle Big Pharma. Judi Dench was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for Philomena, and you can check out the gay connection here. In the same category, Emma Thompson was nominated for her role as P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks; Travers, a real person, may have been a lesbian, though that’s not actually addressed in the movie.
Jared Leto was nominated in the supporting actor category for playing Rayon, a transgender woman, in Dallas Buyers Club, and Daniel Brühl was nominated for playing Niki Lauda in Rush: Lauda is a former Formula One legend who has called for a ban on gay dancing on public television. He had to publicly apologize for that.
In the TV category, both Matt Damon (Scott Thorson) and Michael Douglas (Liberace) were nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for Behind the Candelabra. Helena Bonham Carter was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for playing AIDS hero Elizabeth Taylor in Burton and Taylor. Jim Parsons was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series for The Big Bang Theory.
These are awards only for actors, but the seven nominations for Lee Daniels’ The Butler (tied with seven nominations for 12 Years a Slave) suggests good things for out director Lee Daniels’ chances at an Oscar nomination.
The SAG Awards will air live Jan. 18, 2014 at 5 p.m. PST on TBS and TNT from the Shrine Exposition Hall in Los Angeles. Rita Moreno will be honored with a Life Achievement Award.