Most of the honors handed out at the Screen Actors Guild Awards went as expected. Two stood out because they paid tribute to a feature film and a TV show that deserve all the honors they can get.
It was great to see “Hidden Figures” named the SAG winner for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Octavia Spencer has been getting some attention for this movie but the work is solid across the boards.
The other great news was the win by “Stranger Things” for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. This is a great example of a production that doesn’t have just one standout performance and it is better to give a nod to the entire group.
Executive producer, Ross Duffer, told TV critics that finding the right kids was the key to making the series work.
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“The second Netflix green lit us, we started looking right away. So a lot of it was just we had an amazing casting director, Carmen Cuba. And it was just seeing kids from all over the world, and just what was the final number? It was it was about 1,000, I think, total,” Duffer says. “It’s actually as time consuming as it was because there are just so few kids out there that can operate at this level.
“You’re dealing with a television show with television hours and a television schedule, where we can’t do 20 takes. These guys are just incredible.”
A few of the actors had worked in TV before including Millie Bobby Brown who played Eleven. Her credits include “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” and “Intruders.” But, others like Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin) are just at the start of their careers.
Veteran actor Winona Ryder, who started acting when she was a teen, got to watch the group of young actors during the long filming.
“These kids are so incredible and special and talented. They have what’s really great and almost most important in that they all love doing what they do,” Ryder says. “I’ve worked with kids that maybe didn’t and that you can feel that. But there was there was a lot of amazing energy.
“I would never I would feel sort of presumptuous to give them advice, because they’re already so amazing.”
And the members of the Screen Actors Guild recognized that talent along with a nod to the cast of “Hidden Figures.”