Stars of FENCES win SAG Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress Awards

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At Sunday night’s 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, in a surprise that shocked critics and fans alike, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis both were honored by their peers for their respective performances in FENCES, a film based on the August Wilson play of the same name. Davis, who won the fifth out of eight SAG Awards for which she’s been nominated –  received the best supporting actress award.

But it was Viola Davis’ speech that was profoundly inspiring and reverential to the talents of her film’s author.

“They say all that one can hope for is the right regrets,” Davis began. “And what August did so beautifully is he honored the average man, who happened to be a man of color. And sometimes we don’t have to shape the world and move the world and create anything that is going to be in the history books. The fact that we breathed and live a life… and was a god to our children… just that, means that we have a story and it deserves to be told.”

Davis went on, “We deserve to be in the canon of any, in the center of any narrative that written out there. And that’s what August did. He elevated my father, my mother, my uncles who had eight and fifth-grade educations. And he just encapsulated them in history. So thank you, August.”

For Denzel Washington, in spite of his lengthy film career, this was his first SAG win for the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role award. Many critics had predicted Casey Affleck would win for his performance in MANCHESTER BY THE SEA. Even Washington mentioned how unpredictable it was that he won in his impromptu acceptance speech.

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