Chadwick Boseman Ma Rainey's Black Bottom-min
[Photo via Netflix]

Chadwick Boseman has taken home the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role at the SAG Awards for his moving performance in his final film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

This year, Boseman was up against a talented group of nominees including Riz Ahmed for Sound Of Metal, Steven Yeun for Minari, Gary Oldman for Mank and Anthony Hopkins for The Father.

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Unlike other television and film award shows, the Screen Actors Guild Awards’ nominees and winners are voted on entirely by their peers. Approximately 160,000 members of the SAG-AFTRA union take part in the voting process each year. This group is made of numerous individuals within the entertainment industry including actors, announcers, dancers and recording artists among others.

This year, SAG-AFTRA has recognized Boseman for his role as Levee Green in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. His wife Taylor Simone Ledward accepted the award on his behalf. During her speech, she went on to thank the film’s producer Denzel Washington and August Wilson who wrote the play the movie is based on. As well, she ended the speech with a moving quote from Boseman.

“If you see the world unbalanced, be a crusader that pushes heavily on the seesaw of the mind,” she says in her speech. “That’s a quote by Chadwick Boseman. Thank you Screen Actors [and] thank you Chad. Thank you.”

You can follow along with the rest of the 2021 SAG Awards winners here and watch Ledward’s acceptance speech below.

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Back in August, Boseman tragically died at the age of 43 after a long battle with colon cancer. While battling the disease, however, the actor filmed various projects including Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which is based on an August Wilson play, and the Spike Lee-directed Da 5 Bloods.

Boseman has made SAG Awards history as the first actor to earn four nominations in one year. Along with Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, he is also nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for Da 5 Bloods. Additionally, the casts of both films are up Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

In Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Boseman plays the passionate musician Levee Green. As a Black man in the 1920s, Green is tired of not getting credit for his ideas and music. The character represents the history of Black music appropriation in America and is inspired by actual musicians.

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Previously, Boseman and his Black Panther co-stars won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the SAG Awards in 2019. While accepting the award, Boseman talked about representation for people of color in film and first teased Black Panther 2.

Back in December, Sony and Marvel confirmed Boseman will not be recast in the upcoming film following his death. The companies also paid tribute to the actor on his 44th birthday with a new Marvel intro that will play before future Black Panther films.

Boseman’s 2019 SAG Awards speech is available to watch below.

Boseman has also already won a few prestigious awards this year. At the Golden Globes, he was awarded Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for his portrayal of Levee in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. He also won Best Actor at the Critics Choice Awards last month. Boseman’s wife Taylor Simone Ledward accepted both of the awards on his behalf. Along with all of this, Boseman has earned his first-ever nomination at the Oscars. He is up for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Levee.

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Although both films have been released, fans haven’t seen the last of Boseman just yet. The actor appears as both T’Challa and Star-Lord in the upcoming Marvel series What If…? which premieres on Disney+ sometime this year.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is currently streaming on Netflix, and the trailer is available to stream below.

More on the 2021 Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role nominees

Riz Ahmed

Ahmed’s recognition for his leading role in Sound Of Metal marks his second nomination at the SAG Awards. Previously, he was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie in 2017 for the HBO series The Night OfHowever, the award ended up going to Bryan Cranston for All The Way.

In Sound Of Metal, Ahmed plays Ruben Stone, a drummer in a heavy metal band who loses his hearing. As he searches for a way to pay for cochlear implants, he becomes immersed in the deaf community by mentor Joe (Paul Raci). Eventually, Stone must decide whether to return to his old life or explore the new world his deafness has to offer.

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Along with the SAG Awards, Ahmed was nominated for Best Actor at the 2021 Critics Choice Awards for his role in Sound Of Metal. However, the award ended up going to Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. He was also up for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes, but lost to Boseman.

Last month, both Ahmed and American Sign Language performer and actor Raci earned their first Oscar nominations for their performances in Sound Of Metal. Ahmed is now the first Muslim to be recognized in the Best Actor in a Leading Role category. Meanwhile, Raci is up for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Sound Of Metal is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, and the trailer can be watched below.

Back in December, Travis Barker took part in an epic Metallica cover for Sound Of Metal. The blink-182 drummer joined Elise TrouwCarey Watkins and Raci and they transformed a Metallica classic into the ultimate drum-heavy cover.

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Over the years, Ahmed has appeared in numerous other projects. Star Wars fans may recognize him as Bodhi Rook in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. He also starred in The OA as Elias Rahim before it was canceled after two seasons in 2019. He even joined the likes of Joe Jonas, Oli Sykes, Jack Antonoff and Denzel Curry in Charli XCX’s iconic “Boys” video which is available to watch below.

Steven Yeun

This year, Yeun has earned his first two SAG Award nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for Minari. In the Lee Isaac Chung-directed film, Yeun plays Jacob Yi, the father of a Korean family who relocates to an Arkansas farm in the ’80s in an effort to create a more meaningful life.

Minari also stars Yuh-jung Youn who plays Soonja, the Yi family’s grandma who moves to Arkansas to look after her grandchildren David (Alan Kim) and Anne (Noel Cho). She is also nominated at the SAG Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role. Youn is now the first-ever Korean actor to earn a solo acting nomination at the SAG Awards.

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Young actor Kim was a true scene-stealer in the film with his performance of Jacob’s son David. In fact, Kim gave an unforgettable speech after he took home the Best Young Actor/Actress award at the Critics Choice Awards this year. Minari also went on to win the Critics Choice Award for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language at the Golden Globes.

Minari has already made history at the Oscars. Yeun has earned his first nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. This marks the first time an Asian-American actor has ever been recognized in the category. Youn is also up for her first Oscar and is the first Korean actor to be nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Additionally, Minari is up for Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Score.

Prior to Minari, Yen spent a staggering six years playing the beloved Glenn Rhee on The Walking Dead from 2010 to 2016. As well, he’s acted in numerous other films including 2017’s Okja and 2018’s Sorry To Bother You.

The trailer for Minari is available to watch below.

Gary Oldman

2021 isn’t the first year Oldman has been nominated at the SAG Awards. In 2001, he was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for The Contender. However, the award went to Albert Finney for Erin Brockovich.

Then, in 2018, he won Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. During his acceptance speech, Oldman thanked various actors that have inspired him including Geoffrey Rush, Richard Jenkins, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Denzel Washington.

This year, Oldman is nominated at the SAG Awards for his portrayal of American screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz in Mank. Mankiewicz famously wrote the screenplay to Citizen Kane alongside Orson Welles. However, Mank, which is scored by Nine Inch NailsAtticus Ross and Trent Reznor, tells Mankiewicz’s side of the story.

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The film flashes between Mankiewicz’s Hollywood-filled life in the 1930s to his descent into alcoholism in the ’40s. As a result, his addiction caused a big distraction as he tried to write the screenplay for Citizen Kane. After the screenplay was completed in a not-so-timely manner, Mankiewicz found himself in a famous contract war with Welles over who should receive credit for the film that went on to win Best Screenplay at the Academy Awards in 1942.

Oldman’s role in Mank earned him a slew of nominations this year. He was recognized in the Best Actor category at the Critics Choice Awards and Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes. He is also up for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards.

Over the years, Oldman has shape-shifted in a diverse array of roles. Harry Potter fans may recognize him as Sirius Black. As well, he also played Commissioner Gordon in 2005’s Batman Begins, 2008’s The Dark Knight and 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.

Mank is available to watch on Netflix and the trailer can be streamed below.

Anthony Hopkins

Hopkins’ nomination for his role in The Father marks his seventh at the SAG Awards. Back in 1996, he earned his first nomination in this category for his portrayal of Richard Nixon in Nixon. However, the award was given to Nicolas Cage for Leaving Las Vegas.

More recently, Hopkins was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie for King Lear in 2019. In the end, Darren Criss won for Ryan Murphy’s The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

This year, Hopkins is nominated for his role as Anthony in The Father. Anthony is a mischievous 80-year-old man who slowly begins to lose his memory. Despite his daughter Anne’s (Olivia Colman) attempts to hire numerous caregivers, Anthony stubbornly refuses to accept any outside help. Eventually, Anthony starts to lose track of reality while confined within the four walls of his flat.

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Colman is also nominated at the SAG Awards alongside Hopkins. Her powerful performance as Anne has earned her an Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in Supporting Role nomination.

Hopkins’ role in The Father has been recognized at numerous other award shows. He was up for Best Actor at the Critics Choice Awards and Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes. As well, he is nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Oscars.

Hopkins has taken on dozens of roles throughout his decades-spanning career. Marvel fans will recognize him as the wise Odin in 2011’s Thor, 2013’s Thor: The Dark World and 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. Meanwhile, horror movie fans still famously know Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter from 1991’s The Silence Of The Lambs and 2001’s Hannibal.

The trailer for The Father is available below.

What are your reactions to Chadwick Boseman winning Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role? Let us know in the comments below.