by Julia Pierrepont III, Gao Shan
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Disney and Marvel Studios' superhero film "Black Panther" won the top film honor as the annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards celebrated its 25th anniversary at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday evening in a festive atmosphere.
The normally bright-red VIP arrival carpet was replaced with a silver carpet, and glittering movie stars like Michael Douglas, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Hugh Grant, Emily Blunt, Chadwick Boseman and Glenn Close broke bread with television's best and brightest, such as Jane Fonda, Tony Shalhoub, John Krasinski, Rachel Brosnahan and Henry Winkler.
"Tonight is a night Hollywood finally shines a spotlight on actors! It's just so brave," joked Megan Mullally, the host of the awards.
With tongue-in-cheek humor, Mullally got the festivity rolling by riffing on the question of racial diversity in Hollywood.
The hotly contested top award of the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture was snapped up by "Black Panther," beating out "A Star is Born," "Bohemian Rhapsody," "BlacKkKlansman" and "Crazy Rich Asians."
Backstage after the "Black Panther" win, Boseman electrified the press with a moving speech. "When you aspire to do something that is outside of something the world would see you doing -- 'To Be Young, Gifted and Black' is all of that," Boseman explained, referencing Nina Simone's hit song of that name.
"That's one of my favorite songs. It speaks to the fact that you have the same dreams as other people, you have equal if not more talent at times, but you don't have the same opportunities," Boseman said.
Rami Malek won the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role award for his portrayal of British singer Freddie Mercury in the biopic film "Bohemian Rhapsody." Malek also won Best Actor in a Drama at the 76th Golden Globe Awards weeks ago.
Mahershala Ali won the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role award for "Green Book." He is the first person in the history of the SAG Awards to win the category twice.
"This was an incredible role," Ali told Xinhua. "Imagine what kind of person it took for a black man in 1962 to hire a white man to drive him around and open doors for him. This was a man with courage and his dignity shines through."
Glenn Close walked away with the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role award, cementing her lead in the race for Oscar. The Hollywood veteran won Best Actress in a Drama at the 76th Golden Globe Awards and Best Actress at the 24th Critics' Choice Awards successively this month for her stunning performance in the drama film "The Wife."
Emily Blunt won the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role award for her performance in the sci-fi film "A Quiet Place."
Blunt told Xinhua she was moved by her husband's support of her, and that shooting "A Quiet Place" with him had brought them even closer together.
She also said that, in the not-too-distant future, she might take a crack at directing as well, and also intends to visit China soon.
On the TV side, Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" dominated the comedy categories, taking home the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series award, the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series award for Rachel Brosnahan, and the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series award for Tony Shalhoub.
"This is a lot of women's story," Brosnahan said. "Hollywood has come a long way, but still only 4 percent of the top movies have been directed by women. And it's even harder for women of color. We need follow-through."
"Maisel" star Michael Zegen said, "I'm surprised how the show's taken off in other countries. The family aspect really resonates in India, in China, all around the world."
NBC's "This Is Us" won the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series award. Korean-Canadian actress Sandra Oh won the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series award for her role in BBC America's "Killing Eve." Jason Bateman won the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series award for his role in Netflix's "Ozark."
Patricia Arquette won the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series award. Darren Criss won the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series award.
Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists President Gabrielle Carteris told attendees, "I am here to celebrate our art and performers. Outstanding performances, extraordinary storytelling and the power of unity make this world a better place."
Veteran actor Alan Alda, 82, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his 60-year career on stage and screen.
SAG Awards are accolades given by the SAG-AFTRA to recognize outstanding performances in film and prime-time television. It is the only awards ceremony where actors are judged exclusively by their own peers.
The SAG Awards are considered as the indicators of likely Oscar success next month.