February 11, 2013 12:00 PM

With its acres of champagne-colored drapery and vases erupting with fresh roses, this year’s SAG Awards afterparty was no one’s idea of a labor union social. But for the gathered members of the Screen Actors Guild (now merged with AFTRA, the TV and radio performers’ union), the annual SAG Awards provide a special kick—it’s a place where actors get a chance to honor their brethren for a job unusually well-done.

“After 33 years of being in this union, to be able to say you were accepted by your peers means everything to an actor,” said Bryan Cranston, his hands full with two Actors—one awarded for his seminal role as Walter White in Breaking Bad, the other for his ensemble work in Argo. “It’s voted on by people who know acting.”

And partying too. Looking at first a bit like tourists lost in a strange city, the winning cast of Downton Abbey (yes, the help was let out for the night) kept to themselves at the start of the afterparty—only to end up hanging out with Jon Hamm and the Mad Men crew later on. Other partygoers enjoyed a menu put together by Wolfgang Puck and beauty products from L’Oréal Paris, all underneath a dazzling Art Deco tent designed by Tony Schubert.

As in past years, People shared the party with the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a leading show business charity that raises money for health, education and social issues. We’re proud of this partnership and salute all the work of this year’s winners both on and off the screen.