The dark comedy took home the evening's top prize at the 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday

By Caitlin Keating
Updated January 25, 2015 10:15 PM

Birdman flew away with the Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture on Sunday.

Edward Norton opened the cast’s acceptance speech by declaring “age before beauty” as a means of introducing his costar Michael Keaton, who said acting with his costars was “the ultimate team sport, what we do for a living” and paid respect to “all the great actors out there … people who have laid themselves on the line and put it out there.”

Birdman was up against Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything.

Kevin Costner presented the award at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, saying, “These performances not only brought each film to a higher level, they elevated the art.”

Nearly every member of Birdman‘s winning team (seven in all) had a turn at the microphone. Naomi Watts called director Alejandro Gonzélez Iñérritu a “genius,” and Zach Galifianakis was true to his comedic roots, starting with ‘When I was on As the World Turns …’ ” – a joke aimed at Julianne Moore, who had name-checked her early days on the soap opera while accepting the statuette for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role for Still Alice.

“This is such an honor, and this movie was such an incredible experience. Thank you, we’re so grateful,” added Emma Stone.

“It’s fun to be an actor, but – as everybody in this room knows – it’s a true privilege to be a working actor,” noted Norton, rejoining the group. “It’s a triple privilege to be able to act in something you love as much as a piece like this.”

The 21st annual SAG Awards aired on TNT and TBS.

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