The 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards aired live from Los Angeles on TNT and TBS

By Devan Coggan Natalie Stone
February 27, 2017 07:30 AM
Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

 

Denzel Washington has been named best actor at this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The 62-year-old actor won for his role in August Wilson’s Fences as a Pittsburgh sanitation worker who bitterly reflects on never getting the chance to play Major League baseball. (Washington also directed.) His win could spell good things for his Oscar chances: For the last 10 years, the SAG Awards have correctly predicted the Oscar best actor winner 100 percent of the time.

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Upon being announced the winner, Washington’s costar Viola Davis gave the actor a kiss on the cheek before he took the stage to give his acceptance speech.

“I’m a God-fearing man, I’m supposed to have faith, but I didn’t have faith,” he said about winning the award. “I didn’t even prepare, but I am prepared.”

Washington proceeded to recognize Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller and Wilson, who he regarded as “the guys that don’t get recognized,” as he held back tears.

In addition to thanking Paramount, his producing partner and the team behind the film, Washington gave one final shout out to the film’s leading lady. “Oh, one last thing: to Viola Davis!”

This is Washington’s first SAG win, as he was previously nominated for best actor for Flight, Training Day and The Hurricane. He was also nominated as part of the ensemble cast of American Gangster.

Fences was also nominated for best ensemble, as well as a best supporting actress nom for Viola Davis. In the best actor category, Washington beat out Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea, Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge, Ryan Gosling in La La Land and Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic.

The 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards aired live from Los Angeles on TNT and TBS.