SAG Awards 2017: Emma Stone Wins Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

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

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Emma Stone captured a feeling — and the hearts of awards voters — with her performance in Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, which won the actress her first individual SAG statuette on Sunday night.

Stone accepted the honor over stiff competition from Oscar-winner Natalie Portman (Jackie), perennial awards contender Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins), first-time nominee Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train) and five-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams (Arrival).

During her acceptance speech, Stone joined the long list of celebrities who have spoken out about the state of the nation in the wake of Donald Trump‘s executive order temporarily banning all refugees from seven Middle Eastern and African countries from entering the U.S.

“We’re in a tricky time in the world and our country and things are inexcusable and scary and need action,” she said. “I’m so grateful to be part of a group of people that cares and wants to reflect things back to society.”

  • PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly are hosting the official live pre-show for the SAG Awards on Sunday, Jan. 29, in partnership with TNT and sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts. Our red carpet special will start livestreaming at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 PT, and the People/Entertainment Weekly Network (download the PEN app for your TV or phone). You can also watch it live on Twitter — follow us @PEOPLE!
Emma Stone
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

On top of her win Sunday, Stone previously earned two prior SAG Awards as part of the ensemble cast of 2014’s Birdman and 2011’s The Help.

Shortly after La La Land stormed the 2016 fall festival circuit with strong critical reviews out of Telluride and Toronto (where it won the prestigious People’s Choice Award), Stone quickly cemented herself as a major contender in the race for the Best Actress Oscar, winning the Venice Film Festival’s Volpi Cup for her portrayal of Mia, a struggling actress attempting to forge a career in Hollywood while balancing her budding affections for a prospective jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling).

“I had to play someone whose heart was exploding in this scene,” she told Entertainment Weekly about tackling a particularly memorable scene from the musical, “and it was so easy. I walked onto this set, with the clock and leaves and the blue glitter, and I was just in a state of wonder.”

Six of SAG Awards’ leading ladies have gone on to win an Oscar nomination in the last decade alone.

Perhaps the most influential industry guild in the precursor awards race, the Screen Actors Guild’s nearly 200,000-strong membership largely crosses over with the actors’ branch, the Academy’s largest subdivision. Its nominating committee — made up of around 2,500 SAG and AFTRA members — frequently agrees with a majority of the Academy’s nominees, as a minimum of three SAG-nominated actresses per year have gone on to respective Oscar nominations since the guild’s first awards ceremony was held in 1995.

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

Updated by Char Adams
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