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‘Three Billboards’ leads SAG Award nominations

WEST HOLLYWOOD — “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” picked up a leading four Screen Actors Guild Award nominations — one more than “Lady Bird” — in what is shaping up as a competitive race, with four other films collecting two nominations each.

The casts of “Three Billboards” and “Lady Bird” were both nominated for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture — the SAG Awards equivalent of a best-picture award — along with the ensembles from “The Big Sick,” “Get Out” and “Mudbound.”

Frances McDormand will be vying for an individual Actor statuette for her leading role in the small-town crime drama “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Also nominated in the outstanding actress category were Judi Dench (“Victoria & Abdul”), Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”) and first-time nominees Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”) and Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”).

Actors nominated for leading roles were Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”), James Franco (“The Disaster Artist”), first-time nominee Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”), Gary Oldman for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour” and Denzel Washington as “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Supporting actors hoping for an award are Steve Carell for his role as tennis chauvinist Bobby Riggs in “Battle of The Sexes,” Willem Dafoe for “The Florida Project,” Woody Harrelson for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Richard Jenkins for “The Shape of Water” and Sam Rockwell for “Three Billboards.”

First-time nominee Mary J. Blige was recognized for her supporting role as a farmer’s wife in the sharecropper drama “Mudbound” and will compete against Hong Chau (“Downsizing”), Holly Hunter (“The Big Sick”), Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”) and Laurie Metcalf as the bracingly candid mother of a quirky teenager in “Lady Bird.”

The competition was fierce in a season of many indie favorites. “The Post” — Steven Spielberg’s drama about the Washington Post’s publication of the Pentagon Papers starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks — was one of the movies that went unrecognized by SAG. And some others, like “The Big Sick,” made the Screen Actors Guild list after being snubbed by the Hollywood Foreign Press’ Golden Globes.

“Oh wow. Thank you thank you thank you,” Kumail Nanjiani, the star of “The Big Sick,” wrote on Twitter. “I am so proud & thrilled to know & have worked with the cast,” he added before offering a shout out to the film’s casting director, Gayle Keller.

On the television side of the awards, the comedies “Black-ish,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “GLOW,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “Veep” were nominated for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.

Drama ensemble nominations went to the casts of “The Crown,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Stranger Things” and “This Is Us.”

“Big Little Lies” was one of the big winners in television, scoring acting nominations in the television movie/miniseries category for Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Alexander Skarsgard. Both “GLOW” and “Stranger Things” also scored four nominations each, aided by nods for their stunt ensembles.

Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, who faced off as Joan Crawford and Bette Davis in “Feud: Bette and Joan,” will compete again with Dern, Kidman and Witherspooon.

Actors receiving nods for their work in television movies or limited series alongside Skarsgard were Benedict Cumberbatch as “Sherlock: The Lying Detective,” Jeff Daniels in “Godless,” Robert De Niro for his turn as Bernie Madoff in “The Wizard of Lies” and Geoffrey Rush for “Genius.”

“It is always meaningful to be recognized by other actors,” De Niro said. “‘Wizard of Lies’ is a great example of how rewarding the collaborative effort can be.”

There was a tie in the comedy actors category, leaving six actors vying for television honors: Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”), Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”), Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Sean Hayes (“Will & Grace”), William H. Macy (“Shameless”) and Marc Maron (“GLOW”).

“I am so honored to be recognized in this category with these extraordinary actors,” Hayes said. “I love acting because I love actors. I also like to bake.”

Actresses nominated for their comedic television roles were Uzo Aduba for “Orange Is the New Black,” Alison Brie for “GLOW,” both Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin for their roles in “Grace and Frankie” and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for her turn in “Veep.”

In the television drama category, actors recognized with a nomination were Jason Bateman (“Ozark”), Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”), Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”), David Harbour (“Stranger Things”) and Bob Odenkirk for “Better Call Saul.”

Dinklage garnered three nods overall, including for his role as a man with a complicated crush on McDormand’s character in the cast of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

Millie Bobby Brown, who plays the otherworldly Eleven in “Stranger Things” was among the actresses receiving a nod for their dramatic television roles, alongside Claire Foy, for her portrayal as Queen Elizabeth in “The Crown,” Laura Linney for “Ozark,” Elisabeth Moss for “The Handmaid’s Tale” and Robin Wright for “House of Cards.”

Netflix was the big content winner, pulling in 19 nominations, well ahead of HBO’s 12. No other network could boast more than three, which was the number NBC received, making it the lead among traditional networks.

Fox Searchlight led studios with seven nominations, followed by relative newcomer A24 with 5 and a long list of other studios with one or two each.

The SAG Awards are chosen by thousands of actors, making the honor among the most coveted of the busy awards season because of the element of peer recognition.

Stunt ensembles nominated for movie work were the teams for “Baby Driver,” “Dunkirk,” “Logan,” “War for the Planet of the Apes” and “Wonder Woman.” Television stunt crew nominations went to “Game of Thrones,” “GLOW,” “Homeland,” “Stranger Things” and “The Walking Dead.”

The nominations were announced at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood by Olivia Munn and Niecy Nash.

The 24th Annual SAG Awards will be presented Jan. 21 at the Shrine Auditorium, in a ceremony hosted by actress Kristin Bell. It will be the first time the SAG Awards ceremony has ever had a host.

Morgan Freeman will receive the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, SAG-AFTRA’s highest honor.

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