Talk about your foreign invasions!
The cast of Downton Abbey brought down Homeland tonight at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, the British show's win for best ensemble in a drama series being right up there in the upset department with Argo's continued dominance and Silver Linings Playbook star Jennifer Lawrence's win over Zero Dark Thirty's Jessica Chastain for female actor in a lead role.
And, fun fact, Lawrence got her SAG card after appearing in a promo for MTV's My Super Sweet 16.
The 2013 SAG Awards was right back on script a moment later, however, when Abe, er, Daniel Day-Lewis won for best performance by a male actor for Lincoln. "I set out, and then it occurred to me that it was an actor that murdered Abraham Lincoln," the Brit said in his final warm-up for his inevitable Oscar speech. "So somehow it's only fitting that every now and then an actor tries to bring him back to life again."
"I can't believe I'm standing in the place where Daniel Day-Lewis just was," gushed Affleck, accepting on behalf of the 13 members of Argo's winning cast a moment later. "Maybe I'll be a better actor just for the radiation."
Tommy Lee Jones, who for the last few weeks has been a subject of conversation more for his Golden Globes grumpiness than his role in Lincoln, was unfortunately home with the flu tonight so he wasn't there to accept for outstanding male actor in a supporting role. We like to think he smiled a bit, somewhere.
Anne Hathaway's Oscar stock sky-rocketed with her win for female actor in a supporting role, the Les Misérables star also sweetly thanking the overlooked cast of The Dark Knight Rises in addition to the much-lauded Les Mis folks for contributing to her great year.
Though it's about as far in subject matter as you can get from Downton Abbey (for the most part), Breaking Bad also broke through the Homeland haze, with Bryan Cranston putting the hurt on Damian Lewis' season by winning his first SAG Award for playing chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin Walter White. (Cranston also shared in the Argo win.)
Just as Homeland's Carrie Mathison often finds herself alone on that psychological ledge, Claire Danes, who wittily referred to herself as "a brand-spankin'—or Spanxin'—new mom," had to represent Homeland all by herself as the winner for female actor in a drama series. She almost had a bit of 'splainin' to do, but managed to get, "Oh, and my husband and my baby!" in at the end of her list of thank-yous.
And while Modern Family's cast celebrated its third straight win for best performance by an ensemble in a TV comedy, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin's fellow actors capitalized on their last chance to reward the 30 Rock stars individually for being awesome.
Baldwin made it a clean sweep, notching his seventh straight win for male actor in a comedy series playing Jack Donaghy (who was just named CEO of Kabletown and yet seems strangely dissatisfied). He profusely thanked Fey and her fellow writers, calling 30 Rock the "greatest experience" he's ever had, and then—remembering he's "out of a job and unemployed"—thanked his agent for being "the greatest in the history of show business."
"Thank you for letting me into this union," said Fey, now a four-time winner for best female actor in a comedy series for playing neurotic (to put it mildly) TV writer Liz Lemon.
"I share this with my sweet friend Amy Poehler, who I've known for so long," Fey added a shout-out to her Golden Globes cohost. "I've stolen so many of your moves. Amy, I've known you since you were pregnant with Lena Dunham."
Girls, for the record, was not among the nominees tonight, SAG members opting to nominate the same five comedies in the ensemble category for the second straight year, differing only in the addition of Nurse Jackie.
Julianne Moore was a winner for female actor in a TV movie/miniseries for playing Sarah Palin in Game Change. On the flip side, an absentee Kevin Costner capped off his best awards season since he directed Dancing With Wolves, winning male actor in a TV movie/miniseries for Hatfields & McCoys. (That's Hatfield, 3; McCoy, 0.)
Film and TV legend Dick Van Dyke was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, Alec Baldwin possibly a last-minute replacement presenter for Mary Tyler Moore, who along with Dick Van Dyke Show creator Carl Reiner was home with that damn flu that's going around.
"I'm still singing and dancing, I'm world-famous for my cockney accent," the chipper 87-year-old said appreciatively. "I have to say this, I am looking at the greatest generation of actors in the history of acting. You've all lifted the art to another place now. Besides that, you're everywhere, in Darfur, Somalia, Haiti, New Orleans. You're all over the place trying to do what's right."
(Originally published Jan. 27, 2012, at 7:27 p.m. PT)