Everything this awards season has been going Gary Oldman’s way. He’s already won the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour.” And he is currently the overwhelming favorite to win the SAG Award. But are we overly confident he’ll win? No Brit has won for playing the famous prime minister. Check out our gallery above of all the actors who’ve brought Churchill to the small and big screens.
Playing Churchill has proven to be a great way to win an Emmy as Albert Finney (“The Gathering Storm,” 2002), Brendan Gleeson (“Into the Storm,” 2009) and John Lithgow (“The Crown,” 2017) all won in a span of 15 years for their interpretations of the iconic figure. But ironically only an American — Lithgow — also won a SAG Award.
For Finney, who had already won an Emmy and Golden Globe, it was a matter of timing. “The Gathering Storm” was released in the spring and won him the Emmy a few months later. But then another film, “Door to Door,” aired that summer after the Emmy eligibility period, so its star William H. Macy was able to defeat Finney at the SAG Awards before going on to win his own Emmy in 2003.
Gleeson, on the other hand, was considered an upset winner at the Emmys, after which he was snubbed entirely at both the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. Both of those awards would go to Kevin Bacon (“Taking Chance”) whom many had thought would win the Emmy.
Lithgow won for “The Crown” despite the added pressure of taking on the role as an American actor. Now he could turn out to be a thorn in Oldman’s side as his portrayal is the most recent and comparisons are inevitable. And Lithgow is a tough act to follow. Unlike Gleeson and Finney who competed for TV movies, Lithgow won in a crowded field of drama series actors, including the reigning two-time champ Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”), and recent Emmy winners Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”) and Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”), who actually had two nominations that year. Add in the fact that no supporting actor had ever won before and Lithgow’s win looks even more impressive.
Oldman is miles ahead in our predictions with odds of 2/11. In second place is Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”) with odds of 9/1. If we’re underestimating anyone it is possibly Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”) in third place with odds of 50/1; he is the only nominee whose film is also up for its ensemble. James Franco (“The Disaster Artist”) ranks in fourth place with odds of 66/1. And in fifth place is last year’s winner for “Fences,” Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”), with odds of 80/1.
Even if Oldman is upset by one of his rivals he might still be on track to win Oscar. Just look at Meryl Streep, who did not win the SAG Award for her portrayal of Britain’s first woman prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, in “The Iron Lady” (2011). But she still took home the Oscar.
Be sure to make your SAG predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on January 21. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 SAG Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our movie forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.