Did TV actors propel ‘Argo’ to shock win at SAG Awards?

In hindsight, “Argo” seems like the obvious choice to have won Best Film Ensemble at the SAG awards. The popular hostage film already took home trophies at the Critics Choice, Golden Globe and PGA awards and seems to be unstoppable heading into the Oscars.

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So why did only three of our Experts (Richard Horgan, Guy Lodge and Christopher Rosen) and three of our Editors (Chris Beachum, Marcus Dixon and Matt Noble) predict “Argo” for the win at SAG over frontrunners “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Lincoln“?

Simply put, almost everyone we polled forgot to take into consideration WHO is actually voting for these kudos. It’s actors. And not just movie actors, but also most importantly television actors.

While two big movie stars are mainly associated with the film — director/actor Ben Affleck and Oscar nominee Alan Arkin — the rest of the ensemble cast is filled to the brim with a slew of television performers. These are TV stars who’ve all had series on their air within the past few years, meaning they’re still working in the industry and have plenty of friends who want to support them.

It’s a strong possibility that “Argo” took home the Film Ensemble award Sunday because of the many, many SAG members who make up the TV voting bloc. Look at it from the mindset of these TV voters: Not only do they get to honor a movie that’s taking home all kinds of trophies this awards season, but they also get to honor themselves. 

Below, all of those TV folk that star in “Argo” alongside Affleck and Alda:

Kyle Chandler (Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan in “Argo”) is well-liked in the industry and just won an Emmy two years ago for playing Coach Taylor in “Friday Night Lights.”

Rory Cochrane (hostage Lee Schatz in “Argo”) may not have received a lot of industry buzz for his work on “CSI: Miami,” but he did make several appearances on the penultimate season of “24.”

Bryan Cranston (CIA supervisor Jack O’Donnell in “Argo”) is best known for his current TV gig as Walter White on “Breaking Bad,” a role that earned him three Emmys and a shiny new SAG as Best TV Drama Actor.

Tate Donovan (hostage Bob Anders in “Argo”) worked side-by-side with Glenn Close on the first three seasons of “Damages” and also starred in the Fox soap “The O.C.”

Clea DuVall (hostage Cora Lijek in “Argo”) just finished several guest spots on “American Horror Story: Asylum,” but her best work might have been in the spooky HBO period drama “Carnivale”.

Victor Garber (Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor in “Argo”) was Jennifer Garner‘s spy daddy Jack Bristow on “Alias,” but since leaving that series he’s made guest appearances on “Web Therapy,” “Damages,” “The Big C” and “30 Rock.”

John Goodman (costume designer John Chambers in “Argo”) recently took a turn as the bad guy in “Damages” in a role that lasted only one season, a far cry from his decade of work as the lovable dad on “Roseanne.”

Bob Gunton (State Department’s Cyrus Vance in “Argo”) is a well-recognized TV actor whose recent credits include “Royal Pains” and “24.”

Zeljko Ivanek (State Department’s Robert Pender in “Argo”) won an Emmy for playing Ray Fiske on “Damages,” but his many other recent TV projects have included “True Blood,” “The Event” and “The Mob Doctor.”

Richard Kind (film producer Max Klein in “Argo”) recently starred alongside Dustin Hoffman in the HBO series “Luck,” but before that he was a series regular on “Spin City.”

Chris Messina (CIA operative Malinov in “Argo”) can currently be seen with Mindy Kaling on the Fox comedy “The Mindy Project” but he, too, was a fixture on “Damages.”

Titus Welliver (State Department’s Bates in “Argo”) played showy, integral roles on “Lost,” “Sons of Anarchy” and “The Good Wife,” among his many other guest stints.

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