This year the Screen Actors Guild Awards celebrates its 25th anniversary, so we thought it’d be fun to look back at the past quarter-century to see how many times they disagreed with the Oscars when it came to honoring the year’s Best Actor. As it turns out, there are only a handful of differences as both organizations matched up 19 times out of 24 ceremonies. Scroll down to see the five times that the Oscars clashed with SAG.
Oscar winner: Russell Crowe (“Gladiator”)
SAG winner: Benicio Del Toro (“Traffic”)
What happened: After winning the SAG Award for a leading performance, Oscar voters then decided to nominate Del Toro as a supporting actor. It’s rare for this kind of quirky category switcheroo to happen between awards shows, with Kate Winslet (“The Reader”) being another recent example. Del Toro’s triumph with the guild prevented Crowe, our ultimate Best Actor Oscar champ, from winning this important precursor. Speaking of Crowe, he appears again on this list just one year later.
Oscar winner: Denzel Washington (“Training Day”)
SAG winner: Russell Crowe (“A Beautiful Mind”)
What happened: After winning at SAG, Golden Globes and BAFTA, Crowe was on track to take home his second consecutive Oscar. Unfortunately, Oscar voters didn’t much care for the story that emerged following his victory at the BAFTA Awards, when he reportedly attacked the show’s director for cutting his speech short. On Oscar night, voters rallied around Washington and gave him his second career trophy following “Glory” (supporting, 1989). Crowe hasn’t been nominated since.
Oscar winner: Adrien Brody (“The Pianist”)
SAG winner: Daniel Day-Lewis (“Gangs of New York”)
What happened: Simply put, the Oscars fell in love with “The Pianist,” honoring it with Best Actor (Brody), Best Director (Roman Polanski) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Ronald Harwood). Conversely, “Gangs of New York” was nominated for 10 Oscars and went home empty-handed. Perhaps Oscar voters went for Brody over Day-Lewis because they’d previously given Day-Lewis a trophy for “My Left Foot” (1989) and they wanted to welcome relative newcomer Brody to their elite club.
Oscar winner: Sean Penn (“Mystic River”)
SAG winner: Johnny Depp (“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”)
What happened: Disney’s blockbuster “Pirates” film, based on the theme park ride, may have been a real contender for several tech races like makeup, sound and visual effects, but Depp’s over-the-top character was never going to be rewarded by those buttoned-up academy members. Instead, the Oscars voted for Penn for his emotional role of a father investigating his daughter’s murder.
Oscar winner: Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”)
SAG winner: Denzel Washington (“Fences”)
What happened: Washington no doubt prevailed at the SAG Awards because, despite a long career filled with countless memorable roles, he’d never taken home a trophy from the acting guild. When it came time for Oscar voters to mark their ballots, they had a serious decision to make: do they give Washington his record-tying third career trophy, or do they anoint a new winner in Affleck? They chose Affleck.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own 2019 Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.