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A view from inside the SAG Awards

The lowdown at the SAG Awards from behind the scene.

Hundreds of stars are toasting their peers - and dishing about a possible actors strike - at the 15th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen reports from the trophy table inside the Shrine Auditorium (and everywhere else she roams).

• Winners had to sign for their trophies backstage, but Hugh Laurie seemed a bit confused by the process after the "House" leading man won his award for male actor in a drama series. "So this just goes on my credit card, right?" he joked as he signed his name.

• Sally Field was caught off-guard when she won the award for female actor in a drama series ("Brothers & Sisters"). Field said she was chatting and having a glass of wine at her table in the audience when she won. "I have a habit of doing things people talk about, so I have to think," she said backstage, clutching the winner's envelope with her name inside.

• Kate Winslet still hadn't caught her breath when she went backstage after winning the supporting-actress prize Sunday for her performance as a former concentration camp guard in "The Reader." "I'm too emotional to lose and too emotional to win. I need lessons in awards season," said Winslet, who won double at the Golden Globes earlier this month for her roles in "Revolutionary Road" and "The Reader" and is nominated for an Oscar.

• Tracy Morgan entered the trophy area, talking on his phone and sharing the news that "30 Rock" swept the TV comedy honours, including the ensemble cast award. Then, he claimed his prize from the table and was wowed by its weight. "This is heavy," he said. "It's good hardware. It's the first thing I've ever won in my life." Then, to no one in particular, he added, "I think I won musical chairs one time in kindergarten."

• The ceremony had started, but the trophy table wasn't set up backstage yet. Tuxedoed workers arranged more than a dozen trophies - those hefty bronze statuettes that weigh 12 pounds each - on a long table covered with a black cloth while the night's first awards (female and male actor in a comedy series) were being announced.

• Tracey Ullman said she spent her time on the red carpet spotting stars. "It's great fun. You see who's had work done," she joked. "You see what thespians are aging, who aren't. We just stopped around the corner for a Starbucks, and half the people are in their limos at Starbucks just circling because no one wants to arrive too early."

• Holly Hunter said actors come to these awards to support the union, which has struggled internally over leadership and a possible strike authorization vote. "One of the great powers of the union - any union - is the ability to strike," Hunter said. "And I support them."

• Lifetime achievement honoree James Earl Jones stopped backstage to chat with Forest Whitaker, who presented the award to the legendary star of theatre, film and television. "We haven't talked for a long time," said Jones, who saluted the late Paul Newman during his acceptance speech.

On the Net:
www.sagawards.org

 
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