Viola Davis became one of the only two Black women to win the SAG Award for best actress in a film. The actress won the award for her lead role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the 2021 SAG Awards.
While she was giving her acceptance speech, she thanked the film’s cast, including the “beautiful” Chadwick Boseman. The crew included director George C. Wolfe, the film’s producers including Denzel Washington; and August Wilson.
August wrote the play on which the film was based. Viola thanked him for “leaving a legacy to actors of color that we can relish for the rest of our lives.” Just moments after, Chadwick also won another posthumous award for his role in the movie.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom received three award nominations including best cast, along with Minari for the most film award nominations. However, The Trial of the Chicago 7 ended up with the award for the category of best cast. Meanwhile, Viola was up against fellow nominees Amy Adams, Vanessa Kirby, Frances McDormand, and Carey Mulligan.
Many people expected Carey to win the award for her role in Promising Young Woman. The actress, however, did win Critics Choice Award for best actress. Carey has also received many such honors from a number of critics’ groups. Andra Day also won the best actress in a drama Golden Globe and is nominated for the best actress Oscar. She did not receive a nomination for SAG-AFTRA.
Viola & Halle Berry Only Two Black Women To Win
The other nominations in the category excluding Amy have also been nominated for the best actress Oscar. People might not have expected Viola to win but when we look back at her and Carey’s track record at the SAG Awards, Carey has never won an award. However, Viola has received five trophies.
This will mark as Viola’s sixth SAG Awards win as the last time she won was in 2017 for her supporting role in Fences. Before that the actress won the award for best actress in a drama series for her role in How to Get Away With Murder in 2015 and 2016. Back in 2012, Viola had won best actress for her role in The Help. She was also the part of winning best cast.
Viola and Halle Berry are the only Black women to win the SAG Award for lead actress in a film. Halle had been the only Black woman to win the Oscar for best actress which she got back in 2002. If Davis wins the best actress Oscar, she’ll be only the second Black woman to ever receive that trophy.