SAG Awards Bring Idled Actors Together

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LOS ANGELES — It became a mutual admiration society when the cast of "No Country For Old Men" showed up backstage to collect their Screen Actors Guild awards while winners of the best movie actor and actress awards were still lingering at the trophy table.

Best actress winner Julie Christie lauded fellow winner Daniel Day-Lewis' performance in "There Will Be Blood," telling him, "It was excellent."

After thanking her, Day-Lewis turned around to receive a hug from "No Country" co-star Josh Brolin.

At the same time, Woody Harrelson was telling "No Country" castmate Tommy Lee Jones how much he admired his work,

"You keep blowing me away, man," Harrelson said.

Moments later, Javier Bardem, holding a supporting movie actor trophy in one hand and a movie cast award in the other, stopped to pose for a picture with Brolin, one of his "No Country" co-stars.

It was only fitting. Minutes before, as he accepted the award on behalf of the entire "No Country" cast, Brolin had remarked: "This is Javier Bardem's 497th award. It's sad, sad for the rest of us."


A REUNION FOR IDLED ACTORS: The SAG awards doubled as a reunion of sorts for hundreds of out-of-work actors, many of whom haven't seen each other since their TV shows ended production in December.

That's when new scripts ran out and production stopped because of the writers strike, which is entering its third month. Earlier this month, the normally glitzy Golden Globe awards were reduced to a news conference, denying stars a chance to strut their stuff.

"The mood on the carpet is a little more intense because this is the first show we can really come out and do what we do," said Tichina Arnold, who plays the mom on "Everybody Hates Chris."

America Ferrera and Vanessa Williams, who both received SAG award nominations for their work on "Ugly Betty," caught up with co-stars Becki Newton and Judith Light.

"This is a fun way just to get together," said Newton, who plays Amanda on the ABC show. "The cast of `Ugly Betty' cannot wait to get back to work. We love our jobs."

Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross and James Denton were among the "Desperate Housewives" cast represented.

"I miss them," Cross said of her colleagues.


BRANGELINA A HIT AT SAG: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie caused a stir among even their fellow stars as Hollywood's hottest couple walked the red carpet at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

"I've never been this close to them," gushed Eva Longoria, who craned her neck to catch a glimpse. "Oh my gosh, she's stunning."

Pitt and Jolie stayed on the other side of the carpet from most reporters, delighting screaming bleacher fans by signing autographs and posing for photos.


VIGGO IN HIGH FASHION: Viggo Mortensen, nominated for a leading actor Oscar for "Eastern Promises," turned his share of heads Sunday night when he arrived sporting a full beard and decked out in a flashy blue-and-red, pinstriped tuxedo.

"Look at you!" said fellow Oscar nominee Javier Bardem as he stopped to say hello on the red carpet. Christopher Walken simply greeted Mortensen with a kiss.


A SOPRANOS REUNION: It was reunion time backstage when 15 principal members of "The Sopranos" cast showed up to claim their trophies for best TV drama ensemble.

"Do we get one now?" Steve Schirripa asked excitedly.

"Yea, we get one now!" Lorraine Bracco exclaimed when she caught site of the hardware.

Only one award was handed out on stage, so the group had rushed back in search of the other 14.

As they lingered by the awards table, cast members also did some stargazing.

"Mary Hart, how are you?" Schirripa bellowed when he saw the "Entertainment Tonight" anchor.

"He's very shy," quipped co-star Edie Falco.

Steven Van Zandt was particularly excited to see Javier Bardem, who won for supporting movie actor for "No Country For Old Men."

"He's the best," said Van Zandt, who also doubles as Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band guitarist.

Meanwhile, Dan Grimaldi stayed true to "Sopranos" character when he noted how heavy the trophies were.

"If a fight breaks out, we're in good shape," he said.


FIRST-TIMERS: Ellen Page, Nikki Blonsky and Marion Cotillard were among the first-timers at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Page and Cotillard lost out to Julie Christie in the competition for leading female actor in a motion picture. Each will get another chance at next month's Oscar awards, where the three are nominated in the same category.

"To be here with so many people I admire and respect, it's so humbling," said Page, a 20-year-old who starred in the teen pregnancy comedy "Juno." "It's hard to wrap my head around. I'm speechless."

Cotillard, the French actress who played Edith Piaf in "La Vie En Rose," said she loves new experiences "and this is a very new experience."

Blonsky was shut out of a nomination for the Golden Globes, SAG awards and Oscars, but she shared a SAG cast nomination for "Hairspray."

"This is amazing," she said. "I'm looking at the cast of `The Sopranos' right now. I really feel honored."


Associated Press Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this story.