SAG Predictions: Best Actor – Could Riz Ahmed Be a Spoiler for Boseman and Hopkins?

Clayton Davis
·7 min read

Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars from Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis. Following Academy Awards history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar predictions are updated regularly with the current year's contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. Eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and will be displayed next to revision date.

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2021 SAG AWARDS PREDICTIONS:
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

UPDATED: Jan. 14, 2020

Though a small group of jury members, Riz Ahmed turned a few heads when he won best actor at the Gotham Awards. There have been instances throughout SAG history where a contender tilts the scale in their favor with this guild (examples like Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything” and Rami Malek in “Bohemian Rhapsody”). On the other hand, this is also the group that loves to award older talents they couldn’t honor during their heyday (examples like Christopher Walken in “Catch Me If You Can”). This could help Anthony Hopkins, who hasn’t won a SAG award yet in his career.

(Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2020-2021)

AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

  1. Chadwick Boseman
    "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" (Netflix)

    ROLE: Levee
    SAG HISTORY: 1 nomination, 1 win
    (2019) - "Black Panther" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture


    DIRECTOR: George C. Wolfe
    SYNOPSIS: Chicago, 1927. A recording session. Tensions rise between Ma Rainey, her ambitious horn player and the white management determined to control the uncontrollable "Mother of the Blues". Based on Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson's play..
    STARRING: Chadwick Boseman, Dusan Brown, Jonny Coyne, Viola Davis, Colman Domingo, Taylour Paige, Michael Potts, Jeremy Shamos, Glynn Turman

  2. Anthony Hopkins
    "The Father" (Sony Pictures Classics)

    ROLE: Anthony
    SAG HISTORY: 6 nominations
    (2019) - "King Lear" - Male actor in a television movie or limited series (TV)
    (2017) - "Westworld" - Cast ensemble in a drama series (TV)
    (2007) - "Bobby" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture
    (1998) - "Amistad" - Male actor in a supporting role in a motion picture
    (1996) - "Nixon" - Male actor in a leading role in a motion picture and cast ensemble in a motion picture


    DIRECTOR: Florian Zeller
    SYNOPSIS: A man refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.
    STARRING: Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, Anthony Hopkins, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell, Olivia Williams

  3. Riz Ahmed
    "Sound of Metal" (Amazon Studios)

    ROLE: Ruben
    SAG HISTORY: 1 nomination
    (2017) - "The Night Of" - Male actor in a television movie or limited series (TV)


    DIRECTOR: Darius Marder
    SYNOPSIS: A heavy-metal drummer's life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.
    STARRING: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Mathieu Almaric, Lauren Ridloff

  4. Delroy Lindo
    "Da 5 Bloods" (Netflix)

    ROLE: Paul
    SAG HISTORY: 2 nominations
    (2000) - "The Cider House Rules" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture
    (1996) - "Get Shorty" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture


    DIRECTOR: Spike Lee
    SYNOPSIS: Four African American vets battle the forces of man and nature when they return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their fallen squad leader and the gold fortune he helped them hide.
    STARRING: Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Jonathan Majors, Chadwick Boseman, Isiah Witlock, Jr,, Norm Lewis

  5. Steven Yeun
    "Minari" (A24)

    ROLE: Jacob
    SAG HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Lee Isaac Chung
    SYNOPSIS: A Korean family moves to Arkansas to start a farm in the 1980s.
    STARRING: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan S. Kim, Yuh-jung Youn, Will Patton

NEXT IN LINE CONTENDERS:

  1. John David Washington
    "Malcolm & Marie" (Netflix)

    ROLE: Malcolm
    SAG HISTORY: 2 nominations
    (2019) - "BlacKkKlansman" - Male actor in a leading role in a motion picture and cast ensemble in a motion picture


    DIRECTOR: Sam Levinson
    SYNOPSIS: A director and his girlfriend's relationship is tested after they return home from his movie premiere and await critics' responses.
    STARRING: John David Washington, Zendaya

  2. Kingsley Ben-Adir
    "One Night in Miami" (Amazon Studios)

    ROLE: Malcolm X
    SAG HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Regina King
    SYNOPSIS: A fictional account of one incredible night in 1964, where four icons of activism, sports and music – Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke – gathered, discussing their roles in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the ’60s.
    STARRING: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom, Jr.

  3. Gary Oldman
    "Mank" (Netflix)

    ROLE: Herman J. Mankiewicz
    SAG HISTORY: 2 nominations, 1 win
    (2018) - "Darkest Hour" - Male actor in a leading role in a motion picture - WINNER
    (2001) - "The Contender" - Male actor in a supporting in a motion picture


    DIRECTOR: David Fincher
    SYNOPSIS: 1930s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of Citizen Kane for Orson Welles.
    STARRING: Tom Burke, Lily Collins, Joseph Cross, Charles Dance, Monika Gossman, Ferdinand Kingsley, Jamie McShane, Tuppence Middleton, Toby Leonard Moore, Gary Oldman, Tom Pelphrey, Amanda Seyfried, Sam Troughton

  4. Lakeith Stanfield
    "Judas and the Black Messiah" (HBO Max/Warner Bros.)

    ROLE: William O'Neal
    SAG HISTORY: 2 nominations
    (2019) - "Atlanta" - Cast ensemble in a comedy series (TV)
    (2018) - "Get Out" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture


    DIRECTOR: Shaka King
    SYNOPSIS: The story of Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, and his fateful betrayal by FBI informant William O'Neal.
    STARRING: Lakeith Stanfield, Daniel Kaluuya, Dominique Fishback, Jesse Plemons, Martin Sheen, Dominique Thorne, Algee Smith, Lil Rel Howery, Jermaine Fowler

  5. Tom Hanks
    "News of the World" (Universal Pictures)

    ROLE: Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd
    SAG HISTORY: 8 nominations, 2 wins
    (2020) - "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" - Male actor in a supporting role in a motion picture
    (2014) - "Captain Phillips" - Male actor in a leading role in a motion picture
    (2001) - "Cast Away" - Male actor in a leading role in a motion picture
    (2000) - "The Green Mile" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture
    (1999) - "Saving Private Ryan" - Male actor in a leading role in a motion picture and cast ensemble in a motion picture
    (1996) - "Apollo 13" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture - WINNER
    (1995) - "Forrest Gump" - Male actor in a leading role in a motion picture - WINNER


    DIRECTOR: Paul Greengrass
    SYNOPSIS: A Civil War veteran agrees to deliver a girl, taken by the Kiowa people years ago, to her aunt and uncle, against her will. They travel hundreds of miles and face grave dangers as they search for a place that either can call home.
    STARRING: Tom Hanks, Helena Zengel, Elizabeth Marvel, Mare Winningham, Michael Angelo Covino, Ray McKinnon

UNRANKED AWARDS CONTENDERS:

† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in the lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories

The Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by SAG-AFTRA, is an annual award show that has become one of the most important and key indicators for the Oscars. Four films have won the most SAG awards with three: 1999’s “American Beauty,” 2002’s “Chicago,” 2011’s “The Help” and 2017’s “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Three movies have been nominated for the most SAG awards with five: 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love,” “Chicago” and 2008’s “Doubt.”

The SAG Awards are scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 4, 2021

2021 SAG Awards Predictions (Film)

2021 Golden Globes Predictions (Film)

2021 Academy Awards Predictions

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