How Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway and Other Stars Got Their SAG Cards

Jessica Toomer
The Hollywood Reporter
How Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway and Other Stars Got Their SAG Cards

A wave of nostalgia hit the red carpet  (and main stage) at last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards as Hollywood’s elite reminisced about their days as struggling artists and how they finally got their golden ticket: the highly coveted SAG card.

Not surprisingly, the long-standing TV show Law & Order paved the way for actors such as Nurse Jackie's Peter Facinelli and Modern Family’s Ty Burrell to make their mark in the business. Facinelli spoke candidly about his start, admitting he dropped out of college in order to be on the show. “I didn't get my diploma, but I got my SAG card," he shared on last night’s red carpet. 

Funny man Burrell, along with the rest of the Modern Family cast, took home a SAG award last night for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series, but said his dramatic turn on the crime show was a little less memorable, which allowed him to keep coming back for different roles. “Nobody noticed that now I was playing an assassin," he quipped.

Olivia Pope may be a no nonsense crisis manager on Capitol Hill, but in real life, Scandal star Kerry Washington had a more PG rated beginning. “The ABC after school special Magical Makeover is what earned me my SAG card and I'm back here at ABC still. I think I was a cheerleader in it,” the actress revealed to E! on the red carpet

Helen Hunt of The Sessions made everyone feel unaccomplished for their age after revealing she earned her way into the club at age nine and has since held an assortment of roles including a, "waitress, a cuckoo clock, a quarterback and a sex surrogate," she deadpanned at the beginning of the broadcast. 

Les Miserables star Anne Hathaway, who took home an actor for outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role, became emotional when recounting her beginnings in Hollywood during her acceptance speech. "I got my SAG card when I was 14," she said. "It felt like the beginning of the world. I have loved every single minute of my life as an actor." 

Jane Krakowski’s of 30 Rock poked fun at her age when recounting her SAG card moment at the start of the show. The star got her start at 12 years old, playing Chevy Chase’s niece in National Lampoon’s Vacation, but today, at the ripe age of 44, she joked she’d play a much different role for the same film. “Today, I would be cast as his wife. In two years, I will play his mother." 

But the award for best SAG card story goes to Jennifer Lawrence, who mentioned her first gig during her acceptance speech after winning the actor for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her work in Silver Linings Playbook. The refreshingly un-filtered actress began her turn at the podium by thanking MTV.

“I did an MTV promo for My Super Sweet 16. I remember getting [the card] in the mail and it being the best day of my entire life because it officially made me a professional actor. Which put me in a category with all of you,”she shared. “And now I have this naked statue that means that some of you even voted for me.”