'Chicago' claims ensemble acting award from Screen Actors Guild in march toward Oscars
Monday, March 10th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The cutthroat musical ``Chicago'' tap-danced away with a haul of movie honors at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, including best ensemble cast and the lead-actress prize for star Renee Zellweger.
The event Sunday was the last of Hollywood's award ceremonies before the Academy Awards on March 23, where ``Chicago'' leads nominees with 13 bids, including best picture.
``Chicago'' also has won best musical-comedy at the Golden Globe Awards and its filmmaker, movie newcomer Rob Marshall, received the top directing honor last week from the Directors Guild of America.
``From day one, we were a family. We were just a family doing this,'' said ``Chicago'' co-star Richard Gere, who lost in the lead-actor class at the guild ceremony but made the acceptance speech on behalf of his castmates. ``There was such love in this production.''
Daniel Day-Lewis won in the lead movie actor for playing a vicious 19th-century thug in ``Gangs of New York,'' saying all he ever wanted to be was a film performer.
``When I was starting out, we were led to believe quite clearly that our futures _ if we were lucky enough to work _ were going to be in the theater ... But I had a guilty secret because I had seen a place in the sun,'' he said, recalling all-night movie-watching sessions that included ``On the Waterfront'' and ``A Streetcar Named Desire.''
Catherine Zeta-Jones claimed the supporting movie actress award for playing a jazz-singing murderess whose fame has waned in ``Chicago,'' and Christopher Walken won for playing the father of a con artist in ``Catch Me If You Can.''
Guild nominations are chosen by 4,200 randomly selected members of the union. The guild's full membership of 98,000 was eligible to vote for final winners.
Over the past eight years, 12 of 16 lead-acting guild recipients went on to win Oscars. Last year, Halle Berry won both honors for ``Monster's Ball,'' while Russell Crowe won the guild award for ``A Beautiful Mind'' but lost the Oscar to Denzel Washington for ``Training Day.''
James Gandolfini and Edie Falco won their second guild awards for their starring roles in HBO's gangster drama ``The Sopranos,'' after previously winning dramatic TV performance honors in 2000. However, the show lost the TV dramatic ensemble prize to HBO's ``Six Feet Under,'' about a family-owned funeral home.
The TV comedy ensemble winner was CBS's ``Everybody Loves Raymond.'' For a second consecutive year, TV comedy performer trophies went to co-stars Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes of NBC's ``Will & Grace.''
Clint Eastwood also was honored with a lifetime achievement award.
Eastwood made his breakthrough on the 1959 TV series ``Rawhide'' and became a film star playing mysterious gunslingers in Westerns such as ``The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,'' (1966) and the rogue cop in the ``Dirty Harry'' movies.
Since 1971, he has directed 24 films and starred in most of them, including ``Pale Rider,'' (1985), ``The Bridges of Madison County'' (1995), and ``Unforgiven,'' (1992), which won Academy Awards for best picture and director.
``I hope this doesn't mean that I'm supposed to collect my pension and head on down the road cause that ain't in the game for me,'' he said.