The 59th Annual Grammy Awards took place on February 12, 2017, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Best Country Solo Performance (“My Church”)
Here is what this Grammy winner said backstage in the Grammy Awards press room.
With four nominations, you were the most-nominated country artist at the Grammys this year, so how does it feel to walk away with a Grammy?
I’m still sort of processing it, but it feels amazing. I was nominated with a lot of my friends in those categories. To walk away with it, it’s really validating.
Can you talk about what going to Grammy Camp meant to you?
I was in the first crop of Grammy campers back in 2005. I think everyone who went to that camp hoped they’d get to be on that stage, or in the pre-tel get to walk away with some hardware, but I never really thought that would happen. So it’s crazy 11 years later to have one.
What was more nerve-racking: performing with Alicia Keys or giving your acceptance speech?
Singing with Alicia, we’ve sung together before, so it sort of feels really natural now, but I was more nervous about actually walking up the steps to accept my award and not falling over my dress. Luckily, that did not happen, but the night is young.
Can you talk about your chemistry with Alicia Keys?
Alicia and I did “CMT Crossroads” a few months ago. It aired in December. Ken Erlich [executive producer of the Grammys telecast] saw the special and thought that if I’m going to be performing, this would be an amazing collaboration. It just felt really natural to be paired with Alicia again because we had already sung together, and we sort of joked that country and soul are cousins. It just seemed natural. She’s stood in my shoes before as a Best New Artist nominee. And she won, back in the day, so it was cool to be sort of ushered in by her today.
How are you going to celebrate?
My family is here. My boyfriend is here. I’m going to my label’s party after this. And I’m going to my first drink in a month. I fit into the dress, so now we can throw down.
Does winning a Grammy put more pressure on you for your next album? And have you started working on it yet?
Well, now that you said it, it does. I don’t know. I don’t really look at things in terms of pressure. I think that’s extremely counter-productive to the creative process. I haven’t started writing my next record, so I guess I’ll have to answer that question later down the line, but if anything, this just gives validation to the fact that that album did something for people. I think going into the next one, it’s going to be fun. I don’t think it’ll be pressured at all.
Celebrity dog trainer Cesar Millan is back for a new TV series called “Cesar Millan’s Dog Nation.” The show premieres in the U.S. on Nat Geo Wild on March 3, 2017, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Here are more details from a Nat Geo Wild press release:
The series will present new challenges for Cesar as he does more than just help dog owners with their pets’ behavioral problems. We uncover inspirational K-9 stories and connect with those that are working to make our world a better place for us and our pets, such as organizations helping veterans and their service dogs, community-run animal rescue groups training K-9 police dogs and therapy dogs that help children with autism. From canine heroes to issues affecting local dog communities, no pup is off limits as the Millans hit the road to help dogs across the country.
During production of “Cesar Millan’s Dog Nation,” the father-and-son duo traveled to seven different cities across the country to find the most unbelievable and inspirational canine stories America has to offer. They met with local hero dogs from Philadelphia, Chicago, the District of Columbia, St. Louis, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles.
Cesar is also sharing the life-changing lessons he learned from the dogs he has worked with, in an exciting new book. For the first time, the No. 1 New York Times best-selling author shares personal insights from decades of experience and eight very special dogs in his life, in “Lessons From the Pack: Stories of the Dogs Who Changed My Life” (National Geographic Books; on sale now everywhere books are sold; ISBN 978-1-4262-1613-8; 240 pages; $24.95).
Premiere Episodes Include:
City of Angels Premieres March 3 at 9/8c
World-renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan and his protege son, Andre, crisscross the United States to work with nonprofit organizations and dog lovers that are helping save millions of canines around the country. Their first stop is in Los Angeles, where they help an amazing golden retriever named Fergus who survived a horrific burning. Fergus’ owners hope that he can someday become a therapy dog for other burn survivors, but they need Cesar to help with the dog’s behavior while on his leash. Then Cesar and Andre pay a visit to The Help Group, a nonprofit that uses dogs to help kids with autism and other special needs. The dogs seem to help with verbal and mental skills, and even motor skills, helping some kids through an obstacle course. Andre has an emotional moment as he reveals a personal connection.
Borderline K9s Premieres March 10 at 9/8c
Cesar and Andre Millan journey down the West Coast to visit with heroes of the canine communities of San Diego. After Cesar’s live demonstration downtown, where hundreds of fans have brought their dogs to get real-time take-home tips, Cesar takes Andre to Tijuana, Mexico, to visit with Dog Rescue Without Borders, an organization that works to help lessen the city’s massive stray dog population. The Millans go on a ride along and help rescue from the streets a stray that is in very poor condition, suffering from mange and a variety of other diseases. While in Tijuana, they pay a visit to Mrs. Franco, a woman who runs an animal sanctuary there.
A Whole New Ball Game Premieres March 17 at 9/8c
World-renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan and his protege son, Andre, travel to San Francisco, California, to help locals with their problem dogs and meet some of Dog Nation’s heroes. The first stop is Cesar’s live event at the Pet Express Dog Adoption Fair, where hundreds of fans have brought their dogs to get real-time take-home tips from the experts. Then, the Millans meet Pali, the founder and president of Rocket Dog Rescue, who canvasses local San Francisco shelters trying to find homes for dogs on the euthanasia list. Pali grew up homeless herself, so she identifies with these dogs that society has forgotten. They travel to an Oakland shelter to see Cassie, a pit bull that has behavior issues that make her a tough dog to home. Finally, Andre visits San Quentin State Prison to learn about a program that matches minimum security inmates with shelter dogs. Both parties benefit here — the shelter dogs have a home, and the inmates gain comfort and connection they otherwise would lack.
Meet Me in St. Louis Premieres March 24 at 9/8c
World-renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan and his protege son, Andre, road trip to St. Louis, Missouri — the Gateway to the West — to help as many members of our dog nation as they can. In this episode, Cesar and Andre work with an organization called Serendipity German Shepherd Dog Rescue. The duo hopes to help the organization with a dog named Bruce Wayne that was recently rescued from a puppy mill and shows signs of anxiety and fear around people. Missouri is considered the capital of the puppy mills of the United States, so Bruce Wayne’s story is sadly a common one in the area. The Millans take this opportunity to meet with some local heroes who have been fighting puppy mill abuse in the state. Finally, Cesar and Andre work with a local shepherd mix named Roxie whose owner abruptly passed away. Both Roxie and her new owner, Arian, are still living with their grief, causing extreme separation anxiety for Roxie.
Cesar Millan’s Dog Nation is produced for Nat Geo Wild by Leepson Bounds Entertainment. Executive producers are Cesar Millan, Bob Aniello, Richard Hall and David Leepson. For Nat Geo WILD, executive producer and senior vice president of development and production is Janet Han Vissering and executive vice president and general manager is Geoff Daniels.
The following is an excerpt from a Bonnaroo press release:
Superfly and A.C. Entertainment are pleased to announce the lineup for the Bonnaroo Comedy Theatre at this year’s 2017 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. The 2017 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will take place June 8 – 11, held as always at Great Stage Park, the spectacular 700-acre farm and event space located just 60 miles south of Nashville in beautiful Manchester, Tennessee. Tickets – including General Admission, VIP, and the brand new Platinum Pass – are on sale now, exclusively via www.bonnaroo.com.
Widely regarded as one of the world-renowned festival’s most inimitable attractions, the Bonnaroo Comedy Theatre will once again see a remarkable selection of comedic talents performing headline sets at an air-conditioned venue in the heart of The Farm. The 2017 Bonnaroo Comedy Theatre lineup is among the most stacked in the event’s history, featuring Bonnaroo veteran Hannibal Burress, Natasha Legerro & Moshe Kasher, 2 Dope Queens (Jessica Williams & Phoebe Robinson), Kyle Kinane, Hari Kondabolu, Mike Lawrence, The Improvised Shakespeare Company, Sam Morril, Jo Firestone, Seaton Smith, Sabrina Jalees, Chris Garcia, and Morgan Miller.
“It’s been so special to watch the Comedy Theatre evolve into something so beloved by the fans and the comedians themselves,” says Bonnaroo comedy programmer Rocky Benloulou-Dubin. “Every year we push ourselves to come up with unique lineups and once-in-a-lifetime collaborations, and this 14th edition has a lot of exciting diversity with emerging and established talent including Bonnaroo veterans and first timers. We’re looking forward to see how the magic unfolds”.
Bonnaroo Comedy Theatre Lineup
Natasha Leggero & Moshe Kasher
2 Dope Queens (Jessica Williams & Phoebe Robinson)
Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XIII was the first Puppy Bowl to air simultaneously on both coasts when it premiered on February 5, 2017 (Super Bowl Sunday) with three hours of puppies playing a mock football game. The inaugural Petco Lombarky trophy was awarded in Puppy Bowl XIII at Geico Stadium, a miniature set built for the TV show.
According to an Animal Planet press release, Puppy Bowl XIII kicked off at Geico Stadium with a special appearance by weather forecaster Mr. Punxsutawney Phil. The famous groundhog and two of his inner circle officiated the coin toss to start the game. This year’s Pedigree Starting Lineup boasted 39 puppies who also competed for the individual Bissell MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) by scoring the most touchdowns with dog-approved toys by Petco. This year’s Bissell MVP was Team Fluff’s Rory, a 17-week-old male poodle mix from Little Dog Rescue in Florida.
For the sixth year in a row, America’s favorite “ Rufferee,” Dan Schachner, returned to call the puppy penalties, furry fumbles and terrier touchdowns.Award-winning animal advocate and television correspondent Jill Rappaport introduced the Subaru Pup Close and Personal segments that highlight some of the heartwarming stories of the adorable athletes.
For Puppy Bowl XIII, Animal Planet worked with 34 different animal shelters and rescue organizations from across 22 states to fill the rosters of #TeamRuff and #TeamFluff with 78 adoptable players for this puppy pile-up. This year, the Bowl also featured three pups with special needs: Doobert (deaf), Lucky (three-legged) and Winston (hearing-and-sight impaired). One special player is drafted to play in Puppy Bowl XIII by celebrity dog Chunk Handler. Plus, viewers got to see the canines conduct their pre-game rituals when the cameras were allowed in the locker room.
While the puppies broke for a cat nap, the Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Kitty Half-Time Show got underway with a performance by the feline musical group Chicago Rock Cats with Kitty Gaga singing “Puparazzi ” to her little monsters of adoptable rescue kittens.
The puppy teams added rescue mascots to their cheering section. Team Ruff gained the watchful eye of Orlando the Screech Owl, and Team Fluff recruited Muffin the Chinchilla who adds another layer of fluff. Getting the fans excited on the sidelines are rescue rabb its and guinea pig cheerleaders who hop into action. “Meep the Bird” got a ma keover and returned as a rescue African Gray Parrot. Meep talked sports with Geico The Gecko and live tweeted updates throughout the big game.
Plus, Puppy Bowl fans got a glimpse of celebrity dogs Chloe the Mini Frenchie, Chloe Kardoggian, Ella Bean, Marnie the Dog, Manny the Frenchie, Mervin the Chihuahua, Sometimes Carl and Toast Meets World with her siblings Muppets Revenge and Underpants the Dog who watched the biggest game of the year from the stands. As always, fans witnessed Puppy Bow’s water bowl cam, slow-motion playback cam and fan-favorite Dairy Queen kiss cam. Viewers won’t miss a minute of excitement with aerial shots of the field from the Sheba Sky Box, and Surge the Hamster was back on his wheel powering the Puppy Bowl score board.
Puppy Bowl Virtual Reality, sponsored by Pedigree, gave viewers a pup’s eye view of the action on the Geico grid iron through the eyes of Buttons, one of this year’s Puppy Bowl XIII players. Not letting her diminutive size hold her back when tackling opponents in a scrimmage spanning two video halves, Buttons played her way through the piles of puppies, chew toys and assistant coaches to score a winning touchdown.
On game day, puppy supporters were invited to vote in the Most Valuable Puppy poll . Viewer votes determined which heavenly hound gets barking rights and the title of Bissell MVP, which will be revealed at the end of the broadcast. Before and during the action, keep an eye out for guest takeovers on Animal Planet Instagram and Snapchat. This year’s roster includes players from AHeinz57 (Iowa), Big Fluffy Dog Rescue (Tennessee), Citizens for Animal Protection (Texas), Last Hope K 9 (Massachusetts), Miami-Dade County Animal Services (Florida), Mr. Bones & Company (New York), Nevada SPCA, Paw Works (California), Stray Rescue (Missouri), among others.
The ASPCA in New York provided adoptable kittens for the Kitty Half-Time Show; the cheerleading rescue rabbits and guinea pigs are from Luv-N- Bunns (Philadelphia) and Helping All Little Things (New Jersey). The chinchilla mascots were provided by Chin Friends Chinchilla Rescue (New York) and the owl flew in from Volunteers for Wildlife (Long Island). The African parrot was provided by Phoenix Landing rescue (Washington, DC).
“Kitten Bowl” is an annual feline “catstravaganza” that airs on Super Bowl Sunday and is presented in association with North Shore Animal League America (the nation’s largest no-kill shelter and animal adoption organization) and Last Hope Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation. Hosted by Beth Stern, a TV personality and national spokesperson for North Shore Animal League America, “Kitten Bowl” is a star-studded lineup that includes legendary New York Yankees radio voice John Sterling and referee Chuck Nice. Hallmark Channel aired the fourth annual “Kitten Bowl” in the U.S. on February 5, 2017. Here are videos and photos from the event.
(All photos by Marc Lemoine/Crown Media United States, LLC)
Grammy-winning singer Lady Gaga is the headliner for Super Bowl LI’s halftime show, which is set to take place at NRG Stadium in Houston on February 5, 2017. Fox will have the U.S. telecast.
Lady Gaga performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl L in 2016. Although there has been speculation that Beyoncé (a former Super Bowl halftime performer and a Houston native) will make a surprise appearance during Lady Gaga’s performance, it’s very unlikely that Beyoncé will perform at the Super Bowl this year, since she is pregnant with twins.
Here are videos related to Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl LI’s halftime performance:
With eight nods, the superhero movie “Captain America: Civil War” leads the list of nominees for Nickelodeon’s 30th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards (KCAs), which will take place March 11, 2017, at USC’s Galen Center in Los Angeles. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” followed closely behind with seven nominations. Kevin Hart received six nominations, while “Ghostbusters” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” garnered five nods each. Hosted by WWE Superstar John Cena, Nickelodeon’s 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards airs on at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon. Cena has previously hosted Australia’s Kids’ Choice Awards in 2008, as well as undergoing a sliming at the first U.K. Kids’ Choice Awards in 2007.
Kids cast their votes for the awards at Nick.com and the Nick app on iPad, iPhone, Kindle and Android devices. Voting for this year’s show opened on February 2. Users will also be able to vote through Twitter and Facebook using special KCA hashtags and the hashtag of their favorite nominee.
This year’s show features nine new categories, including Favorite Frenemies, Most Wanted Pet, Favorite Viral Music Artist, Favorite Global Music Star and #Squad.
Nickelodeon’s 2017 Kids’ Choice Awardsis produced by Nickelodeon Productions. Elizabeth Kelly, Michael Dempsey, Shelly Sumpter Gillyard and Jay Schmalholz are executive producers. Sponsors of Nickelodeon’s 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards include Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Crest, Hot Wheels, Nintendo, Skechers, Toyota and Walmart.
Here is the list of nominees and categories for Nickelodeon’s 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards:
* =new categories:
Favorite TV Show – Kids’ Show “Game Shakers”
“Girl Meets World”
“Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn”
Favorite TV Show – Family Show “Big Bang Theory”
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
Favorite Reality Show “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
“America’s Got Talent”
“American Ninja Warrior”
Favorite Cartoon “ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks”
“Teen Titans Go!”
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”
“The Amazing World of Gumball”
“The Loud House”
Favorite Male TV Star Benjamin Flores Jr. (Triple G, “Game Shakers”) Aidan Gallagher (Nicky, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn) Jack Griffo (Max, The Thundermans) Jace Norman (Henry, Henry Danger) Casey Simpson (Ricky, “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn”) Tyrel Jackson Williams (Leo, “Lab Rats”)
Favorite Female TV Star Rowan Blanchard (Riley, “Girl Meets World”) Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie, “Liv and Maddie”) Lizzy Greene (Dawn, “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn”) Kira Kosarin (Phoebe, “The Thundermans”) Breanna Yde (Tomika, “School of Rock”) Zendaya (K.C., “K.C. Undercover”)
Favorite Movie “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”
“Captain America: Civil War”
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”
Favorite Movie Actor Ben Affleck (Batman, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”) Will Arnett (Vernon, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”) Henry Cavill (Superman, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”) Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, “Captain America: Civil War”) Chris Evans (Captain America, “Captain America: Civil War”) Chris Hemsworth (Kevin, “Ghostbusters”)
Favorite Movie Actress Amy Adams (Lois, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”) Megan Fox (April, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”) Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow, “Captain America: Civil War”) Felicity Jones (Jyn, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) Melissa McCarthy (Abby, “Ghostbusters”) Kristen Wiig (Erin, “Ghostbusters”)
Favorite Animated Movie “Finding Dory”
“The Secret Life of Pets”
Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Ellen DeGeneres (Dory, “Finding Dory”) Kevin Hart (Snowball, “The Secret Life of Pets”) Dwayne Johnson (Maui, “Moana”) Anna Kendrick (Poppy, “Trolls”) Justin Timberlake (Branch, “Trolls”) Reese Witherspoon (Rosita, “Sing”)
Favorite Villain Helena Bonham Carter (The Red Queen, “Alice Through the Looking Glass”) Idris Elba (Krall, “Star Trek Beyond”) Will Ferrell (Mugatu, “Zoolander 2”) Kevin Hart (Snowball, “The Secret Life of Pets”) Charlize Theron (Ravenna, “The Huntsman: Winter’s War”) Spencer Wilding (Darth Vader, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
Favorite Butt-Kicker Ben Affleck (Batman, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”) Henry Cavill (Superman, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”) Chris Evans (Captain America, “Captain America: Civil War”) Chris Hemsworth (The Huntsman, “The Huntsman: Winter’s War”) Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow, “Captain America: Civil War”) Felicity Jones (Jyn, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique, “X-Men: Apocalypse”) Zoe Saldana (Lieutenant Uhura, “Star Trek Beyond”)
BFF’s (Best Friends Forever)*
Ruby Barnhill & Mark Rylance (Sophie/BFG, “The BFG”) Kevin Hart & Dwayne Johnson (Bob/Calvin, “Central Intelligence”) Kevin Hart & Ice Cube (Ben/James, “Ride Along 2”) Chris Pine & Zachary Quinto (Captain Kirk/Spock, “Star Trek Beyond”) Neel Sethi & Bill Murray (Mowgli/ Baloo, “Jungle Book”) Ben Stiller & Owen Wilson (Derek/Hansel, “Zoolander 2”)
Anna Kendrick & Justin Timberlake (Poppy/Branch, “Trolls”)
Ben Affleck & Henry Cavill (Batman/Superman, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”) Chris Evans & Robert Downey Jr. (“Captain America/Iron Man, Captain America: Civil War”) Ginnifer Goodwin & Jason Bateman (Judy/Nick, “Zootopia”) Dwayne Johnson & Auli’I Cravalho (Moana/Maui, “Moana”) Charlize Theron & Emily Blunt (Ravenna/Freya, “The Huntsman: Winter’s War”)
Most Wanted Pet*
Baloo from “The Jungle Book” (Bill Murray)
Dory from “Finding Dory” (Ellen DeGeneres)
Po from “Kung Fu Panda 3” (Jack Black)
Red from “The Angry Birds Movie” (Jason Sudeikis)
Rosita from “Sing” (Reese Witherspoon)
Snowball from “The Secret Life of Pets” (Kevin Hart)
“Captain America: Civil War” – Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman
“Finding Dory” – Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Kaitlin Olson, Hayden Rolence, Willem Dafoe, Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, Eugene Levy
“Ghostbusters” – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” – Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” – Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson
“X-Men: Apocalypse” – James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters, Tye Sheridan, Ben Hardy, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp, Olivia Munn
Favorite Music Group The Chainsmokers
Twenty One Pilots
Favorite Male Singer Drake
Favorite Song “24K Magic” – Bruno Mars
“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” – Justin Timberlake
“Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots
“Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” – Adele
“Side to Side” – Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj
“Work from Home” – Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign
Favorite New Artist Kelsea Ballerini
Twenty One Pilots
Favorite Music Video*
“24K Magic” – Bruno Mars Can’t Stop The Feeling! – Justin Timberlake
“Formation” – Beyoncé
“Juju on That Beat” – Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion McCall
“Me Too” – Meghan Trainor
“Stressed Out” – Twenty One Pilots
Favorite DJ/EDM Artist*
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Here is what these SAG Award winners said backstage in the SAG Awards press room.
What is the role of the artist when it comes to helping society navigate change?
Taraji P. Henson: I think the major role of an artist is to use the art that God gave you to touch and change lives because he put us here. We all look different for reason because we’re here to get along and we have to figure it out so we better damn well figure it out because no one group is better than the other. We’re all humans here to get along and make this big world go around.
Our talents may be in the arts; there may be another talent in journalism. You have a voice. There are doctors that have a voice and have power, and that’s what we’re here to do. So I think that’s what this film represents, and there’s a reason why it was made now and not two years ago, not five years ago, not 10 years ago—because the universe needed it now.
Octavia Spencer: I would footnote that and only to say sometimes we need to provide a little escapism from the realities that we are currently existing in. And this movie, I was feeling a certain kind of way, and I realized that as an actress in this film representing people who were largely under represented that we could make a difference in a way. And I think the fact that we are that the movie is resonating at the box office is saying that people are hearing the message, and they’re feeling the message
Janelle Monáe: I copy and paste everything that the incredible Taraji and Octavia said. And I’m so honored and I feel so thankful to be a part of this cast. I think the colors of us, the nuances of us that all make us unique represent a shared humanity.
And I think this film reminds us that we’ve been through harder times, we’ve been through more difficult times and we got through it back then during the segregation era, and we can get through it now. We just have to remember, in the great words of Kevin Costner, “We all pee the same color.” We really do. We’re not that damn different.
Spencer: Well, if you eat a lot of beets …
Monáe: Right and I think that’s the great thing about America. We get to come here and be our authentically unique selves, and I think that if we continue to embrace the things that make us unique even if it makes others uncomfortable, we will continue to represent those who are oftentimes un-celebrated. And these women are finally hidden no more. So I dedicate my award to Ms. Mary Jackson, the first African-American female engineer at NASA.
Jim Parsons, you’ve got four Emmys and you’ve got a Golden Globe. This is your first-ever SAG Award. What does that mean to you?
Jim Parsons: Oh, this was really, really exciting. I teared up as soon as this happened. I think people can tell when they watch the movie this was an exceptional experience to be a part of in making this, and it was exceptional be on set with everybody. It’s been even exceptional doing press with everybody. Everyone came for the right reasons, and not that you don’t on most projects, but on something about this project in particular, the focus and dedication to telling this story the best and most honest way it could be told was a reverberating through everybody and it feels that same way when we’re together tonight months and months and months after we finished it. This was just exceptionally exciting. I’ll say that.
Octavia, is your Oscar a hidden figure in your house or is it out for everyone to see it?
Spencer: Oscar and the Hasty Pudding and all the wonderful awards that I’ve been given are all out for me to see. I don’t have a lot of people at my house and very seldom home. But I think what we’re going to do is we’re going have a pot luck. Everybody’s going to bring their Oscars, I mean their SAGS, and we’re just going to we’re go celebrate tonight. This is the best award to get the ensemble award because every person was integral to the filmmaking process. I think I want to pass this off to Kirsten Dunst since she hasn’t said anything
Kirsten Dunst: I’m so jet-lagged.
Henson: She’s jet-lagged, but she has things to say.
Dunst: Do I, guys? I don’t know. Does anyone have a question? Anybody? Anybody?
Your character in “Hidden Figures” had to say things that had to be almost embarrassing for you.
Dunst: [She says jokingly] I just pretended my character was very frustrated because she was in love with Octavia so I turned it on its head so but yes, it is very uncomfortable and Octavia was just like, “Just do it just do it, baby. Just do it.” I was, “I love you.”
Henson: We laughed a lot in between takes because you know the subject matter was so like whoa. And so it required us to when Ted [Melfi, director of “Hidden Figures”] yelled “cut” we went into jokes because you have to laugh to keep from crying. I don’t understand what it is to live in times like that you know we have agencies there was women we can say what’s on our minds we can snap our fingers or roll our neck.
But you know, back then, these women didn’t have these voices and what I admire most about them and it makes me think about me in the industry do not focus on the problems. Focus on the solutions. Wallowing in muck and talking about what the problem is not moving us anywhere, what are we going to do to get past this?
Then I think that’s why this film is so timely because we find ourselves—wow, interestingly enough, 1962 again almost, right? But the beautiful thing about where we are today in 2017 is the majority of humanity is on the right side of history, so we have to celebrate that. And fear not, because if you have faith, fear and faith cannot co-exist. You’ve got to choose your side pick your battles. I choose faith.
Here is what this SAG Award winner said backstage in the SAG Awards press room.
Having been involved in this project throughout its Broadway incarnation to today does that make this an extra special moment for you to win this award?
Yeah, I guess so. Seven years ago, [producer] Scott Rudin came to me with the screenplay, and I realized I hadn’t read the play. I read the play. So I called him, and said, “I want to do the play,” and that’s what we did. And we had tremendous success with it. It definitely led me to believe that we could be successful making a film.
You’re playing somebody who had in some way different kinds of challenges. How did you leap from you to him?
You don’t know my past. You don’t know my past. We’re actors. You know you don’t have to kill somebody to play a murderer. So we’re actors. You try to tap into what you can relate to be yourself or someone you love or know. And in the case of August Wilson, it’s all in a play. He’s one of the most brilliant playwrights of our time, of any time, so it’s all there. All the clues are there for you if you if you dig deep.
And because we did it first as a play, it was scary. You don’t know if it’s going to work. you don’t know if you’re going to work in it. But about the third week of rehearsal, and because I had a big part in the play, I’m working with all the actors. About the third week, Viola [Davis] showed us where she was going in that big scene. And I was like, “Oh wait a minute. Okay, I better concentrate on my stuff with her because she delivers.”
What do you think about the huge fence our president wants to build with the Hispanic world, and how many fences did you have to go through to win this award?
This is what I think: I think we as Americans better learn to unite. I think we as Americans need to put our elected officials feet to the fire and demand that they work together or they won’t get back in office. You know, this age we live in, this accelerated Information Age, we’re getting further and further apart. We’re not getting together; we’re getting further and further and further apart.
Everybody can’t be right, but I think this is an opportunity, actually. You see how people are being energized and protesting and all that but I think this is an opportunity for us to look at ourselves as a country as they are we together really and are we holding our elected officials accountable to making sure that they’re working together, not just hey you’re on your side. I win what I win. You win what you win, because this is what is happening. And God only knows where it’s going. And “Fences” was a good movie too.
Only six actors and actresses have won an Oscar three times. What would it mean to you to join that group?
You know, this was really a surprise tonight for me. I wrote some stuff down in case we were picked for Best Ensemble. I just assumed that wasn’t getting [this award]. I’ve been at this a long time so I prepare myself for rejection early on. I was just calm, so I really was surprised and unprepared, to be honest with you. But to be chosen by your fellow actors really is an honor.
We were all the same—some of this little more famous or more money or whatever, but we all basically try to interpret roles. So yes, to be in that company … I’m somebody told me also I think there’s only six actors who had Supporting and Best Actor [Oscars], and I think I’m one of the six. So, obviously, to be in that company would be amazing.
During your speech you were emotional as you spoke about different actors. What was it about the “Fences” cast that really touched you that made you emotional?
When I turned 60, I realized this is not the dress rehearsal. You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse. You can’t take it with you. The Egyptians tried. All they got was robbed. So what are you going to do with what you have? And everybody has something different to give—some money sometimes some patience, some love, some kindness. I get more joy of giving to others.
I’m here to support Viola and all the rest of them and August [Wilson]. I’m good. I’ve won everything that you can win. Man gives the award. God gives the reward. My mother taught me that years ago. And it’s taken me a long time to understand it, but that’s where I’m at I get more joy of seeing others do well.
Here is what this SAG Award winner said backstage in the SAG Awards press room.
You were cut off at the end of your speech. Can you finish any thoughts you had?
That’s a really good point. They just escorted me into a Porta-Potty after that literally was like, “Ooh, what just happened?” Basically, my intention was to express that what I didn’t say was that sometimes in insecure times, I go into my head and think that what I do maybe doesn’t count for anything in the world—like it’s not enough, and I’m not saving lives. And then I was thinking about the art this year, and that in a time like this for so many horrific things are happening it is so special to be part of a group of people who want to reflect what’s happening back to the world and to make people happy.
I’m paraphrasing what I said on stage and I hope it will maybe change perspectives or help people feel less alone. And it’s giving me a lot of a lot of happiness thinking about getting to be just even one person in the cog of all of these actors and an artist that care. And obviously, we’re also citizens of this planet and of this country or not of this country, and either way it doesn’t matter. We have to speak up against injustice and we have to kick some ass. So yeah, that’s not very eloquent here either, but yeah, that general idea.
You mentioned in your speech a little something about feeling insecure sometimes, which is not something we hear actors admit to much but they succumb to it more than we think. Would that be a fair comment?
Well, I don’t want to speak for anyone outside of myself. I think that would be unfair. I’m sure there are many actors that that don’t feel insecure a lot of the time I am not necessarily one of them. But I don’t know what that has to do with being an actor or just someone that you know kind of has a little bit of neurotic wiring. And I really care very much about being better and getting better—and I don’t even mean that as an actor. I mean that as a person. So I don’t know. I can’t speak for them, but I just maybe think a little bit too much.
People are torn sometimes when they’re at an award show to talk about what’s going on in the world at the same time. You can do it in a respectful way too. Do you think it’s important when you have a forum like this and you feel the issue is important enough to talk at least somewhat about what’s going on in the world in this case?
I think that right now is an unprecedented time, so I don’t know if I would say forever yes. But I think if we’re human beings and we see injustice we have to speak up because staying silent, as they say, only really helps the oppressor. It never helps the victim.
So I think that, yes, right now I would hope that everyone that’s seeing things being done that are absolutely unconstitutional and inhumane would say something in any venue, whether it’s at school or at an award show or in their offices or online. I would hope that people would fight for what’s right and what’s fucking human. This is a time unlike any other, so it’s amazing to see people speaking up and taking action—more than anything else—taking action.