The cast of Downton Abbey flew the flag for Britain at the US Screen Actors Guild Awards last night, beating American shows Homeland, Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire to the prize for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series.
Daniel Day-Lewis also brought home the best film actor award for his protrayal of the former US president in Steven Spielberg’s biopic Lincoln, just a fortnight after landing a Golden Globe for the role.
A stunned Phyllis Logan – who plays Downton Abbey’s head housekeeper Mrs Hughes – accepted the award for the ITV show, saying “We were so not expecting this. Shut the French windows, honestly! We would like to thank, first of all, SAG for even bothering to consider us… We’re just so overwhelmed by it all.”
Michelle Dockery was also among the Downton cast to attend the awards but missed out on the best actress in a drama series award, along with fellow Downton star Maggie Smith.
Accepting his award for Lincoln, Daniel Day-Lewis said “It occurred to me it was an actor that murdered Abraham Lincoln. And therefore, somehow it is only so fitting that every now and then an actor tries to bring him back to life again.”
Day-Lewis could claim a record-breaking third best actor Oscar for the performance at next month’s Academy Awards. Asked backstage about possibility, he joked: “Members of the Academy love surprises.”
Meanwhile, Lincoln’s best picture rival Argo, directed by and starring Ben Affleck, claimed the SAG Award for best performance by an ensemble in a film. But Homeland’s British star Damian Lewis failed to add to his Golden Globe in the best actor in a drama series category.
See the full list of SAGA winners below:
Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Supporting actor: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Supporting actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Stunt ensemble: Skyfall
Actor in a movie or miniseries: Kevin Costner Hatfields & McCoys
Actress in a movie or miniseries: Julianne Moore, Game Change
Actor in a drama series: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”