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Parasite makes history at Screen Actors Guild Awards

LOS ANGELES : Parasite shocked the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday by landing the night's top prize, a historic win which thrusts the South Korean black comedy into Oscars contention.

The critical smash hit film overcame the language barrier to win outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, beating Bombshell, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

"I'm a little embarrassed feeling like we're the parasites of Hollywood now," joked actor Lee Sun-kyun.

Director Bong Joon-ho said: "It is true that the momentum is building and we are a part of the awards race and campaign. But what happened today, what's truly important, is that these actors were acknowledged by fellow peers as the best ensemble cast of this year."

The four acting favourites for the Oscars all cemented their front runner statuses by piling on further trophies at the SAG Awards.

Joaquin Phoenix won best actor for Joker and said he was "standing here on the shoulders of my favourite actor Heath Ledger", who posthumously won an Oscar playing the same character in 2008's The Dark Knight.

Renee Zellweger compounded her relentless awards sweep playing Judy Garland in Judy and praised her "extraordinary sisters" in the acting community.

Brad Pitt added another supporting actor gong for playing an ageing stuntman in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

"Let's be honest, it was a difficult part - a guy who gets high, takes his shirt off and doesn't get along with his wife. It was a big stretch," he joked.

Laura Dern added a further supporting actress win for her portrayal of a feisty divorce lawyer in Marriage Story.

Robert De Niro, the star of Oscars contender The Irishman, received the guild's life achievement award.

The SAG Awards also honour television, where Jennifer Aniston won for best actress in a drama for the Apple TV+ series The Morning Show, and Peter Dinklage won best actor for playing Tyrion Lannister in Game Of Thrones.

MISSED OUT

But the fantasy series missed out on the ensemble honour to Netflix's royal drama The Crown.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge added to her bulging trophy cabinet with best actress in a comedy, but her Fleabag surprisingly missed out on the ensemble prize to last year's winner The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, for which Tony Shalhoub won best actor.

Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams won the limited series awards for their roles in Fosse/Verdon. - AFP

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