THE IRISH-DIRECTED Room received a major boost overnight as Brie Larson picked up the best actress award for her role in the movie at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles.
The American actress described her young co-star Jacob Tremblay as “my inspiration” in her speech. She also thanked director Lenny Abrahamson and screenwriter Emma Donoghue, who adapted the script from her own novel.
Larson is also Oscar-nominated for Room, which is in the running for a total of four awards ahead of the 28 February ceremony.
Abrahamson is also up for Best Director, Donoghue is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay – and the movie’s also in the running for Best Film.
Spotlight, a drama about sexual abuse in the Catholic church in Boston, won the top prize at the awards, landing the gong for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture.
The ceremony also saw black actors score major wins.
The awards, seen as a bellwether of the Oscars, were being closely watched amid the controversy over the lack of diversity in this year’s list of nominees.
Leonardo DiCaprio won the best actor prize for The Revenant, while Idris Elba scooped two awards – one for best supporting actor for Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation, and one for best actor in a TV series for his role as a detective in Luther.
“Welcome to diverse TV,” joked Elba, who was passed over for an Oscar nomination, as he presented an award during the ceremony at LA’s Shrine Auditorium.
Uzo Aduba took home the award for outstanding actress in a comedy series for her role as Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’ Warren in Netflix’s prison comedy-drama Orange is the New Black. The TV series also won for the second consecutive year for best comedy ensemble.
“Look at this stage, this is what we talk about when we talk about diversity – different race, color, creed, sexual orientation,” actress Laura Prepon, who plays Alex Vause in the series, told the audience, referring to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
Viola Davis meanwhile won best actress for legal drama series How to Get Away With Murder, while Queen Latifah won for outstanding actress in a television movie or miniseries for her role in HBO’s Bessie, a biopic of the blues singer Bessie Smith.
“We’ve become a society of trending topics,” Davis told reporters backstage after her win.
Includes reporting from AFP.