Korean-Canadian actress Sandra Oh and Filipino-American actor Darren Criss have had a good television awards season, and on Sunday, both took home prizes at the 2019 SAG Awards.
Oh won “Best Actress in a Drama Series) for Killing Eve, the acclaimed BBC feminist cat-and-mouse show about an MI5 officer trying to track down a female serial killer with the two discovering a sexy, mutual attraction for one another.
Criss won “Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie” for playing real life murderer Andrew Cunanan in FX’s historical drama The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. A gay spree killer, Cunanan would often befriend wealthy older men in order to enjoy the perks of their spending money. His kills included several of his former lovers as well as Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace.
On and Criss’s many wins this season represent historic landmarks forward for Asians in the entertainment industry. Oh also won the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award while being nominated for an Emmy. Criss enjoyed the extremely rare “clean sweep,” winning every single major award for his performance.
Both Oh and Criss naturally used their time with the mic to cast light on social causes that are important to them.
In her acceptance speech, Oh celebrated fellow performers and friends who has supported her over the years, many of them African-American.
In her words:
I celebrate my fellow nominees…all the fellow creative dreamers and actors — I have felt your support so tremendously. I want to thank Alfre Woodard-in 1997 she whispered in my ear I’m so proud of you out there. We fight the same fight. Jamie Foxx pulled me aside in 2006 and said ‘keep going and in 2017 Lena Waithe , she just embraced me and said you already won. It’s in the work
Criss’s speech highlighted the importance of awareness after tragedies and acts of violence.
I find it appropriate that this statuette is sort of choosing between which masks to use, and the character that I played, Andrew Cunanan, unfortunately, used masks to destroy things. So as an actor, my goal is to hopefully create something positive, to use masks to create a positive change. So for all of the friends and families that are still affected by the destruction that he wrought, I hope that they know our goal was not to make a spectacle of their tragedy but to create a positive dialogue about social issues and bring to justice things that were in the shadows.
Killing Eve Season 2 has concluded filming and is set to air in Spring of 2019.