‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ Lead Actors Ineligible for SAG Awards

beasts-of-the-southern-wildWhile the Oscars are generally considered the most prestigious awards in film, for actors the Screen Actors Guild Award also have special significance. Unfortunately for the actors in Fox Searchlight’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, because the low-budget film was not produced by the guidelines of SAG-AFTRA’s Low Budget Feature Agreement its actors will not be eligible for the SAG Awards.

With a budget of only $1.3 million and a desire for realism, director Benh Zeitlin cast locals in most roles, including lead actors Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry, neither of whom have ever acted before (thus they were not members of SAG-AFTRA).  Fox Searchlight and the film’s international distributors could potentially restore the film’s eligibility by bringing the film into compliance with the Low Budget Feature Agreement, but that would mean all the companies would have to pay the actors more, something they’re not likely to do just to restore eligibility.

Regardless, Zeitlin doesn’t feel like Wallis and Henry are missing out on much even if they aren’t eligible.  He told The Hollywood Reporter, “Against all logic and planning, two incredible first-time actors won the lead roles in Beasts.  I’m positive they both have long and amazing acting careers in front of them.”  In fact, both will appear in director Steve McQueen‘s Twelve Years a Slave that is due out next year.

The film’s lack of eligibility for the SAG Awards might hurt the Oscar chances of the film, as nominations and wins throughout awards season tend to build Oscar buzz among Oscar voters (many of whom are also SAG-AFTRA members).  Of course, Fox Searchlight can build Oscar buzz for the film in other ways since the SAG Awards aren’t the only game in town, and many actors who weren’t nominated for an SAG award for a film performance still wind up being nominated for an Oscar for the same performance.

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/sally-field-hello-my-name-is-doris.jpg
Sally Field On Improvisation, How She Chooses Her Roles and ‘Hello, My Name is Doris’
“There’s a dearth of roles for women. I turn down a lot of stuff because there’s just nothing in it for me to do.” – Sally Field   Actress Sally Field put in an appearance at SXSW last week to promote her new film, Hello My Name is Doris. Michael Showalter has directed the movie […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Will-Ferrell-Get-Hard.jpg
Will Ferrell on His Comedy Roots, ‘Get Hard’ and His Favorite Roles to Play
Ferrell was on hand to take part in a Q&A and spoke more about how working with Hart came about. When asked if he chooses his projects based on who he wants to work with, or the script itself, Ferrell explained that each project was different.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/daniel-dae-kim.jpg
Hawaii Five-0’s Daniel Dae Kim Talks Directorial Debut: “The first day I had to yell action, it was kind of odd”
Hawaii Five-0‘s Daniel Dae Kim, who fans know best as Chin Ho Kelly, recently made his directorial debut on the CBS series. Kim shared his experience with The Hollywood Reporter, saying that his experience was “weird at first,” as he had to direct his co-stars. “The first day I had to yell action, it was […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Ellie-Kemper-Unbreakable-Kimmy-Schmidt.jpg
Ellie Kemper on ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, Doomsday Cults and Tina Fey
When Ellie Kemper joined The Office in season 5, her character Erin Hannon wasn’t intended to be one of the show’s primary characters. However, Kemper won producers over with her portrayal of the cheerful, naive receptionist and Erin was heavily featured in the series’ final seasons. Her portrayal also impressed 30 Rock producers Tina Fey […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/lily-james-cinderella.jpg
Lily James on Auditioning for ‘Cinderella’ and the Hardest Scenes She Had to Shoot
"The good thing is wearing something like that sort of changes how you stand and it gives you a sense of grace that you can use to your advantage as an actor" - Lily James on wearing corsets