On Sunday, March 7th The 26th annual Critics Choice Awards aired live on The CW television network, to honor the finest achievement in film and television, via an in-person/virtual hybrid ceremony, hosted by acclaimed actor Taye Diggs.
The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics association in the United States and Canada. This organization consists of over 400 television, radio, and online critics and entertainment reporters. The Critics Choice Awards is largely recognized as the most accurate predictor of Academy Awards nominations.
Chloé Zhao’s film Nomadland took home the most wins in the film category, while Netflix’s The Crown lead the series category with four wins. Other big winners of the night included Apple Tv+’s Ted Lasso and the Netflix original film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Many of the Critic’s Choice Awards winners spoke with the press after receiving their awards.
Gillian Anderson, who won Best Supporting Actress In A Drama Series for her role in The Crown, shared what drew her to the role of Margaret Thatcher. She said “I hadn’t seen any scripts when I had said yes. So it was just based on the reputation of The Crown.” Anderson also added that she believes, “it’s better to say yes to things if you think you might have a chance to be able to do it than not. And for whatever reason, I felt like I might know how to play her.” She also shared which episode made her realize that this story could be something really special, “We had a chance really early on to do the Balmoral episode, where there is quite a lot of humor there and it is a really good example of the relationship between Thatcher and her husband, played by Stephen Boxer. It just kind of allowed us to have fun and to play with the things we had been studying and to dive into their mannerisms and their corkiness and the range of her personality really comes out in that.”
Uzo Abuda took home the award for Best Supporting Actress In A Movie/Miniseries, for her role in the Hulu miniseries Mrs. America. Abuda revealed that she would be celebrating her win by ordering sushi and watching The Real Housewives, before sharing what she loved about playing her character. She said, “I love Shirley Chisholm because of her strength. I think the possibility she inspired in so many women who came after her, not only just in politics, but in all areas of life…That anything is possible despite no existing template. You can be and do anything that you want to be in this life.” Abuda also discussed how her character has influenced her in her own life. She said, “I was influenced by her power and her strength and I think the thing that I will take with me always, that I got most out of her story, is believing in what you think is possible for yourself and being sure to live for the definition you have for yourself, not the definitions or limitations that others have.”
The award for Best Actress In A Movie/Miniseries went to Anya Taylor-Joy for her role as Beth Harmon in the Netflix original miniseries The Queen’s Gambit. Taylor-Joy shared that she sees chess as a beautiful metaphor for life. She said that it’s taught her that “You can have a plan but that you have to be able to adapt. You have to be able to pivot. You have to be able to think on your feet. That it’s important to attack but also to defend and that you have to learn when to do both. And that you need all the pieces on the board. It’s not just the queen roaming around. You need every single one of them.” Taylor-Joy also spoke about how important it was to her that this project was a miniseries. “If it had been a movie, it wouldn’t have been enough time with Beth. If we had shot the film and it would have ended, I would have been in a very strange mental space. I needed to know she was okay and having the opportunity to spend 7 hours with her and 7 hours kind of just digging in, by the end of it, I was actually kind of ready. Not to let her go but I felt like I could. I didn’t feel this panic anymore” she said. The last thing Taylor-Joy touched on was her acting process. She said, “I act usually from a place of empathy and so I treat the character as if they’re my best friend or sister or roommate. You know somebody that I live very close with. I make a real effort to make them walk differently, talk different, laugh, cry different. And from the second I read Beth in the book, I realized that in order to tell the story truthfully, I had to give up a lot more of myself and I had to let that be seen and I’d never done that before.”
Jason Sudeikis won the Best Actor In A Comedy Series award for his role as Ted Lasso in the Ted Lasso original series on Apple TV+. Sudeikis has recently gained a lot of coverage for his decision to wear a hoodie to the Golden Globe Awards. Tonight he wore another hoodie that was a nod to his role in the film Booksmart directed by Olivia Wilde. Sudeikis mentioned in his acceptance speech that Wilde felt the role of Ted Lasso would be good for him. After receiving his award he later added, “ She knew that Brendan and I and our buddy Joe really enjoyed the first two commercials that the character sort of started in and served as the impetus for the shenanigans we’re doing on Apple TV+ now. And I think she just knew we had a good time making it together so why not try to keep those vibes going.” Sudeikis also reflected on how special it was to him to see his co-star Hannah Waddingham win the award for Best Actress In A Comedy Series, “It feels tremendous. I was really really pulling for Hannah deep down inside that was the one through—again all of this fun experience of people getting to see the show and respond to the show and how kind folks have been. That was a highlight I know for all of us. Especially those of us that write on the show because we take great pride in the character of Rebecca and Hannah, from the audition on, has just crushed it. So it’s so great to see her get spotlighted for that.”
Leslie Odom Jr. took home the award for Best Supporting Actor for the role of Sam Cooke in the Regina King film One Night In Miami. Odom Jr. reflected on what he was thinking when he learned he would have the honor of portraying Sam Cooke. He said, “I just trusted Regina much more than I trusted myself and if she believed in me I just had to walk forward and do my best not to make a liar out of her. That was all I had at the beginning and then I just leaned into the brilliance of Sam Cook and I took strength in his strength.” Odom Jr. also shared that he feels One Night In Miami is still relevant today, “A whole lot of truth is in this movie. A whole lot of truth is expressed. Kemp Powers, who is a journalist, our screenwriter, he really got a lot of heart and soul into this thing. It’s really always a good time for that. But yeah tragically and importantly the messages in this movie—the themes in this movie seem to be timely.” Lastly, he commented on how it feels to have both One Night In Miami and Hamilton honored at The Critics Choice Awards. He said, “It’s overwhelming. I haven’t really had a ton of time to process it. But it is a strange and wonderful feeling. In so many ways Hamilton was the beginning for me. It is still the thing that people know me from the most, I think. And One Night In Miami is the most recent thing by far. We just finished shooting at the beginning of last year so to have, personally anyway, I know awards mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but to have my beginning and my four years later represented on the same night is trippy and heady and it will take me some time to unpack that.”