There were a few upsets at the 2017 SAG Awards on Sunday night, such as Denzel Washington beating out Casey Affleck for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, but no surprise win was more exciting and genuinely exhilarating to watch than when the cast of Stranger Things upset the cast of HBO juggernaut Game of Thrones in the Best Ensemble in a Drama Series category. The group, every adorable child included, went absolutely nuts when Rashida Jones called out the name of the show and spent a solid 15 to 20 seconds freaking out at the table before making their way to the stage.
Gaten Matarazzo was especially excited, as he jumped around and hugged every co-star he could reach. Once on stage, David Harbour gave a passionate speech about a variety of things including calling the cast “fearless and talented,” how hard it is to celebrate at a time when current events make that seem impossible, and focusing on the community of actors that they are a part of. As the fiery speech went on, Harbour also tied in the show’s premise to current politics saying,
“We 1983 Midwesterners will repel bullies, we will shelter freaks and outcasts, those who have no homes. We will get past the lies, we will hunt monsters, and when we are lost amid the casual violence of certain individuals and institutions, we will — as per Chief Jim Hopper — punch. some. people. in the face the meek and the disenfranchised and the marginalized! And we’ll do it all with soul! With heart! And with joy! We thank you for this responsibility. Thank you.”
It was by far the most fired up the auditorium was all night. Actors from all around the room shrieked and cheered as Harbour continued his preaching, and by the end of it the majority of the room was on their feet jumping up and down just as excitedly as the Stranger Things cast was when they won in the first place.
By far the best part though was in the background, Winona Ryder’s face was more expressive in the span of two minutes than any other winner’s was all night. At first, it was hard to tell whether she was concerned about Harbour’s comments or disagreed with what he was so forcefully advocating for. But then, Ryder raised her fist and looked more and more intense as the speech went on, so it was clear she supported her co-star’s opinions and the message behind the speech. The sheer variety of facial permutations that Winona went through in such a short amount of time could have been its own show, in fact. “The Ever-Changing Face Of The Talented Winona Ryder” or something like that. Netflix and their bottomless coffers could greenlight that in a minute couldn’t they?