Taylor Schilling talks about what winning a SAG Award means to her
The words that you should “remember where you came from” could easily be the motto of the Screen Actors Guild Awards. While many of the winners are household names and living legacies, they all know too well what it feels like to audition to be Waiter Number Four (again).
That the SAG Awards have only grown in media scrutiny and prominence since their debut in 1995 has not gone unnoticed by the winners. Nor do they necessarily think this is a bad thing.
Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” has won the TV comedy ensemble category every year since it became eligible in 2014. But star Schilling’s speech at the 2017 ceremony got a particularly strong reaction when she called out the then-newly elected commander in chief of the United States.
Her remarks were a response to President Trump’s executive order earlier in the week banning immigrants from certain countries from entering the U.S. (a ban that has since been struck down in courts). Schilling is part of the most ethnically and racially diverse casts on TV — and she says she needed to comment that night.
“This story that we’re telling through this show, collectively, would not be possible without refugees and immigrants,” she says now. “You can’t unbraid the show from the immigrant experience and it felt vital that, if we were going to be honored again, then we needed to acknowledge it.”
She says this win also resonated with her because she feels “the SAG Awards are the most meaningful of all the awards.” She thinks about the Theodore Roosevelt speech that claims that the person who truly counts isn’t the critic, but the “man who is actually in the arena.”
“We’re really all in the ring together,” she says. “To be acknowledged by somebody who truly understands the experience? I don’t know what could be more exciting than that.”