Although Daniel Day-Lewis appears on track to win the best actor Oscar next month, he suggests his win at the Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday may actually hurt his chances.
"There's a good chance I won't," Day-Lewis said backstage at the SAG Awards.
His riveting portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" has been honored with the Golden Globe and SAG best actor awards. While those awards are often predictive of the Oscar best actor winner, Day-Lewis is downplaying his chances.
"I think members of the Academy love surprises, so the worst thing that can happen to you is some kind of expectations," he said. "I think they'd probably be delighted if it was anybody else."
Day-Lewis would be the first male actor to win three best actor Oscars. He won previously for "My Left Foot" in 1989 and "There Will Be Blood" in 2007.
Other Oscar races grew murkier with Sunday's SAG awards, including for best picture. While "Lincoln" might have been a favorite at the start of Hollywood's awards season, its prospects of taking the top Academy honor were dimmed with Ben Affleck's "Argo" winning the SAG best film award, just two weeks after taking the Golden Globe.
"There was absolutely no way that I thought we'd win this award," Affleck said backstage Sunday.
Affleck directed and starred in "Argo," a movie centered on the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.
While his film now appears to be a frontrunner for the best picture Oscar, Affleck was not nominated for best director. The best film and best director Oscars usually go hand in hand.
"I didn't get nominated as a director and I thought 'Well, okay, that's that,' you know, and then I remembered I was nominated as a producer which is pretty exciting," Affleck said.
"So I've kind of gone at it with that approach. I don't know what's going to happen. Who knows? Nothing may happen, but it's a wonderful opportunity to be on the ride and I'm really excited."
Lawrence's post-Oscar playbook
Jennifer Lawrence was ill when she won a best actress in a comedy film at the Golden Globe two weeks ago, but she told reporters backstage Sunday that she's feeling a lot better thanks to a "lot of medication" and a better inhaler.
Lawrence glowed after she was handed the best actress SAG award for her role in "Silver Linings Playbook."
At just 22, Lawrence is the youngest person ever to have been nominated twice for a best actress Oscar -- the first being in 2010 for "Winter's Bone."
Asked backstage what she might say to a 14-year-old Jennifer Lawrence if she could talk to her, she said she would never reveal her future success.
"I would've said, 'You're going fail, so don't be so full of yourself.'"
Lawrence has plans to relax after the Hollywood awards season ends with the Academy Awards next month. "I'm going to go to an island somewhere and not telling anywhere where I'm going. That's my plan."
Cranston's all-in approach
Bryan Cranston carried home two SAG Actor awards Sunday -- one for film and another for television work. His role as a CIA agent in "Argo" gave him part of that film's ensemble SAG award. He was also handed the best actor in a TV drama for "Breaking Bad," in which he plays a high school chemistry teacher who becomes a meth manufacturer.
Backstage, Cranston said he tries to discourage young actors, telling them a career takes "total dedication" to succeed.
"I say that if you can be happy doing something else, anything else, go do that, go do that," Cranston said. "Because in order to be an actor you need to totally commit. Absolutely, you can't put your big toe in.
"When I was 22 years old, I said this is what I'm going to do. If it means that when I'm 40 or 50 or 60 I'm sharing an apartment with someone and sleeping on a couch, that's what I"m going to do. So, it was all in. I had no back up plan. And in a way, it makes you hungrier and more aggressive to find those projects and to keep your eye on the prize."
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