When the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations were announced earlier this week, Penelope Cruz’s nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category (for Ferrari) was described as a “surprise” by some of the media coverage because Ferrari really hasn’t been a factor during the race and Penelope’s performance wasn’t really registering with some of the awards bodies that can, sometimes, be predictors for the SAGs, BAFTAs, and eventually the Oscars. But it really isn’t all that surprising that Penelope’s name was called alongside Emily Blunt, Danielle Brooks, Jodie Foster, and Da’Vine Joy Randolph.


Penelope is an Oscar winner, the SAG membership knows her name and they her catalogue of work. And also, she’s been hustling. Her hustle may not be as noisy as the others, but she’s been out there at key events that would have helped secure that nomination.


SAG nomination voting began at the beginning of December and ended this past weekend. Before the holiday break, Penelope was in LA, attending multiple Ferrari screenings and Q&A events and she was honoured at a luncheon in Beverly Hills, hosted by Salma Hayek and Kristen Stewart. 

Salma Hayek, Penélope Cruz and Kristen Stewart
Salma Hayek, Penélope Cruz and Kristen Stewart attend Salma Hayek Pinault's and Kristen Stewart's celebratory luncheon honoring Penelope Cruz's starring role in Michael Mann's Ferrari at the Mandarin Oriental Residences Beverly Hills on December 14, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California

This is classic campaign scheduling – lunches, brunches, photo ops, famous people showing up for other famous people… many of Penelope and Salma’s Hollywood friends were in attendance, all of them SAG members. 


After the holidays, Penelope was right back at it in LA, attending the Variety and notably at a SAG-AFTRA event, featured in conversation for a Q&A on January 5, just two days before SAG nomination voting closed. Penelope and Javier Bardem are based in Spain. She’s not spending this much time in LA if she’s not really going for it. Going for both the SAG and, of course, the bigger prize, the Oscar nomination. 

Earlier this week she was at the Governors Awards, that critical pitstop ahead of the Oscar nomination voting period, which begins today. She wore Chanel, as expected, and it was boring, as expected. 

Penélope Cruz at the 14th Governors Awards
Penélope Cruz at the 14th Governors Awards held at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Ovation Hollywood on January 9, 2024 in Los Angeles, California

So it’s a good example of how it doesn’t matter that she wasn’t at the Golden Globes because the work she’d been doing outside of the Globes paid off. 


But where does that leave America Ferrera? America is one of the actresses in contention for a Best Supporting Actress nomination and many predicted that we would indeed see her name on the SAG list. That didn’t happen, as Penelope and Danielle Brooks ended up in the two spots that she would have been hoping for (Emily Blunt, Jodie Foster, and Da’Vine Joy Randalph pretty much have the three other spots locked) so her road to an Oscar nomination just got that much harder. But it’s not impossible. 


America was at the Governors Awards the other day, looking SO F-CKING GOOD in that tuxedo: 

America Ferrera
America Ferrera attends the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' 14th Annual Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom on January 09, 2024 in Hollywood, California

And she’ll be at the Critics Choice Awards on Sunday as a nominee and the recipient of the SeeHer Award which honours an artist who “advocates for gender equality, portrays characters with authenticity, defies stereotypes and pushes boundaries” so it’s a great opportunity for her, during the Oscar nomination voting period, to make her case. 


She was making her case last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in a lovely strapless black dress, talking about That Monologue, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, and… JLo, LOL. 


It’s impossible not to love America Ferrera. Will the Oscar voters feel the same way? 

We're talking about this on The Squawk (app link here).