Denzel Washington expected Casey Affleck to win the Screen Actors Guild Award for best actor.
The ‘Fences’ star was stunned to pick up the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role award at Sunday (29.01.17) evening’s ceremony as he initially expected the ‘Manchester by the Sea’ actor – who triumphed at the Golden Globes earlier this month – to take home the honour, but as the evening wore on, he had a sudden "feeling" it might be his lucky night.
Denzel said: "Casey [Affleck] has been winning everything so I assumed… I actually prepared a speech in case we won best ensemble, so I said I better be ready just in case because, I knew I had to speak for the cast.
"As the night was going along, I got a feeling. I said, ‘Boy, you better start thinking of some things just in case.’"
The 62-year-old star has won a host of awards throughout his career but scoring his first-ever SAG prize at Sunday’s ceremony was particularly special as he wasn’t expecting it.
He told ‘Entertainment Tonight’: "I’ve been blessed. I’ve won the SAG, a Tony, three Golden Globes, and two Oscars. I’m blessed. I got no complaints.
"This is special tonight for me because I didn’t expect it. And I appreciate it because I know actors understand what it is we do."
And Denzel – who was accompanied to the event by his wife Pauletta – was equally delighted by his ‘Fences’ co-star Viola Davis’ Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role win.
He said: "That’s my girl, I love her. She’s a brilliant, brilliant actor and it’s her turn. The actor has met the role now and she deserves everything she’s getting, absolutely."
Denzel is also nominated for Best Actor at the upcoming Academy Awards, making him the most nominated African-American actor in the history of the Oscars, and he thinks the record is "beautiful".
He said: "It’s beautiful. It means that because of the people that came before me, I’ve had the opportunity to get better scripts and therefore get the chances to win.
"Because of the James Edwards, and Sidney Poitiers, and James Earl Jones, and all those who came before me, Lou Gosetts, and on and on and all the way back, because they laid the groundwork, I have the opportunity to do this.
"Somebody up there tonight, or in this whole cycle, [Mahershala ] Ali or one of the other guys, are one day gonna do more than me. They set it up for me, and now I’ve set it up for the next."