If you watched Sunday night's Screen Actors Guild awards you probably caught many of the awkward moments of the night. (For instance, Eddie Redmayne thanking Bradley Cooper not once, but twice.) But taking the awkwardness to a new level was the mysterious case of the missing Mark Ruffalo. The actor won the SAG award for Best Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries for his role in The Normal Heart, but he wasn't there to accept the statuette from Lupita Nyong'o and Jared Leto.
Let me first say, that this is a totally normal thing to have happen. I can recall countless memories of watching award shows and hearing that classic phrase, "[Actor's name] is not here tonight, so we accept this award on his behalf." But, for reasons unknown, people were not as easily accepting of Ruffalo's absence as one would expect.
It started when Leto, upon opening the envelope with the winner's name, said, "It's a no-show." Big deal, right? It was a no-show, after all. Well, not everyone let this slide so easily. After Leto and Nyong'o left the stage, the president of the Screen Actor's Guild, Ken Howard, stepped out to give an introduction to a montage segment and first asked that we all take a moment to applaud for Ruffalo as if he hadn't already been applauded for. Dude, Ruffalo won. The award was accepted on his behalf. People clapped. It's all good. But nooooo. We — I mean, the people in attendance, had to clap all over again as if the guy was sitting at home crying or something and needed more support. (Which we know he didn't because he gave a speech via Twitter!)
So that should definitely have been the end of it, right? Not a chance. Later in the evening, Julia Roberts came out to present an award and started by taking a moment to talk about how much Ruffalo truly deserved the honor. WE GET IT. He deserved the award. He won. What wrongs were done to Mark Ruffalo that could only be fixed with more applause?! Did something happen off-camera where all the celebs in attendance took a minute to gossip about the actor not being there? Were there a hundred eye rolls that went unnoticed to us viewers at home? Was the applause track — that we now know almost certainly exists — used to cover up the boos the crowd gave when Ruffalo's name was announced? Because, if not, there was no need for the winner of Best Actor in a Miniseries (no offense), to be brought up over and over and over again.
And that, my friends, is the story of how Mark Ruffalo stole the SAG Awards even though he wasn't there. Hope that lovely tale will help you sleep well tonight.
Images: Mark Ruffalo/Instagram