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An Inside Look to the SAG Awards

Interview with Kathy Connell, Executive Producer of the SAG Awards

by FIJI Water on January 27, 2016

For the past 6 years, FIJI Water has been mingling with celebrities at the SAG Awards’ red carpet and awards ceremony. But who is responsible for making the glitz and glam come to life? We sat down with Kathy Connell, Executive Producer of the SAG Awards, to learn more about how she prepares for one of Hollywood’s biggest shows and of course, some of her favorite things.

1. How did you become the Executive Producer for the SAG Awards?

I was an actor serving on the Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild in 1994, and we were saying how there should be a way for members to celebrate the outstanding performances of our peers. That led to a small group of us being asked to create the first Screen Actors Guild Awards, so I’ve been involved since its inception. In 1996, I started as a SAG Awards producer for SAG-AFTRA, and then I became its first full-time producer. I became the executive producer of the SAG Awards in 2013. It’s been a fascinating journey.

2. What’s something about your job that people wouldn’t expect?

I think that people would not expect the high level of intensity in the last weeks of the show. That’s when everything has to happen all at once: from reviewing script and clip packages, to working with the talent and publicity departments, to discussing additions to design, lighting, cameras and countless details.I sit in my office on my exercise ball answering emails as a seemingly endless parade of the SAG Awards team members walks in with a question. The running joke with team who appear at my doorway is “take a number.” At home, my brain doesn’t turn off. I find myself scribbling notes in the middle of the night on a Post-it® Note.

3. What’s your favorite part about your job?

My favorite part of my job is working with and representing actors. I take great pride in representing SAG-AFTRA, which is one of the world’s largest entertainment unions. I am a second-generation actor married to an actor. Actors are some of the most loving, generous, creative people I know, and I am fortunate, each year, to celebrate their work at the SAG Awards.

4. Do you prefer dramas or comedies?

I tend to watch more dramas, but then who doesn’t love to laugh out loud watching some great comedy? I’m very glad I don’t have to choose just one genre!

5. What do you consider to be the most iconic line in TV or movie history?

For me, the most iconic line from a television show or movie is from Jaws – “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”

6. Two actors who have the best on-screen chemistry?

On-screen chemistry creates magic on screen. It is hard to narrow down my favs to just one pair but I would say the chemistry was amazing between Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. But then there is also Lucy and Desi who had incredible chemistry together.

7. Favorite TV show?

Well since I love all our television nominees, so I couldn’t pick a current show but from the past, I am partial to Lou Grant — I’m married to the actor who played “Animal,” the photographer character. The West Wing and The Sopranos also rank among my favorites.

8. Favorite Film?

Again, I love all our film nominees equally. But I do keep going back to some of my favorites from the past, like All the President’s Men, The Empire Strikes Back, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Gone with the Wind.

9. What would your ideal vacation on Fiji look like?

My ideal vacation on Fiji would be me kayaking with my family, followed by me heading towards my lounge chair with a book, FIJI water and a glass of wine are waiting for me.

Look for FIJI Water on the red carpet, and make sure to tune in to TNT or TBS on Sunday, January 29 at 8pm (ET)/5pm (PT) to see Kathy’s work come to life!

velvet rope in front of the red carpet