SAG Awards: 5 reasons why Jennifer Aniston could pull off another upset for ‘The Morning Show’

January was a good month for Sarah Snook. In a matter of weeks, she picked up Golden Globe, Critics Choice and Emmy Awards for her

standout performance on the HBO television smash “Succession.” She has yet another chance to be recognized for her work on the acclaimed

series, at the upcoming Screen Actors Guild Awards. And it’s looking good for Snook. She has a solid lead in Gold Derby’s official odds in her

category of best drama actress.

1. She’s Jennifer Aniston.
Never underestimate the power of a name on the SAG ballot. And in all objectivity, her name carries exponentially more weight than those of the other four women combined. It was 30 years ago this year that “Friends” made its Thursday night television debut. It went on to run for 10 seasons, and became a worldwide cultural phenomenon. Audiences fell in love with Rachel Green and Aniston herself. She became the show’s breakout star, and in 2002 became the only cast member to ever receive an Emmy Award in the lead comedy contest. (Her pal Lisa Kudrow did win a Best Supporting Actress Emmy in 1998.)

In the years between the end of “Friends” and the dawn of “The Morning Show,” Aniston appeared in countless successful motion picture comedies. 2006’s “The Break-up.” 2008’s “Marley and Me.” 2009’s “He’s Just Not That into You.” 2011’s “Just Go with It.” 2013’s “We’re the Millers.” 2016’s “Mother’s Day.” And so many more. She may not be in the same league as Meryl Streep or even her “Mother’s Day” co-star Julia Roberts. But Aniston is definitely loved.

2. She has a long history of SAG Award nominations.
“Friends” earned her an impressive nine noms. Seven of those were for best comedy cast (for which it won once). And the other two were for best comedy actress. Her change-of-pace role in 2014’s independent drama “Cake” brought her her first (and thus far only) SAG nomination for a motion picture. And “The Morning Show” has now generated a total of five additional SAG citations (three individually for Aniston and two for her as part of the cast). She impressively claimed the best drama actress statuette four years ago, in a bit of an upset over Olivia Colman for “The Crown.” Aniston lost to HoYeon Jung in “Squid Game” two years ago. Had it not been for vote-splitting with her “Morning Show” cast mate Reese Witherspoon, Aniston might have prevailed yet again. With no piece of Reese to contend with this time, Aniston’s strong SAG record could make her a real player in the race.

3. Voters singled out “The Morning Show” in its other eligible categories.
Had Aniston been the sole representative of the show, that might have spelled trouble for her. Yet the guild also selected it for best drama cast plus best drama actor for Billy Crudup. That suggests solid SAG Awards support for “The Morning Show,” making Aniston a serious contestant.

4. She enjoys the hometown advantage.
Snook and her fellow nominee Elizabeth Debicki (“The Crown”) are both Australian. Bella Ramsey (“The Last of Us”) is British. Aniston and Keri Russell (“The Diplomat”) are the only Americans (TV show pun intended) in the lineup. Diplomatically speaking, Russell is probably not the fiercest threat. That leaves Aniston as SAG’s nicest and most notable neighbor. That could be enough to help her bring home the prize.

5. It’s a way to pay tribute to the late Matthew Perry.
The actor’s untimely death last fall hit actors very hard. Many of them grew up watching “Friends,” and his Chandler Bing was often considered the funniest in a cast filled with comics. What better way to salute Perry than by honoring his fellow “Friend” Aniston? The prospect of her acknowledging him in her acceptance speech might be irresistible to voters. SAG is often called a family. So don’t be surprised if they call dear family “Friend” Jennifer Aniston to the podium — to offer a final farewell to their beloved friend Matthew Perry.