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Lion roars through all 12 AACTA awards

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December 06, 2017

Simon Baker paid tribute to his wife Rebecca Rigg while accepting the Trailblazer AACTA Award.

Nobody could deny Bachelorette star Sophie Monk is a scene-stealer and she proved no different at the AACTA Awards by declaring Pauline Hanson "hot" during a presenting segment that fell a little flat.

Monk was presenting the award for Best Performance in a Television Comedy alongside Ali's Wedding star Osamah Sami, who joked he wanted to present it with Pauline Hanson.

"She is hot though," Monk said before adding: "I like Nicole Kidman," to groans from the audience, passing it off as a joke about diversity.

The segment fell a bit flat as Sami quipped he could do Farmer Wants A Wife with Monk because he's Muslim.

Actors Shane Jacobsen and Paul Hogan didn't fare much better presenting the first award, as the Crocodile Dundee star gave a meandering speech to anyone who lost out on the night.

"If the river of life upsets you and tips you out of your boat, don't struggle against the current just lay on your back and float," Hogan said.

Early winners on the night included Hounds of Love star Emma Booth for Best Lead Actress and Lion star Dev Patel for Best Supporting Actor.

"Being in Australia changed my life, I feel like a part of my soul is there," British actor Patel told the audience.

The Mentalist star Simon Baker accepted the Trailblazer Award and paid tribute to his wife Rebecca Rigg.

"I am the frontman babe but you are the rockin' rhythm section," Baker said.

Director Gillian Armstrong and Rachel Griffiths got the audience on side very quickly saying it had been a great year for female directors, praising Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins.

"They always said women couldn't direct action, but they can," Armstrong said.

She told women with visual talent to think about becoming something other than a Victoria's Secret Model.

"Put on your gumboots and come and join us in the mud," Armstrong said.

Nicole Kidman won the two AACTAs she was nominated for, as best supporting actress in Lion for film and TV's Top of the Lake: China Girl, and sent a video message from Los Angeles thanking the Australian industry for supporting her.

"To be acknowledged now at 50 years old, I started out at 14 years old, just extraordinary," Kidman said.

Lion's Garth Davis also won the award for Best Direction in what was turning out to be a big night for the film.

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