My God, what a surprise! And what a year! After winning a Tony for my critically acclaimed one-woman show and a Grammy for my Cee-Lo produced debut pop album, I never expected to be recognized for my debut in el ciné. When I was a girl, I used to imagine winning the Best Actress Academy Award for a screenplay I’d penned myself and here I am. Thanks again, by the way, for the Best Screenplay award earlier tonight. I’m speechless!
When Marty Scorsese called to beg me to adapt my book to the big screen, I was absolutely floored. How could I be so lucky to work with a master? But when Marty asked me to star as the lead, my first inclination was to turn him down. I mean, I hadn’t acted since high school. But I guess if anyone knows talent when they see it, it’s M-Scor.
Really, I couldn’t have asked for more supportive leading men than Robert DeNiro – I call him Bobby – and Sean Penn – I call him Seanie. I share this award with you, boys! And the rumors about Clooney and me are far from true. I’m a one-man lady. Admittedly, he was quite the flirt on set. But all this tittle-tattle about my rejecting his advances driving him to the bottle? Petty gossip.
A shout out to the ladies, I am in such good company with my fellow nominees. Meryl, you will always be an inspiration and I look forward to working with you on our next picture. Cate and Kate, you are stars whose luster will never fade. And Julia? Loved you in Mystic Pizza.
Most of all, I share this award with my dear, darling husband and family. I’m standing here tonight because of you. Your support has taught me never to give up on myself. Because of you, I have made real all of my childhood dreams. I know it can’t be easy living with a writer / actor / pop star / teacher / café owner / dog walker / grocery store cashier. But your love has made it all possible.
My, has it been a long road to this stage tonight. Admittedly, there have been dark moments when I wasn’t sure this day would ever come. After so many disappointments and setbacks, false promises and false starts, it has been hard not to consider taking a permanent dive off the path to my hoped for destiny. But turning your back on your greatest ambitions is turning away from yourself, something one should never do.
And so, I couldn’t possibly leave here tonight without saying a word to all the little girls around the world hoping to experience a moment like the one I’m enjoying tonight. I’m here to tell you, whether you’re a ten-year old practicing your Oscar speech in her bedroom or a thirtysomething woman writing a blog in her garden-level apartment, never, ever give up on your dreams.
[Altered photo from Indiana.edu]