The biggest nail biter of the night wasn’t waiting to find out who would take home the Golden Globe for Best Actress or Best Picture. No, it was watching Jodie Foster’s acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award, honoring her incredible 47-year acting career. Seriously, her time on stage had us on the edge of our seat as she flirted with dropping some pretty big bomb shells. Did she just come out officially? Did she just retire from acting? Let us break it down for you.
She first got our attention by teasing us with a big announcement. “I had a sudden urge to say something that I have never really been able to air in public, a declaration that I’m a little nervous about. But I’m just going to put it out there, loud and proud. So, I’m going to need your support on this.” Watching at home, we immediately told everyone around the couch to shut up. We were so certain that she was going to at last officially acknowlege her sexuality and come out as a lesbian in public for the first time. It would have defintely been a landmark moment in GG’s history, but her actual admission was a little different. “I am…single. Yes, I am. I am single.”
There was mega-lolz all around, as she got back on the sincere train for a moment, providing with reason number 123124342454353 as to why she’s the absolute best. “I’m kidding. No, I’m really kidding but I’m kind of kidding. This could have been a big coming out speech tonight. I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago back in the stone age, in those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family, and co-workers and gradually probably to everyone who knew her…” Gawwww, Jodieeee! She then went on to thank (not for the first time) her “heroic co-parent, my ex-partner-in-love, my righteous soul sister in life, my confessor … most beloved BFF for 20 years, Cydney Bernard. Thank you, Syd.”
So yeah, that’s probably the closest we’re ever going to get in the realm of an officially declaration of her homosexuality. But then again, why should she feel the need to? The fiercely private Jodie has shared with the world just as much as she’s comfortable sharing, and who are we to demand more? “I am not Honey Boo Boo,” the 50-year old screen legend half-jokingly chided the crowd. “Seriously, if you had been a public figure from the time that you were a toddler, if you’d had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe then you too might value privacy above all else. I have given everything up there since the time I was 3 years old and that’s reality show enough, don’t you think?” It’s pretty awesome that in an age where people sell all sorts of their personal details, Ms. Foster is still able to maintain her integrity and keep her private life private.
It was an echo of what she wrote in the Daily Beast following fallout of her friend and co-star Kristen Stewart’s affair this summer. And back in the press room, she spoke again about the issue of privacy in relation to Stewart and her much more controversial pal, Mel Gibson. “I feel very protective of them. Even though I think I’ve managed to get through the process relatively sanely. … I have my scars. I like to think that I’m part of their family who protects them.”
The second big surprise of the speech came when the Oscar-winner seemed to hint that she was giving up acting, the profession that has defined her for almost half a century. “This feels like the end of one era, and the beginning of something else,” she said as she closed her speech. “Scary and exciting, and now what? Well, I may never be up on this stage again, on any stage for that matter. I will continue to tell stories, it’s just that from now on I may be holding a different talking stick. Maybe it won’t be as sparkly, but it will be my writing on the wall: Jodie Foster was here, I still am and I want to be seen, to be understood deeply and to be not so very lonely. Here’s to the next 50 years.”
Say what?! There was definitely not a dry eye in the Beverly Hilton (or our couch) by the time she was done with the emotional message, but what was she trying to convey? “I could never stop acting. I am not retiring from acting. I’d like to be directing tomorrow,” she revealed in the Golden Globes press room according to our very own Kate Spencer.
Despite its rather oblique references, response to the speech was warm and incredibly passionate from her Hollywood acting family, who praised her brave words, strong defiant stance, and vulnerable references to her ailing mother. “It was incredible. I was in tears actually,” admits newly minted Golden Globe winner Jessica Chastain in the press room. “I struggle a lot with the idea of privacy and what it means to be an actress in this day and age with the Internet, and so many people taking Twitter pictures of themselves. A lot of actors I admire are the ones who work really hard to keep their privacy, like Jodie Foster. I think when the actor is able to do that, the audience is better able to see you in their roles. I believe it’s my job to try to stay as private as possible.”
Fellow Golden Globe newbie Lena Dunham echoed the praise. “Jodie Foster’s speech was mind-blowingly beautiful. It was really a completely interesting assessment of what it’s like to have a creative career over a long period of time.”
On a night that’s usually on the frivolous side, we think Jodie’s speech was a great reminder that as long as Hollywood has folks like Jodie showing us how to make great art and keep our heads on straight, we’ll be in good shape.
[Photo: Getty Images]