The only preannounced award at Sunday night’s (January 13) Golden Globes, Jodie Foster‘s Cecil B. Demille Award for a lifetime of achievement, made a very unexpected turn when the Academy Award-winning actress and director took an opportunity to address her life-long struggles with living in the public eye, especially when it comes to her sexuality.
After an introduction from Robert Downey Jr., Foster’s speech began with a high-energy “Saturday Night Live” quote. “I’m 50! I’m 50!” she shouted triumphantly.
Foster then changed her tone, preparing to set up what would ultimately be the biggest fake-out of the night. “I’m here being all confessional, and I just have a sudden urge to say something that I’ve never really been able to air in public, a declaration that I’m a little nervous about, maybe not as nervous as my publicist right now,” Foster said. “But I’m just going to put it out there, loud and proud, right? So I’m going to need your support on this. I am… single.”
The faux-dramatic coming-out speech turned into a poignant explanation for the fiercely private way she has lived her life and her confusion about how a typical celebrity coming out is handled.
“There won’t be a big coming-out speech tonight, because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago 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 then gradually, proudly to everyone who knew her to everyone she actually met,” she said. “But now apparently, I’m told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their life with a press conference, a fragrance, and a prime time reality show. You guys might be surprised, but I am not Honey Boo Boo Child. I’m sorry. That’s just not me, it never was, and it never will be, but please don’t cry because my reality show would be so boring.”
“If you had been a public figure from the time you were a toddler, if you’d had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, than maybe to you might value privacy above all else…. I have given everything up there from the time that I was three-years old. That’s reality show enough, don’t you think?”
Foster finished her speech by thanking her sons and parenting partner.
Backstage, reporters asked for some clarifications about the nature of Foster’s speech. The actress said that she is not retiring, and that the rest of the speech speaks for itself.
“This feels like the end of one era and the beginning of something else, scary and exciting,” Foster said. “I could never stop acting. You’d have to drag me behind a team of horses.”