(enjoy the video for as long as it lasts, otherwise the full transcript is below)
Jodie Foster received the Cecil B. DeMille Award at last night’s Golden Globes, and maybe it was partly Robert Downey Jr.’s fault for giving her such a nonsensical-to-the-point-of-surreal introduction (he or his writers apparently thought their bizarre non-sequitir about hamsters was so good that it needed Mel Gibson presenting Jodie Foster with a stuffed hamster underneath a cloche – uh… the f*ck?), but either way, the speech Foster gave was a marvel. I’ve never seen an acceptance speech so alternately touching and borderline inscrutable. The big news is, she came out. Sort of. And not in your usual, I’m-finally-saying-this-to-inspire-all-the-youngsters-out-there kind of way, more in a people-I-care-about-already-know-I’m-lesbian-so-why-can’t-you-leave-me-alone-you-goddamned-jackals kind of way.
Here’s the juicy part (full transcript of her acceptance speech after the jump):
“So while I’m here being all confessional, I guess I have a sudden urge to say something that I’ve never really been able to air in public. So, a declaration that I’m a little nervous about but maybe not quite as nervous as my publicist right now, huh Jennifer? But I’m just going to put it out there, right? Loud and proud, right? So I’m going to need your support on this.
“I am single. Yes I am, I am single. No, I’m kidding — but I mean I’m not really kidding, but I’m kind of kidding. I mean, thank you for the enthusiasm. Can I get a wolf whistle or something? [Audio is silent for seven seconds] … be a big coming-out speech tonight because 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 then gradually, proudly to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met. But now I’m told, apparently that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show.
“You know, you guys might be surprised, but I am not Honey Boo Boo Child. No, I’m sorry, that’s just not me. It never was and it never will be. Please don’t cry because my reality show would be so boring. I would have to make out with Marion Cotillard or I’d have to spank Daniel Craig’s bottom just to stay on the air. It’s not bad work if you can get it, though.
“But 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 you too might value privacy above all else. Privacy. Some day, in the future, people will look back and remember how beautiful it once was.
You’re sort of touched by her honesty and understand her annoyance with doing press, but at the same time, you wonder if maybe this speech wasn’t the best time for sarcasm and deflection (and I say this as a person for whom sarcasm and deflection make up roughly 85 percent of my interaction). It’s also a little rambly and discursive, much like her defense of Kristen Stewart a while back. I completely understand not wanting to be forced to tell total strangers intimate details about your life, but I’m not sure answering “yes” to “do you like ladies because it seems like you do” is going to turn you into Honey Boo Boo or Paris Hilton. But it’s her business to decide who she says it to, and I respect that. You don’t hear reporters asking Jonah Hill (Feldstein) or Winona Ryder (Horowitz) or Jon Stewart (Liebowitz) when they’re going to come out as Jews, do you? And that’s about as obvious as Jodie Foster being a lesbian.
Still, with her strange asides and bad jokes and ambiguously-directed tone of condescension, hers probably wasn’t the most eloquent way to express that. Or, as my mom texted me about it, “that was weird and she seems lonely.”