Did Jodie Foster publicly come out for the first time at the Golden Globes?
While accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award at the show, she feigned as if she was going to make a public disclosure about her personal life. (Full transcript below.) But then…
“While I’m here being all confessional, I just have the sudden urge to say something I’ve never been able to say in public. A declaration that I’m a little nervous about. Not quite as nervous as my publicist, huh, Jennifer? But uh, you know, I’m just going to put it out there. Loud and proud. I’m going to need your support. I am — single,” she began. “I’m kidding.”
She address the issue a bit more directly, however. “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, coworkers and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her. To everyone she actually met. But now, apparently I’m told, that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a primetime reality show. You guys might be surprised, but I’m not Honey Boo Boo child.”
“If you had been a public figure since the time you were a toddler, if you had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe you too would value privacy above all else,” Foster added.
Backstage in the press room, Foster talked about her speech.
“The speech speaks for itself. It’s a big long career. It’s friendships, relationships. I feel like I’m graduating from high school or college or something,” she said.
And even though on stage it sounded like she might be retiring from Hollywood, the actress made it clear that she’s not going anywhere.
“I could never stop acting. You’d have to drag me behind a team of horses. I’ll never stop acting. I’d like to be directing tomorrow. I’m more into it than I’ve ever been.”
Though she has never overtly acknowledged her sexuality in public, tonight was not the first time she hinted at it in front of an audience. In 2007, at an awards dinner, she thanked her “beautiful Cydney,” a reference to Cydney Bernard, the woman she had reportedly been with for 14 years before their split.
Read the full transcript of her speech.
For all of you SNL fans, I’m 50! I’m 50! You know, I need to do that without this dress on—maybe later at Trader Vics, boys and girls. I’m 50! You know, I was going to bring my walker tonight, but it just didn’t go with the cleavage. Robert [Downey, Jr.], I want to thank you for everything: for your bat-crazed, rapid-fire brain, the sweet intro…I love you and Susan and I am so grateful that you continually talk me off the ledge when I go on and foam at the mouth and say I’m done with acting, I’m done with acting, I’m really done, I’m done, I’m done, I’m done. Trust me, 47 years in the film business is a long time. You just ask those Golden Globies, because you crazy kids, you’ve been around here forever. Phil, you’re a nut, Ida, Scott, thank you for honoring me tonight. It’s the most fun party of the year and tonight, I feel like the prom queen. Thank you!
Looking at all those clips, you know, the hairdos and the freaky platform shoes, it’s like a home movie nightmare that just won’t end. All of these people sitting here at these tables, they’re my family of sorts, fathers mostly: Executives, producers, the directors, my fellow actors out there, we’ve giggled through love scenes, we’ve punched and cried and spit and vomited and blown snot all over one another, and those are just the co-stars that I liked. But you know, more than anyone else, I share my most special memories with members of the crew. Blood-shaking friendships, brothers and sisters, we made movies together and you can’t get more intimate than that.
So while I’m here being all confessional, 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, but maybe not quite as nervous as my publicist right now—hi, Jennifer—but, uh, you know, I’m just going to put it out there, right, loud and proud, so I’m going to need your support on this. I am, uh…single. Yes I am! I am single. No, I’m kidding. But I mean I’m not really kidding, but I’m kinda kidding. I mean, thank you for the enthusiasm. Can I get a wolf-whistle or something? [AUDIO DROPS OUT.]
–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, co-workers, and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met. But now apparently I’m told 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 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. But please don’t cry because my reality show would be so boring. I would have to make out with Marion Cotillard, I would 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 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. I have given everything up there from the time that I was three years old—that’s reality show enough, don’t you think? There are a few secrets to keeping your psyche intact over such a long career: The first, love people and stay beside them. That table over there, 222, way out in Idaho, Paris, Stockholm, that one next to the bathroom with all the unfamous faces, the very same faces for all these years. My acting agent Joe Funicello, Joe, do you believe it, 38 years we’ve been working together? Even though he doesn’t count the first eight. Matt Saber, Pat Kingsley, Jennifer Allen, Grant Diamond …lifers. My family of friends here tonight and at home, and, of course, Mel Gibson: You know you saved me too.
There is no way I could ever stand here without acknowledging one of the deepest loves of my life, my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love, but righteous soul sister in life, my confessor, ski-buddy, consigliore, most beloved BFF for 20 years, Cydney Bernard. Thank you, Cyd. I am so proud of our modern family, our amazing sons Charlie and Kit, who are my reason to breathe and to evolve, my blood and soul. And boys, in case you didn’t know it, this song, like all of this, this song is for you. This brings me to my greatest influence in my life, my amazing mother Evelyn. Mom, I know you’re inside those blue eyes somewhere and that there are so many things that you won’t understand tonight, but this is the only important one to take in: I love you, I love you, I love you. And I hope that if I say this three times, it will magically and perfectly enter into your soul, fill you with grace and the joy of knowing that you did good in this life. You’re a great mom. Please take that with you when you’re finally okay to go. You see, Charlie and Kit? Sometimes your mom loses it too.
I can’t help but get moony, you know. This feels like the end of one era and the beginning of something else, scary and exciting. And now what? Well, I may never be up on this stage again, on any stage for that matter. Change, you gotta love it. I will continue to tell stories, to move people by being moved, the greatest job in the world. It’s just that from now on I may be holding a different talking stick, and maybe it won’t be as sparkly, maybe it won’t open on 3,000 screens, maybe it will be so quiet and delicate that only dogs can hear it whistle. 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. Thank you, all of you, for the company. Here’s to the next 50 years.
(Reporting by Laura Hertzfeld and Keith Staskiewicz)