Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you. It’squite overwhelming. Thank you to the members ofthe Academy for this honor. My dear friends who arehere tonight, Gena and George, for your kind words,to my hero, Louis Zamperini, to the cast of Blood and Honey and most of all, to my family, mylove. Your support and your guidance make everything that I do possible. Mad, I’m not gonnacry, I promise, and I won’t embarrass you. You and your brothers and your sisters are myhappiness and there is no a greater honor in this world than being your mum.
I’m very humble to be here tonight among so many extraordinary artists. My mother lovedart. She loved film. She supported any crazy thing I did, but whenever it had meaning, shemade a point of telling me, that is what film is for. And she never had a career as an artist, shenever had the opportunity to express herself beyond her theatre class, but she wanted morethan for herself. She wanted for Jamie and I to know what it is to have a life as artists. And shegave us that chance. She drove me to every audition, and she would wait in the car for hours,always make me feel really good all the times I didn’t get the job. And when I did, we wouldjump up and down and scream and yell like little girls.
She wasn’t really the best critic, since she never had anything unkind to say, but she did giveme love and confidence, and above all, she was very clear that nothing would mean anything ifI didn’t live a life of use to others. And I didn’t know what that meant for a long time. I cameinto this business young and worried about my own experiences and my own pain and it wasonly when I began to travel and look and live beyond my home, that I understand myresponsibility to others.
And when I met survivors of war and famine and rape, I learned what life is like for most peoplein this world and how fortunate I was to have food to eat, a roof over my head, a safe place tolive and the joy of having my family safe and healthy. And I realized how sheltered I have been.And I was determined never to be that way again. We are all, everyone in this room sofortunate.
I have never understood why some people are lucky enough to be born with the chance that Ihad, to have this path in life and why across the world, there is a woman just like me, with thesame abilities and the same desires, same work ethic and love for her family, who would mostlikely make better films and better speeches. Only she sits in a refugee camp, and she has novoice. She worries about what her children will eat, how to keep them safe, and if they’ll ever beallowed to return home. I don’t know why this is my life and that’s hers. I don’t understandthat but I will do as my mother asked, and I will do the best I can with this life, to be of use.
And to stand here today means that I did as she asked. And if she were alive, she would bevery proud.
So thank you for that.