‘There’s no such thing as “Just the wife”’
Last night saw the 24th Critics' Choice awards take place, with The Favourite and Roma emerging as the big wins of the 2019 ceremony.
But it wasn’t the films that got the world talking last night. Instead it was the speeches, with Claire Foy delivering the most powerful message of the night, taking home the prestigious #SeeHer award for her contribution to women in film.
The 34-year-old was recognised for her portrayal of ‘extraordinary women’, from Queen Elizabeth in The Crown to Janet Armstrong in First Man, by the #SeeHer movement, pushing for the ‘accurate portrayal’ of women and girls in film.
‘I thank the critics very much for this award and what it represents,’ the actress announced after being presented with the gong by past winner Viola Davis. ‘I’ve got to say that I’ve struggled quite a lot with the idea of me accepting it. Because I immediately thought I’ve offered nothing. And I have nothing to offer. It was something that Viola said in that clip actually which was the fact that the greatest privilege of your life is to be who you are.
‘And I realise that’s all I have to offer, is myself. And all I’ve ever tried to do with anything I’ve ever made and in the work I’ve been in is to hopefully make something which people recognise, that they recognise themselves on screen in some way, that they see a thought or feeling or an emotion or circumstance and they can see themselves.’
Speaking of her most recent role, playing the first man on the moon’s wife Janet Armstrong, Claire enthused about the woman behind the character.
‘She lived her life with such bravery and resilience and determination and love, and I can’t tell you how many times during the making of the movie and in the press tour the people said to me, well, that part is normally the part of just the wife,’ she explained. ‘And there’s no such thing as “Just the wife”.’
Bringing her speech to a close, she concluded: ‘I accept this award as an encouragement to myself to be brave enough to face and see myself, and by doing, hopefully, I can understand and see others, and ultimately I can help others to see themselves.’
Well, that’s our daily dose of inspiration from Claire Foy.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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