Ben Affleck and Les Misérables were big winners last night at the 70th annual Golden Globes, and then there was Jodie Foster, who delivered perhaps the most memorable moment of the evening while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. The veteran actress unspooled a long speech that included tacit references to her sexual orientation and a public thank-you to her former partner, with whom Foster has two children.
“I guess I have a sudden urge to say something that I’ve never been able to air in public that I’m a little nervous about,” Foster said midway through her speech, before the audio cut out for seven seconds. When it returned, Foster was saying, “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.”
Later in the speech, Foster acknowledged “my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love but righteous soul sister in life,” the production manager Cydney Bernard, from whom Foster split in 2008. “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.”
Foster jokingly apologized for not abiding by Hollywood standards and baring the details of her private life with “a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show,” and then said, “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.”
The actress, who began appearing in TV commercials when she was three, also sparked rumors that she was retiring. “This feels like the end of one era and the beginning of something else,” Foster said. “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.”
She later clarified: “I could never stop acting. You’d have to drag me with wild horses,” she said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.