Cecil B. Demille Award
CECIL B. DEMILLE AWARD
JANE FONDA: Wow. Oh, my God. Thank you. Thank you all the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. I’m so moved to receive this honor. Thank you. You know ‑‑ Hi, Amy. We are a community of storytellers, aren’t we? And in turbulent, crisis‑torn times like these, storytelling has always been essential. You see, stories have a way to ‑‑ they can change our hearts and our minds. They can help us see each other in a new light, to have empathy, to recognize that, for all our diversity, we are humans first, right? I’ve seen a lot of diversity in my long life, and at times I’ve been challenged to understand some of the people I’ve met. But inevitably, if my heart is open and I look beneath the service, I feel kinship. That’s why all of the great conduits of perception ‑‑ Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus, Laowitz ‑‑ say. All of them spoke to us in stories and poetry and metaphor because the nonlinear, noncerebral forms that are art speak on a different frequency, and they generate a new energy that can jolt us open and penetrate our defenses so that we can see and hear what we may have been afraid of seeing and hearing. You know, just this year, “Nomadland” helped me feel love for the wanderers among us. And “Minari” opened my eyes to the experience of immigrants dealing with the realities of life in a new land. And “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Small Axe”, “US vs. Billie Holliday,” “Ma Rainey,” “One Night in Miami” and others have deepened my empathy for what being Black has meant. “Ramy” helped me feel what it means to be Muslim American. Oh, “I May Destroy You” has taught me to consider sexual violence in a whole new way. The documentary “All In” reminds us how fragile our democracy is and inspires to fight to preserve it. And “A Life on Our Planet” shows us how fragile our small blue planet is and inspires us to save it and ourselves. Stories, they really can change people. But there’s a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry, a story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out, a story about who is offered a seat at the table and who is kept out of the rooms where decisions are made. So let’s all of us, including all the groups that decide who gets hired and what gets made and who wins awards, let’s all of us make an effort to expand that tent so that everyone rises and everyone’s story has a chance to be seen and heard. I mean, doing this simply means acknowledging what’s true, being in step with the emerging diversity that’s happening because of all those who marched and fought in the past and those who have picked up the baton today. After all, art has always been not just in step with history, but has led the way. So let’s be leaders; okay? Thank you. Thank you so much. Yes. And happy birthday, Tommy Tune.
QUESTION: Jane, congratulations. Such an honor.
JANE FONDA: Thank you.
QUESTION: You look absolutely amazing.
I want to ask you, this award means so much and you have done so much. If your father were here, what would he say if he were here to see you win this award?
JANE FONDA: Well, he’d be very proud of me. He won this award. I think so. I believe so. He’d be very proud of me. But I feel he is here. I can feel his spirit.
QUESTION: Hi, Jane. Congratulations. Incredible and inspiring speech.
Given your incredible career, I am just wondering, if you could go back and live one day, what would it be?
JANE FONDA: I don’t want to go back and live one day. I can’t — I can’t think of any day I’d want to go back and relive. I’m very happy with the present. I’m sorry, I can’t give you an answer.
It is very hard to understand.
QUESTION: Hi, Jane. Can you hear me?
JANE FONDA: Yes.
QUESTION: First of all, congratulations. You are an icon. I bow down to you. I just want to know, has there ever been a role that you didn’t get to play, and if so, what is the role that you wish you could take on?
JANE FONDA: I can’t think of any. I did play Nora in “A Doll’s House.” I’d like to do that again, but I’m too old.
QUESTION: Jane, I just want to know, how are you planning to celebrate, maybe in an iconic way?
JANE FONDA: Well, I know where I’m going to put this already, and I am going to go home, and then I’m going to go right to bed because I have to get up very early in the morning. So nothing too exciting, but this is excitement enough.