Best Performance by an Actress in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Best Actress ‑ Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
PATRICIA ARQUETTE ‑ “ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA”
PATRICIA ARQUETTE: I love Ben Stiller. And to be an actor to work with Ben Stiller, you’re going to love working with Ben Stiller, I’m going to tell you something. OK. I’m sorry. I’m like that snot‑nosed girl in class still. I have my little piece of paper to read. I want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press not only for this incredible honor, but also for championing filmmakers from all over the world, exposing us to their beautiful work, and to also championing our work across the world, because this is our medium; this is our art form. And no matter what language you speak, you need no translation for what we do. I want to thank my fellow nominees. All of your work is incredible, and I’m so inspired by you all the time. I want to thank Showtime, David Nevins, Gary Levine. All of our producers. Michael Tolkin and Brett Johnson for your incredible words. Ben Stiller, a dream come true for actors. I want to thank our DP, Jessica Lee Gagne. A woman DP. Bring it on. And our hair and makeup department, who were as much as part of my character as I contributed. Bernadette Mazur, Suzy Mazzarese‑Allison, Zach Genesis for putting in my dreaded contact lenses every day. Yoichi Art Sakamoto for my teeth. How many (bleeped). I was born with (bleeped). Thank you for that anyway. My dialect, Lee Dillon, Howard Samuelsohn for my dialect. Our incredible crew dragging equipment through the cold, in and out of many prisons. All the people who worked in the prisons who helped us and told us their experiences in there and the people who had been in prisons who told us about their experiences. I want to thank Benicio del Toro. Oh, my God, your choices are incredible. Paul Dano and Eric Lange. My family. I love you. Thank you all.
Q. Congratulations, Patricia.
MS. ARQUETTE: Thank you. What an incredible honor.
Q. Who was your biggest inspiration for this role?
MS. ARQUETTE: For this role? I feel like I see a lot of Joyce in the world all over. And I think Joyce is a little bit of an invisible person in the world. I feel like she has low-grade depression, and I think a lot of Americans have had low-grade depression for a couple of years now.
But it was so exciting to work for Showtime on this because I never once heard this refrain that I’ve heard throughout my career, which is, but is she likable enough? But is that attractive enough? Yeah, that’s what she really looks like, but let’s make her look like this. Like, I felt so free.
Part of that came directly from Showtime, none of those kind of boundaries or none of that input, and a lot of it also came from Ben and from a Benicio and Paul and Eric Lange. My other co-stars were all very supportive.
Q. Great speech. Congratulations. But speaking of boundaries, there was an F bomb.
MS. ARQUETTE: I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry, I know. You can’t take it back, can you?
Q. No, it happens, right?
MS. ARQUETTE: Yeah. I didn’t plan that. It was an unplanned F bomb. Yes, thank you. I’m very sorry. I know this is a very elegant occasion.
Q. It gives us a story.
MS. ARQUETTE: Yeah, it does. And dental dramas are true, trust me.
Q. Congratulations. You shot in an actual prison. How did that help you form your role?
MS. ARQUETTE: It was really interesting. The woman who took over for my character, Tilly, Joyce, in the tailor shop, they brought us supplies in the tailor shop while the prisoners were in there walking around with shears and equipment. They said once we bring you in one way, we have to take you out, we can’t bring you back through because they could take you hostage or something.
And the woman who was charged to run the shop after Joyce took us to the backroom where they supposedly had this affair. And then a couple weeks later she got arrested for having an affair in that same backroom.
And what you felt being in that prison — first of all, that prison was built at the turn of the century. You’re walking down halls and they’re, like, dead ends. And you have no idea what’s around the corner. It’s really cold in the winter. There’s people with untreated mental illness. It is scary to work in there, and it’s scary to be a prisoner in there. And you start to see how important this kind of web of survival becomes between all of you.
And every guard I talked to in there was saying — or a person who worked there, I’m counting the days until my retirement. I’m in this for my retirement.
And this whole building was looming in the middle of this town and the whole main street was closed down and all the industry was gone and they were all depending on this prison.
And just looking at a prison complex in America and the intensity of the prison system on everybody involved was really interesting.
Q. You know, you’re such a big feminist, and that’s amazing about you. I’m curious if you feel that we’re making a lot of progress of giving women and minorities a position in front of the camera?
MS. ARQUETTE: Well, I am really glad to see that some of these films are giving them opportunities, and I think Hollywood always responds when they see a — so much revenue coming from them. So I think diversity is definitely starting to pay off for Hollywood and it probably always would have, so I’m hoping to see more of a trend towards that.
But it’s not just Hollywood. When I was talking about equal pay, I was talking about 98 percent of all industries. We have a lot of moms out there that are sole breadwinners or primary breadwinners for families, so we have to look at equal pay and opportunity and being in the boardroom and managerial positions and decision making decisions across the board.
And I am excited about how many women we have coming into the House and government in more positions of power.
I hope in the future — when I grew up and somebody asked me a riddle and they said you’re injured in an accident and the doctor comes in and says this, I would always assume that doctor was a man when I was a little girl. So I’m hoping the world is changing so that we can see senators and we see directors and VPs as women as well.
Q. What also seems to be changing is the more roles for women over 40. What do you think of that?
MS. ARQUETTE: Well, I’m so excited about this part. I mean, I never thought I would get a part like this in middle age. I’m 50 years old. I get to play a woman without a typical body type in Hollywood, who’s a sexual person, unapologetically sexual, complicated, wants love.
And I have friends who are — who don’t have the typical body type, they’re bigger women, and one of them has said to me very clearly, hey, I really want to thank you for this project, everyone involved, because it’s the first time I as a big woman felt like I’m allowed to be a sexual being and not fetishized in a jokable way. And I think that’s important because when you look at America, that’s really America.
Q. Congratulations. Patricia, fantastic portrayal.
MS. ARQUETTE: Thank you.
Q. You have — as long as I have known you, you have punched through and you’ve tried to speak your mind, try to pick roles and not worry about what other people thought. Where did that come from? Where did this come from and do you get shaken off that from time to time?
MS. ARQUETTE: Thank you.
My mom was a teacher, a poet and a civil rights activist. And my dad was an actor. So they all taught us that all of these things are a part of who we are. I think to be an actor, you also have to feel what is happening somewhat in the world and mankind and have empathy.
So it was an important part of our growing up. We were going to demonstrations. We were on picket lines. Our parents took us to do those things.
My sister Alexis is a transgender, hero, activist. My sister Rosanna does a lot of work in sex trafficking. My brother David has done a lot of work for prison reform and also feeding homeless kids over weekends when they don’t have food at school. My brother Richmond worked in Haiti and did a lot of relief work there. So I am very proud of my whole family.