Jodie Foster used the 2013 Golden Globes awards to address her sexuality for the first time directly, saying that she had come out to everyone she had met, but regretted that a public declaration in the media was required.
In a wide-ranging and occasionally opaque speech accepting the Cecil B DeMille lifetime achievement award, Foster upstaged even the former president Bill Clinton to deliver the surprise of the night.
After teasing the crowd that she was going to make an announcement “that I’m a little bit nervous about”, Foster said: “I’m just gonna put it out there … I’m single.”
There was laughter, but the room at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles fell silent as it appeared Foster, 50, had a serious point to make.
Foster said: “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, coworkers and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her. To everyone she actually met.
“But now, apparently I’m told, that every celebrity is expected to honour the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a primetime reality show. You guys might be surprised, but I am not Honey Boo Boo child.”
It has been been widely known in Hollywood circles for years that Foster, the recipient of two Academy Awards from four nominations in her career, is gay. But the fact is rarely acknowledged in the media as Foster has never discussed it publicly, save for an oblique reference to her then partner, Cydney Bernard, in a speech in 2007.
On Sunday night Foster pivoted from a discussion about her sexuality to speak about the issue of privacy for people in the public eye and to deliver a critique about modern celebrity media culture.
“If you had been a public figure by the time you were a toddler, if you had had to fight for a life that felt real, and honest, and normal against all odds, then you too might value privacy above all else,” she said.
“Privacy. Some day in the future people will look back and remember how beautiful it once was.”
It was not the first time Foster has discussed the issue of privacy. Last year she wrote on the Daily Beast website that “if I were a young actor today I would quit before I started”, in response to the scrutiny under which actors find themselves.
Her cryptic speech immediately trended on social media websites, with Twitter users speculating whether Foster had indeed come out for the first time, and whether she might have retired from the film business – the actor ending her speech by saying it felt like “the end of an era”.
Foster quickly put any rumours to bed, however, telling reporters in the press room that she was not retiring. “You’d have to drag me behind a team of horses,” she said. “No, I’m not retiring from acting.”
While Foster’s speech was the most direct discussion of her sexuality yet, its enigmatic language left open room for plenty of interpretation. The Guardian’s US film critic, Tom Shone, described the remarks as a “goofy, meandering speech during which she half-came out and half told everyone off for being so nosy”.
The singer Ricky Martin, who said publicly he was gay in 2010, tweeted: “Jody Foster On your terms. Its your time! Not before nor after. Its when it feels right.”
Amy Poehler, who co-hosted the Golden Globes with fellow comedian Tina Fey, joked as she signed off for the night: “We’re going home with Jodie Foster!”
via | Film | guardian.co.uk.