Full acceptance speech.
Julianne presenting her award: “Well, listen, you know, I’m happy to have the opportunity to talk about Kristen. I always like to mention that I have known her since she was 12 years old. You know, this is a way to state my primacy as an actor, and my own importance. Like you say, “Oh, yeah, I’ve known Kristen since she was 18,” and I’m like, “Yeah? Yeah? I’ve known her since she was 12.” But it’s also a way to give me a frame to talk about her tremendous abilities and how obvious they were, so very early on. My husband, Bart Freundlich, cast a 12-year-old Kristen in his film [Catch That Kid] and would come home every day, telling me how amazing this little kid was and how she was going to be a giant star. No kidding, that’s what he’d say. And then he’d show me the dailies so I could see for myself, the emotions that she had at her fingertips, and her inability to be anything less than completely authentic and alive onscreen.
And this authenticity extends to her personal self as well. Kristen brings an intensity and a truthfulness to absolutely everything in her life, her work, her friendships, and her relationship with the world. She has managed to become a global star while remaining very much herself, with her talent intact. And I’ve been very, very close to that talent, and that’s when you can tell whether or not somebody’s faking it or not, and believe me, she’s not. I’ve seen her skin flush with emotion; I’ve wiped tears off her face and experienced the sheer pleasure of connecting with her as an actor, all the while knowing that that’s the connection everyone in the audience is feeling as well. In Clouds of Sils Maria, the movie she’s being honored for tonight, Kristen is achingly alive, palpably emotional, utterly practical, totally normal, and incandescent onscreen. In short, she is nothing less than what I expected of her when she was 12 years old. She is my friend, and I love her, and I thank you for acknowledging this beautiful performance.”
Kristen: “Hey, guys … That was very sweet, thank you, Julie. Um, it means a lot to receive this from you [the NYFCC]. I’ve received a lot of popcorn, MTV Popcorns [at the MTV Movie Awards], stuff like that, but this is a little different. No, really. Thanks. Uh, this movie, it’s really lovely. I worked with this director, Olivier Assayas directed this. Charles Gillibert produced On the Road, which I did a couple years ago, and got involved with us, and he’s just put me in contact with people who I should be spending my time with, really incredible vision and that’s what I love him for … This movie is really thoughtful and quiet and kind of diagonal and not extreme in any way. And it came out like a year ago! So this is nuts. And thank you so much, it really means a lot, and our crew was incredible, and when you get the right people together who want to tell a story, good things happen. Thank you so much. Bye.”
“It is a trip. It’s a wonderfully unexpected icing on a cake to a positive situation. We shot this movie a long time ago. It’s a foreign film. It’s a little quiet. It’s not extreme,” she says. “This was really shocking because it’s two women sitting in a room, rehearsing lines, and talking to each other about the work that they do and where they are in their lives.”
But congratulations, Kristen! You earned it! “Thank you, dude!” she responds with a grin. Should the acting thing stop panning out, she could learn a lesson or three from ‘Sils.’ “I’d be a great assistant. I would be really good at that I think. I could really take care of an actress. Especially if I liked her. I’d make sure she was handled,” says Stewart.
Much has been written about the dearth of meaty roles for women, especially for women of a certain age — and the expectation of eternal youth. Carrie Fisher said she was asked to lose weight before shooting “Star Wars,” and another very established actress recently was offered the part of a girlfriend who spends most of the film in a coma. She turned it down.
“I’m so one-in-a-million lucky. I’m presented with spectacular material. I’ve never been bored. It is hard for me to speak to that, but if you look around, you can answer that,” says Stewart. “I’ve never been screwed by that. If there aren’t any roles for me, at any age, wherever I’m at, and I don’t feel that stimulation, I will find it elsewhere. I’m not driven by being in the spotlight.”