Robin Kermode once said ‘award ceremonies give us a unique chance to watch famous and experienced people deal with the performance pressure’ and overwhelming feeling of having to deliver a speech or presentation to an audience. The best speeches are those that convince the audience that the words being spoken are utterly authentic to the person saying them, whilst being pitched with the absolute accurate level of energy, compassion and precision. Indigo Memoir’s takes a look at 5 BAFTA Speeches that will always be remembered either for the incredibly articulate way they were given or because of the fabulously unfortunate events that accompanied their big moment!
- Jack Nicholson- on the set of The Cuckoo’s Nest
For the first speech on our list of BAFTA speeches we will always remember, we travel all the way back to 1975 when Jack Nicholson won the best film actor for his role in Chinatown. Although the incredibly talented actor couldn’t make it in person to collect his award, Nicholson performed a literal glass-smashing acceptance speech from the set of his latest movie which was in the midst of production; ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The hilarious clip showed Nicholson institutionalised whilst many of the other characters from the movie stayed in role as patients from the mental asylum. Despite all the crazy distractions and people obstructing his ‘thank you’s,’ it is a speech that will truly always be remembered!
2. Eddie Redmayne- hands shaking, moving and succinct
2015 is the year of Eddie Redmayne and there is no other actor who deserved this award more than this eloquent, endearing and slightly freckled Brit. Accepting a BAFTA for Best Actor for his monumental performance as Professor Stephen Hawking in the highly praised The Theory of Everything, Redmayne’s speech was nothing short of sensational. Authentic, honest and completely natural, Redmayne was the epitome of refinement as he made his wondrous yet succinct speech, cleverly breaking down his thank you’s by dedicating his award to three families. With his hands shaking the passion and sincerity was made crystal clear as he first thanked his own family, for standing by him and for not giving up on him when he even gave up a little on himself. His professional family; co-star Felicity Jones, Director James Marsh for taking a ‘gargantuan punt’ on him and then lastly the Hawking’s family who he thanked for their kindness and generosity and for reminding him of the great strength that comes from the will to live a full and passionate life. Seriously, best speech ever, giving us just one more reason to adore Eddie Redmayne!
3. Meryl Streep- losing a shoe
In 2012, Meryl Streep won a BAFTA for Leading Actress lost her shoe in the middle of her walk to the pedestal where she would collect her award from a waiting Colin Firth. The actress was as ever gracious as she laughingly told the audience ‘that couldn’t be worse,’ Colin Firth in true gentleman fashion retrieved her shoe and helped her place it back on, of course this is Meryl Streep we’re talking about so she still managed to captivate the audience with her speech making them almost forget about the shoe incident altogether.
4. Cate Blanchett- tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman
Cate Blanchett paid tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman whilst accepting her BAFTA for Best Actress for her performance in ‘Blue Jasmine.’ The magnificent actress worked with the late actor who died from an apparent drug overdose, in 1999 in the movie ‘The Talented Mr Ripley.’ Her speech was moving as she praised the actor for inspiring her and many other actors, her exact words were: ‘Phil your monumental talent, your generosity and your unflinching quest for truth both in art and in life will be missed by not only me, but by so many people, not only in this room and in the industry, but the audiences who loved you so dearly,” she added. “You raised the bar continually.”
5. Helena Bonham Carter- extra long, rambled speech
When one thinks of Helena Bonham Carter, they can’t help but smile, she is best known for her outlandish, brilliant but slightly bonkers roles so there was nobody more surprised than Helena herself when she won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘The King’s Speech.’ She was quick in quipping to the audience that she wasn’t sure if she would ever receive anything like this again so she wanted to stretch out her time, and she did. Her speech was almost four minutes long, but as ever she was funny and entertaining so we almost didn’t notice. Until Jonathan Ross came on stage afterwards telling the audience that Helena’s speech was fabulous but it was also all they had time for, he was joking of course but it definitely made her speech one to remember!