As you loyal readers may have picked up on, yours truly has never been a fan of awards shows or most mainstream cinema, but even my heartstrings were tugged on by Forest Whitaker's acceptance speech last night. Apparently, he had some trouble at the Golden Globes, so he must have been ready this time around. Subtle, political, and genuine, Whitaker made a platform that is typically used for aggrandizing oneself and those around him or her to recite a poignant love letter to the art of acting.
Whitaker has been a vastly underrated actor for years, but has shown range from his portrayal of Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland to Ker in Battlefield Earth. That's right, Battlefield Earth. And to be recognized for such a marvelous turn was incredibly exciting, despite the fact that it was the 22nd award he's collected for the role.
And it's nice to know that no matter how cynical this blogger gets, there are still moments that really resonate in the chest cavity and remind me of why I do what I do. I couldn't find a video of the speech, but I did find the text in full. Enjoy.
"Thank you. Thank you. Just a second, just a second. OK. Take it. OK. I wrote something down, because I thought if it would happen that I would be a little overwhelmed and I am. So, OK.
When I was a kid, the only way that I saw movies was from the backseat of my family's car. At the drive-in. And, it wasn't my reality to think I would be acting in movies, so receiving this honor tonight tells me that it's possible. It is possible for a kid from east Texas, raised in South Central L.A. in Carson, who believes in his dreams, commits himself to them with his heart, to touch them, and to have them happen.
Because when I first started acting, it was because of my desire to connect to everyone. To that thing inside each of us. That light that I believe exists in all of us. Because acting for me is about believing in that connection and it's a connection so strong, it's a connection so deep, that we feel it. And through our combined belief, we can create a new reality.
So I want to thank my fellow believers in The Last King of Scotland. I want to thank Peter, Jeremy, Andrea, Lisa, Charles, Kevin, James McAvoy, Kerry, Stephen, Fox, DNA, Channel Four. I want to thank the people of Uganda, who helped this film have a spirit. And finally, I want to thank my mom and my dad. I want to thank my wife Keisha, my children, my ancestors, who continue to guide my steps. And God, God who believes in us all. And who's given me this moment, in this lifetime, that I will hopefully carry to the end of my lifetime into the next lifetime. Thank you."