Did you watch Meryl Streep’s award speech at the Golden Globes earlier this month? It was everything; tear-inducing, funny, smart, sassy, graceful and seriously important.
Meryl’s choice to take a moment that was meant to be about her, in a very public way, and turn it into a speech about important global issues (including race, equality and love) was awe-inspiring, and now we all want to go round hers for tea even more than we did before. Which was a lot. You just know she’d give you seconds.
To celebrate the speech, which will go down in awards season history, we’ve made a playlist of the coolest, funniest, smartest awards speeches from women we love. They’ll do you the world of good on a rainy day when you’ve got a test and three new spots to deal with.
Hattie McDaniel, Oscars 1940
Gone With the Wind actress Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win an Oscar, ever. Her speech was beautiful and joy-filled. “I sincerely hope that I will always be a credit to my race… my heart is too full”.
Merritt Weaver, Emmy Awards 2013
The funniest and possibly shortest speech we’ve ever seen – Merritt Weaver’s Emmy acceptance for her role as the kooky and totally adorable Zoey in US TV show Nurse Jackie. Watch, laugh and watch again.
Adele, Golden Globes 2013
One of the many, many (many) things we love about Adele, is her ability to always be Adele. She doesn’t try to be slick, or get high on her own supply. Also, any speech that begins with shrieks of “OH MA GOD! OH MA GOD!” is a winner in our book.
Katherine Bigalow, Oscars 2010
Not only was Katherine incredibly gracious in her acceptance speech (she dedicated it to women and men in the military), she was also the first woman to ever win an Oscar for Best Director, making Hollywood history, for her action-packed war film The Hurt Locker. Inspiring.
Patricia Arquette, Oscars 2015
Like Meryl, Patricia took her opportunity at the speech podium to raise awareness about an important issue – in this case, the gender pay gap. She begins by thanking her “beautiful, powerful” fellow actress nominees, and ends with Meryl heckling a supportive “Yaaas!” from the crowd. We want her poise in bucketloads.
Emma Thompson, Golden Globes 1996
Emma’s speeches are always amazing (she presented a Golden Globe in 2014 barefoot and holding a cocktail) but our favourite is when she won a Golden Globe for writing Sense and Sensibility in 1996. Basically, she reads out a letter pretending to be from Jane Austen and everyone agrees it’s hilarious. Legend.
Jennifer Lawrence, Oscars 2013
We couldn’t not include this one – Jen tripping on her dress at the Oscars then immediately laughing it off before remembering to thank about 67 people, because she’s cool and grateful with the good manners of an angel. Because of her, falling over on the way to the bus stop is way less painful. What a babe.
Gina Rodriguez, Golden Globes 2015
Gina’s empowering speech encouraging young Latina girls to pursue their dreams is shiver-down-the-spine stuff. Our favourite quote; “This award is so much more than myself – it represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes”.
Anna Paquin, Oscars 1994
Anna was the second youngest actress ever to win an Oscar – she was just 11 when she was awarded Best Supporting Actress for her performance in The Piano. She totally bosses her speech, which is made up entirely of thank-yous. Also, she’s wearing a fabulous sparkly beret. You go Paquin.
What are you waiting for? Grab a shampoo bottle and get practising.