SPEECH BY: RENÉE ZELLWEGER
Thank you to the Academy. Thank you for inviting me here alongside one of the most special collaborations and meaningful experiences of my life. I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again: Cynthia, Scarlett, Charlize, Saoirse. I have to say, boy, it is an honor to be considered in your company.
David Livingstone, Cameron McCracken, director Rupert Goold, boy, it was a privilege to work with you and I feel so proud to be in your beautiful movie. I gotta thank my stage moms: Matt, Anna, Geoff and Eric Vetro, Paul, Gary. Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell, all the cast and the crew who worked so hard on this film to celebrate Judy Garland. My extended family at CAA: Peter, Brian and Kevin. Imprint: Nicole and Dom. Nanci Ryder, thank you for the 25 years. John Carrabino, my handsome date of 25 years. Thank you for always dreaming bigger than I would dare and for bringing it back to the work and joy and gratitude.
My immigrant folks who came here with nothing but each other and a belief in the American dream, how about this? Thank you to you, big brother Drew, Brandy, Judy, Stone and Ava for all the love and support possible that makes you believe anything is possible.
And I have to say that this past year of conversations celebrating Judy Garland across generations and across cultures has been a really cool reminder that our heroes unite us. The best among us who inspire us to find the best in ourselves. You know, when they unite us, when we look to our heroes, we agree. And that matters. Neil Armstrong, Sally Ride, Delores Huerta, Venus and Serena and Selena, Bob Dylan, Scorsese, Fred Rogers, Harriet Tubman. We agree on our teachers and we agree on our courageous men and women in uniform who serve. We agree on our first responders and firefighters. And when we celebrate our heroes, we’re reminded of who we are, as one people, united. And though Judy Garland did not receive this honor in her time, I am certain that this moment is an extension of the celebration of her legacy that began on our film set and is also representative of the fact that her legacy of unique exceptionalism and inclusivity and generosity of spirit. It transcends any one artistic achievement. Miss Garland, you were certainly among the heroes who unite and define us. And this is certainly for you. I am so grateful. Thank you so much, everybody. Good night.
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