For 76 years, the Golden Globes have awarded some of the best actors and actresses in the industry. And with every award given, an acceptance speech follows. But while some winners thank their cast, crew, publicists, and families, others take the opportunity to throw a few life lessons our way—and we’re all about it.
With the 77th Golden Globes right around the corner (Sunday, January 5th!), we thought the best and only way to pregame would be bingeing some of our favorite actors’ and actresses’ speeches (on stage and backstage) from the last couple of years that included golden nuggets of wisdom. Because even though the Golden Globes might be a huge TV spectacle, they’re also about humanity and storytelling.
Oprah Winfrey on knowing when to truly accept people for who they are
“The greatest lesson I’ve learned throughout my career came from Maya Angelou. When I was first meeting her and after I’d known her for a while, she said, ‘Baby, you need to know when people show you who they are, you believe them the first time. And your problem is that it takes you 29 times to see the same lesson in a different skirt, wearing a different pair of pants.’
“I think that has been one of my greatest wisdom teachings is to assess from people’s behavior; their actions, not just toward me, but toward other people; and who they are and how they behave because if people talk about other people, they’ll talk about you. So I think in business and in personal relationships, that’s also been my greatest lesson.”
Jennifer Lawerence on not giving up on her career
“I got told no millions of times. You weren’t going to become a successful actor and not be told no many, many, many times. I really wanted it to work, and I wanted to do absolutely everything I could do before giving up. I had a five-year plan, but I definitely had to convince people to hire me.”
Reese Witherspoon on the importance of telling women’s stories
“For so much of my career, for 27 years, I never got to work with another woman. To be able to have incredible scenes and the opportunity to have a spectrum of female behaviors [for] women [to] look differently, [for them to have] different socioeconomic backgrounds, [and to have] different experiences in life. To start the talk about seeing a more dynamic woman on film, I think this is just the beginning, and we hope to continue that and make it more diverse, more inclusive, and make it look more like [how] the world really looks.
“It’s really important [because] when women are the architects of their stories, the stories change, and you see things differently. We need to hear stories from every type of people and every type of person. And I think it’s been going on for too long for the same people to tell the same stories over and over again. It feels like it’s changing.”
Donald Glover on keeping the magic alive
“I remember going to school because I wasn’t allowed to talk about magic. I knew Santa Claus was fake, but I was around a lot of kids who didn’t know that. So you have this responsibility to keep that going and understand why you’re doing it because of joy. So I think human joy is super important. It doesn’t come from computers, it comes from belief—you know, acting, making music. All that stuff is believing in something that maybe someone older doesn’t truly believe, but when you see it in a child, it makes you kind of believe it again. Because we forget how innocent and beautiful we were, so I think it’s our responsibility to make magic again.”
Meryl Streep on bulling and violence
“Disrespect invites disrespects, violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
Viola Davis on why she believes her relationship works
“I just know that [our relationship] is a great friendship. I know that when I’m down, he’s up. And when he’s down, I’m up, so we could throw each other a rope…I think [we] probably [have] respect on the greatest level [for one another]. And [I want] the best for him as well as him wanting the best for me. I think that’s the truest foundation of love.”
Tracee Ellis Ross on how her mother, Diana Ross, raised her
“I never felt like I was in my mother’s shadow. I know that always comes up when you have a very famous or prominent parent, but I’ve actually always felt like I was in my mother’s embrace and part of the way she raised me and all five of her kids [was] to follow my heart and follow my dreams and do the hard work to get there. It’s sweet, charming, and wonderful to have a different experience, and yet, have so much of the same as my mom.”
Glenn Close on personal fulfillment as a woman
“I’m thinking of my mom who sublimated herself to my father her whole life. And in her eighties, she said to me, ‘I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything.’ And it was so not right. I feel what I’ve learned through this whole experience is that women, we’re nurturers, and that’s what is expected of us. We have our children, our husbands, if we’re lucky enough, or our partners. But we have to find personal fulfillment. We have to follow our dreams. We have to say, ‘I can do that’ and ‘I should be allowed to do that.'”