At the 2017 Golden Globes, Meryl Streep was honored with the prestigious Cecil B. Demille Award, and, true to form, gave the most inspiring speech of the night. The iconic actress delivered the message of respect, empathy, and compassion that we all needed to hear.
Viola Davis introduced the honoree with a poetic speech which brought a hush over the crowd. “You made me proud to be an artist,” she told her Doubt co-star.
Streep began by naming the birthplaces of actors and actresses honored at Sunday night’s show, making a point that Hollywood’s top talents come from all over the globe. “Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem,” she said. “And the beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.”
“Ryan Gosling, like all of the nicest people, is Canadian. And Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, is playing an Indian raised in Tasmania. So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners.”
“An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of other people who are different from us,” she added, celebrating the wonderful diversity that was honored at tonight’s show.
“Once when I was standing around on the set one day, whining about something—you know, having to work through supper or long hours—Tommy Lee Jones said to me, ‘Isn’t it such a privilege, Meryl, just to be an actor?’ Yeah, it is, and we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy.”
“As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia said to me once, ‘Take your broken heart. Take it into art.”
This story was written by Olivia Bahou and first appeared on InStyle.com