Things your publicist says not to do during an acceptance speech

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Following Jodie Foster's performance at the Golden Globes (to the dismay of her publicist, but to our delight), we round up a few of the 'what not to do' rules

“While I'm here being all confessional, I guess I have a sudden urge to say something that I've never really been able to air in public. So, a declaration that I'm a little nervous about but maybe not quite as nervous as my publicist right now, huh Jennifer?”

Jodie Foster’s acceptance speech at last night’s Golden Globes must surely have struck fear into the heart of her publicist (Read the full transcript here) The actress, who rambled emotionally about her age (“I’m 50! I’m 50!”), cleavage and sexuality ("I already did my big coming out about a thousand years ago in the stone age") was a breath of fresh air during the awards season.

Usually Hollywood’s finest allow the mascara to run just artfully enough not to mar their perfectly made-up faces while waxing breathlessly lyrical about “the studio”, their families and colleagues. In other words they give perfect, media-trained performances adhering to a few carefully laid-out rules drummed into them by their hardworking publicists.

The gushing, name-checking, tear wiping and self-congratulation might be ubiquitous but few stars break the mould, letting it all hang out and revealing themselves to be as fragile, volatile, and susceptible to the bamboozling powers of Champagne and a tight dress/tuxedo, as the rest of us. 

So, in celebration of rare glimpses of reality in Tinseltown, here are some rules (we imagine) your publicist might lay down for celebrities ahead of red carpet appearances. With some noteworthy failures to follow them.

Click here or on "View Images" to launch in pictures

Don’t babble incoherently

Note: Gwyneth Paltrow’s tearful 1999 leading actress Oscars acceptance speech: “I would like to thank my wonderful agent Rick Kurstman who is a beautiful man and a wonderful agent and in his case that is not an oxymoron…I would not have been able to play this role had I not understood love of a tremendous magnitude [in between sobs] and for that I thank my family, my mother Blythe Danner, who I [sob], love more than anything…my earthly guardian angel Mary Whigmore, and especially my father Bruce Paltrow who has surmounted insurmountable obstacles this year.”

Don't lose the ability to speak

Note: The wordless, open-mouthed, shoulder-shaking sobs expressed by Halle Berry as she accepted the Best Actress Oscar for Monster’s Ball (the first black woman to win in that category) will go down in Academy history. She stood for almost a minute on stage at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre only able to utter wretched cries of “Oh my god” and “sorry” between convulsions.

Don’t declare love for your brother in a way that could be misconstrued as incest

Note: In 2000 (long before the dawn of Brangelina), Angelina Jolie accepted the best actress Oscar for Girl Interrupted with an impassioned speech about her brother Jamie. “I’m in shock. And I’m so in love with my brother right now. He just told me he loves me and I know he’s so happy for me. Thank you for that…Jamie, I have nothing without you. You are the strongest most amazing man I’ve ever known. I love you.” Before going up to accept her gong Jolie gave Jamie a tight hug and a kiss on the lips.

Don’t out anybody else

Note: While accepting an Oscar for Philadelphia Tom Hanks declared that his High School drama teacher was “of the finest gay Americans I have had the good fortune to be associated with”. Despite the lovely sentiment, Hanks’ speech outed a man on national television who up until that point had been, in his professional capacity at least, firmly in the closet.

Don’t have a go at another celebrity

Note: At the 2012 Golden Globes Elton John and Madonna (competing for the Best Original Song gong) used the national press present to swipe at each other. Elton told reporters “Madonna doesn’t have a f****** chance” after which the Material Girl said “damn him” and went on to take the trophy. John’s husband David Furnish continued the spat on Facebook posting: “Madonna for Best Original Song? F*** off!”

Don’t shout “I’m the King of the World wooohooooo!”

Note: Titanic director James Cameron didn’t go in for modesty while picking up his Oscar. He might claim to have been quoting the characters in the film. But holding his arms aloft in excitement and whooping like a hyena he wasn’t commanding particular good acting skills.

Arts & Entertainment
Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones now
tvMajor roles that grow with their child actors are helping them to steal the show on TV
Arts & Entertainment
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
music

Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
ComedyCollier was once told there were "too many women" on bill
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
music

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
film

Arts & Entertainment
Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatre

Review: Of Mice and Men

Arts & Entertainment
art

By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work

Arts & Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio will star in an adaptation of Michael Punke's thriller 'The Revenant'
film

Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar

Arts & Entertainment
Cody and Paul Walker pictured in 2003.
film

Arts & Entertainment
Down to earth: Fern Britton presents 'The Big Allotment Challenge'
TV

Arts & Entertainment
The London Mozart Players is the longest-running chamber orchestra in the UK
musicThreatened orchestra plays on, managed by its own members
Arts & Entertainment
Seeing red: James Dean with Sal Mineo in 'Rebel without a Cause'
film

Arts & Entertainment
TV
Arts & Entertainment
Heads up: Andy Scott's The Kelpies in Falkirk
art

What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?

Arts & Entertainment
artGraffiti legend posts picture of work – but no one knows where it is
Arts & Entertainment
A close-up of Tom of Finland's new Finnish stamp
art

Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings

Arts & Entertainment
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in 2002's Die Another Day
film

The actor has confessed to his own insecurities

Life & Style
Green fingers: a plot in East London
TV

Allotments are the focus of a new reality show

Arts & Entertainment
Myleene Klass attends the Olivier awards 2014

Oliviers 2014Theatre stars arrive at Britain's most prestigious theatre awards
Arts & Entertainment
Stars of The Book of Mormon by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park

Oliviers 2014Blockbuster picked up Best Musical and Best Actor in a Musical
Arts & Entertainment
Lesley Manville with her Olivier for Best Actress for her role in 'Ghosts'

Oliviers 2014Actress thanked director Richard Eyre for a stunning production
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

    Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
    Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

    British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

    The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
    Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

    Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

    Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
    Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
    Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

    Cannes Film Festival

    Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
    The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

    The concept album makes surprise top ten return

    Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
    Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

    Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

    Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
    10 best baking books

    10 best baking books

    Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
    Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

    Jury still out on Pellegrini

    Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

    As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
    Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

    Mad Men returns for a final fling

    The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

    Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit