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Helen Mirren rips up AI-generated speech at awards ceremony in show of defiance

The British actor’s dramatic moment was met with uproarious applause from the audience

Inga Parkel
Friday 16 February 2024 21:53 GMT
Golda new clip official from Berlin Film Festival 2023

Helen Mirren was filmed dramatically ripping apart an AI-generated acceptance speech on stage at the American Cinematheque Awards on Thursday night (15 February).

The legendary British actor, 78, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by her 1923 co-star Harrison Ford during the ceremony, held at The Beverly Hilton.

After being presented the award, Mirren proceeded to read aloud from a piece of paper.

“Ladies and gentlemen and esteemed guests and dear friends, I am deeply humbled, profoundly honoured to stand before you today accepting this extraordinary award. To be recognised for a lifetime devoted to the craft of acting is a privilege beyond words,” she can be heard saying in a clip posted to X.

“First and foremost, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the industry and the individuals who have supported me throughout this incredible journey. It has been a life filled with passion, challenges and above all, an unyielding love for the art of storytelling.

“And that was written by AI,” Mirren added before tearing the paper to pieces and tossing it to the floor of the stage.

Her gleeful act was met with uproarious applause and cheering from the audience.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been one of the biggest talking points in Hollywood of late. It was one of the chief issues of last year’s actors’ and writers’ strikes due to concerns that many industry roles would be replaced by AI.

Elsewhere in her speech, Mirren recounted some of her cherished memories working alongside Ford and other directors and co-stars, including James Mason, Bruce Willis, Vin Diesel, Al Pacino and Ryan Reynolds, according to Variety.

Taking a moment to remember her first Academy Award win for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frears’s 2006 thriller, The Queen, she recalled thinking at the time: “There is really one way now, and it can’t be up.”

Her husband, former president of the Directors Guild of America Taylor Hackford, was among the evening’s presenters, along with Diesel, Alan Cumming, Andrea Riseborough, Pierce Brosnan, Patrick Stewart and Bryan Cranston.

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