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Claire Foy brings feminism to Critics' Choice Awards with empowering acceptance speech

‘There’s no such thing as just the wife’

Sabrina Barr
Monday 14 January 2019 11:27 GMT
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'There's no such thing as 'just the wife'' Claire Foy's gives acceptance speech at Critics Choice Awards 2019

Claire Foy delivered a moving speech about the complexities of female roles at the 2019 Critics' Choice Awards while accepting the #SeeHer award.

Foy became the third actor to receive special recognition with the #SeeHer accolade at the annual award ceremony, following in the footsteps of Viola Davis and Gal Gadot.

The #SeeHer initiative was launched by the Association of National Advertisers in 2016 with the aim of increasing the number of accurate portrayals of women across advertising and media.

In her speech, Foy spoke about how many people have referred to her role in the 2018 Neil Armstrong biopic First Man as “just the wife”, an evaluation that she has a strong grievance with.

“I’ve had the opportunity to play some extraordinary women, for all sorts of reasons, and none more so than Janet Armstrong,” Foy said.

“She lived her life with such bravery and resilience and determination and love.

“I can’t tell you how many times during the making of the movie and in the press tour that people said to me, ‘Well that part is normally the part of just the wife’.

“And there’s no such thing as ‘just the wife’.”

This statement was well-received by the star-studded audience, who responded with cheers and rapturous applause.

Foy continued, explaining that it’s an actor’s responsibility to question who they portray, how they portray them and “how we want people to see themselves on screen”.

The actor, who’s widely recognised for her roles as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown and as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl in the Spider’s Web, also paid tribute to Viola Davis in her speech, who presented Foy with the award.

She explained that she’d watched Davis’ acceptance speech for the 2016 #SeeHer award in preparation for her own, and had taken inspiration from the Widows actor’s words that “the greatest privilege in your life is to be who you are.”

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Foy ended her speech by stating that she hopes the #SeeHer award will give her “encouragement” to be “brave enough to face and see myself”, and that she hopes it will also help others to do the same.

For a full list of all the winners at the 2019 Critics Choice Awards, click here.

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