Charlize Theron gave an incredible speech when she accepted her Glamour 2019 Women of the Year Award on Monday night—and it should be required reading.
The actor, who’s set to appear in the upcoming movie Bombshell, took the stage at New York’s Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on Monday, November 11.
She was introduced by her Bombshell co-star Kate McKinnon, who told the audience about the first time she was captivated by Theron—her Oscar-winning performance in Monster—and what it was like to share the stage with her on Saturday Night Live.
“For some reason I was asked to introduce Charlize Theron at this Glamour event, which is sort of like a bridge troll being asked to introduce a Queen, but trolls love snacks and green rooms, so here I am,” McKinnon joked. “What can be said about Charlize Theron, a person whose Helen of Troy-esque, ship-launching face, is absolutely the least remarkable thing about her? A person whose real-life bad-assness makes her character from Mad Max: Fury Road look lazy and selfish? A person so grand that when you meet her, it only feels right to get on the floor—but who is so nice and normal that you end up just kind of doing a little curtsey?”
She continued, “In my mind, the finest screen performance of all time is Charlize in Monster. A performance filled with so much compassion and so much humanity that I found myself thinking 1) my god, the pain of so many women in this world is so overwhelming that I can’t even move; and 2) my god I want someone to make out with me outside of a roller rink. Charlize’s finest screen work came in 2014, of course, when we did an SNL sketch together about two ladies working in a cat shelter, a sketch that would go on to win a BAFTA. But seriously, she kind of swooped in and turned a bunch of cat jokes into a fully-fleshed out drama dynamic and for that I owe her so much.”
McKinnon concluded with insight into their time together filming Bombshell. “What I owe her everything for is getting to be a part of her latest incredibly important film, Bombshell. Where she not only transforms into Megyn Kelly but she embodies every nuance of a horrifying and horrifyingly common situation, which is the Goliath that women face when they choose to come forward about sexual harassment. But these kinds of revelatory roles have become par for the course for Charlize. In whatever she does, she always stands for bravery, risk and making tough choices. She does it as an actor, as a producer, an activist, a philanthropist, and a mom. And that’s what makes her a Glamour Woman of the Year.”
Naturally, Theron’s speech was as inspiring as her work. Read it, below:
“What a night. I’m a mess, there’s nothing ‘glamour’ about my face anymore. You all fucked me up in the most beautiful way. Thank you, Kate for doing this. For asking me to be your cat lady. It’s been a privilege to work with someone so incredibly funny and talented. That is until the day you do an impression of me in a celebrity game show sketch…then you’re dead to me.
I also want to thank Sam and everybody from Glamour. It is an incredible honor to be named Woman of the Year when this is the kind of company I get to keep. Ava, Yara, Megan, Tory, Margaret, Greta, Erika, Lucia, Andrea, Mayra,…a thousand times I say yes, every time.