To the casual observer, all award shows may look the same. Celebs dress to impress and walk the red carpet while photographers and interviewers hound them before they muster their best it’s-an-honor-to-be-nominated expression while the winners deliver long, boring speeches. Don’t let the formal attire fool you–the Golden Globes are lively and unpredictable. Sometimes, forks clang as celebs dine during the show, teleprompters go blank, and nominees wander off. Check out these five awesomely awkward Golden Globes acceptance speeches.
1. Claire Danes Forgets Her Family
Long before her “cry face” became comedic fodder, teen Claire Danes stunned audiences with her performance as Angela Chase, an introspective 15-year-old girl trying to survive adolescence, on “My So-Called Life.” Although the show was canceled after only one season, Danes managed to nab a Golden Globe for Best Actress. As she delivered her awkward acceptance speech in 1995, she seemed to channel Angela trying to flub her way through a class presentation. There was a certain charm to her spontaneous “ums” and nervous hand gestures, but she forgot to thank her parents. Oops!
Nearly two decades later, an adult Danes combined candor and eloquence as she accepted a Golden Globe for her performance as Carrie on “Homeland.” She relished the opportunity to have a second chance to properly acknowledge her parents for their support and encouragement. When she won another Golden Globe in 2013, she graciously acknowledged everyone from her fellow nominees to the “Homeland” writers. She also thanked Baby Cyrus, who served as an honorary castmember before he was born. It looks like she won’t be leaving any family members off her thank-you list again.
2. Jodie Foster Confuses Audience with a Coming-Out-But-Not-Really Speech
Since the age of three, Jodie Foster worked as an amazing actress. Her 2013 acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award revealed her scorn the loss of privacy in the modern world. Her rambling speech probably has an fascinating backstory, but it played a bit like an uncomfortable phone message left in the wee hours of the morning.
At one point, Foster said she already came out “about a thousand years ago.” Then she went on to acknowledge her co-parent and ex-partner Cydney Bernard. Coming from another celeb, this speech may have seemed like a sure sign of an impending trip to a rehab of some sort. But Foster, who has given a lifetime of memorable performances in everything from “The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane” to “The Silence of the Lambs,” delivered a sincere, meaningful message. (It may take a second-viewing for the initial confusion and shock to fade, but it’s there.) This accomplished actress can make as many lovably awkward rants as she likes.
3. Christine Lahti Pulls a Disappearing Act
In 1998, Michael J. Fox and Laura San Giacomo were dumbfounded when they called Christine Lahti’s name and no one could find her. The audience playfully clapped and giggled while scanning the room. Amidst the confusion, Robin Williams took the stage did some of his signature impromptu comedy. Lahti eventually made her way to the stage and proclaimed, “I was in the bathroom, Mom!” She heard news of her big win for “Chicago Hope” while flushing. Yikes! Thanks to her wonderful sense of humor and the sheer chaos that ensued, this embarrassing situation became an adorably awkward moment.
4. Jennifer Lawrence Riles the Internet
In 2013, Jennifer Lawrence tried to give a sweet, funny acceptance speech when she received a Golden Globe for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook.” The audience let out a low chuckling murmur when she grasped her statuette and quipped, “I beat Meryl!” Some online commenters took it as an insult to the legendary Meryl Streep, who was nominated for “Hope Springs,” but not in attendance. Lawrence later explained that she is a movie geek and referenced a line from Bette Midler’s character in “First Wives Club.” When watching the whole speech, it is obvious that Lawrence is both humble and thankful. It is refreshing that she is comfortable enough to be true to herself and make a geeky joke.
5. Robert De Niro Insults… Everyone
Does the Cecil B. DeMille Award remove the winner’s inner filter? When receiving the honor in 2011, Robert De Niro took jabs at everything from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to his own movie, “Little Fockers.” His four-minute routine would have worked better without the immigration jokes, but it never quite reached that cringe-worthy Ricky Gervais stage. His comedic endeavor was a slight overstretch, but it gave the home audience plenty to laugh at as the celebs in attendance squirmed in their seats. Priceless.