Jodie Foster Comes Out (Sort Of) During Golden Globes

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s Golden Globes coverage.

Jodie Foster was not exactly springing a surprise on Hollywood tonight at the Golden Globes. The fact that she is gay is no secret in this town. What wasn’t known is how long she wouldn’t talk about it publicly. After all, for decades, her longtime (and now-retired) publicist Pat Kingsley fought the prying media against outing Foster publicly. But Jodie’s own acceptance speech tonight (see video below) of the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award was revelatory – and the big topic backstage during and after the ceremony. Not the least of the commentary came from Foster, who spent about 10 minutes backstage fielding questions — about twice as long as most awardees. Foster’s speech ranged from her future plans (more directing but not retiring, an impression she might have given — not intentionally, she says) to her privacy, which included her making her most public coming-out statement to date.

Related: Nikki Finke: Live-Snarking Golden Globes

“Seriously, I hope that you’re not disappointed that there won’t be a big coming-out speech tonight because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the Stone Age, in those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family, co-workers and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her, everyone she actually met”, the 50-year-old Foster said onstage. “But now apparently I’m told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance, and a primetime reality show. And you guys might be surprised, but I’m not Honey Boo Boo child.”

Related: Q&A: Jodie Foster On Her DeMille Award

Reporters backstage tended to quiz the women winners, not the men, on what they thought of Jodie’s remarks. In response, winners Lena Dunham and Jessica Chastain praised Foster. Dunham called the speech “mind-blowingly beautiful.” Chastain reacted personally. “As an actress, I struggle a lot with privacy.” She said that the audience is more willing to accept performers in a variety of roles if their own life remains a mystery.

Foster’s wide-ranging speech also included language about changes coming in her career — which some initially took to mean that she was stepping back from acting. “It’s just that from now on I may be holding a different talking stick, and maybe it won’t be as sparkly. Maybe it won’t open on 3,000 screens… But it will be my writing on the wall: ‘Jodie Foster was here.’ ” Backstage, Foster assured the media that she will not stop working in front of the camera. “Oh, I could never stop acting,” she said. “I’m not retiring. They’d have to drag me behind a team of horses.” She quickly added, “If you’ve got anything perfect for me, I’ll be directing tomorrow.”

  1. This is one brave woman and a great actress who deserved her award tonight!…best of luck Jodie and a lot of more awards!…u are one in a million!…

  2. I wish all actors everywhere would take a leaf out of Jodie Foster’s book. Obviously she knew ahead of time she was going to win, but what a speech: provoking such emotion without her getting overly emotional. Classy and, most importantly, REHEARSED!

  3. I liked the gist of what she said, poking fun at those who feel they not only have to come out publicly, but do so with a book deal, reality tv series, and special segment on Dateline, 20/20, or Oprah. That said, she rambled way too much and overall it was a very odd speech.

  4. Her speech was a little loopy but I thought it was beautiful and honest. A lot of the actresses in the audience were choked up because I think she hit a nerve about balancing a private life with your inherent celebrity in this media crazed landscape. It made me miss Jodie Foster and want to see more of her – behind and in front of the camera.

    She is truly a class act.

  5. Just saw the speech. I don’t know what the fuss is all about. It was rambling, she was nervous, it wasn’t profound or funny or moving. It was weird. Coming out confessions are getting so BORING. Make it stop please. Be gay, who cares?

    1. Lots of people “care,” and make gay people’s lives miserable because of it. Naive beyond belief, Cloey.

    2. Apparently the media and everyone else cares otherwise celbs such as Foster, Anderson Cooper,Ricky Martin, Travolta etc. wouldn’t have been the subject of media speculation and rumours for years.

      Either way, the gay celebrity can’t win. If they let it be known, everyone says “Who cares” but at the same time everyone wants to know and feels they are being dishonest if they don’t announce it to the world.

  6. Pat Kingsley is an old fuddy duddy she never understood that for women who announce they are lesbian their career always gets a big boost. Pat was always terrified that somebody with credibility would out Tom Cruise with real evidence Pat lived in fear of that.

    Oh and all you Golden Globes people, you see that sign up there? When it lights up you all have to clap as loud as you can for as long as you can. That’s right it says APPLESAUCE.

  7. What I want to know is what was on that seven second silence that I thought was just my TWC service messing up as usual but turns out everyone experienced too.

  8. Nice speech from a classy lady. Even nicer to see the unfairly-maligned Mel Gibson back in front of the camera, where he belongs!

  9. —More self regarding –self-basting —-’REAL moments’
    for collectivizing MASS consumption.

    MEANWHILE —-LOOK in ANY direction at what’s unfolding.

    Consider the REALITY of this year’s ‘offerings’.

    TRY not to pewk.

  10. Jodie Foster is a class act. Smart, funny and poignant. That said, not really earth shattering. However if it were lets say George Clooney making the same speech — well then now that would be ground breaking. Still there has yet to be a male movie star (who is not blatantly homosexual), to make such an announcement. I don’t care what anyone says… it’s different when a woman does “comes out’. It’s almost a non issue…

  11. Am I the only one that thought Jane Lynch looked greatly disappointed (pissed) Jodie wasn’t “coming out”?

  12. Her speech was smart, elegant and insightful, just like her. She is the epitome of class. Every actor should take a tip from her.

  13. The worst kept secret in Hollywood…she’s gay! Why not just say so without all the rigamarole..I thought it was rambling & Also not sure this was the proper forum when being given a career achievement award…but she looks good! :)

  14. This is a reminder of why she is so awesome, and respected. I have always loved her as an actress, and even more so now as a human being. Love you Jodie!

  15. I am for one going to ask the question…who cares? Honestly who really cares? Also, why do it in general and why the at the Golden Globes? I really don’t remember all of America or the world asking “oh hey do you think Jodie Foster is a lesbian?” I honestly forgot she existed as a human being until she got this “award”?

  16. I wonder why nobody is talking about how beautiful Jodie Foster looked. Her gown was as beautiful as any I saw.

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