Shirley MacLaine At Texas Film Awards: Austin “Should Build A Wall Around Itself”

By Brian Brooks, Erik Pedersen

Brian Brooks/Deadline

Shirley MacLaine drew some laughs tonight while accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Film Awards. After being introduced by Richard Linklater — founder of the Austin Film Society, which presents the annual awards on the night before SXSW starts — she quipped that “Austin should build a wall around itself” and make the rest of Texas pay for it.

No word on whether the Texas Army National Guard would have its budget slashed to fund the project.

MacLaine, who starred with Jack Black in Linklater’s 2011 pic Bernie, got more serious a little later in her speech, saying she plans to commit the rest of her career to stories that focus on older people — a segment of the populace she said is “verboten” in Hollywood. In her current film The Last Word, she plays a very successful retired businesswoman who goes to her local newspaper’s obit writer (Amanda Seyfried) to co-write her own death notice.

MacLaine, who also praised Linklater and the Austin Film Society from the podium, received a second award tonight as her 1983 film Terms of Endearment was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame. The pic won five Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actress for MacLaine.

Recognized as the unofficial start of SXSW, the Texas Film Awards also paid tribute to Fort Worth native Bill Paxton, who died last month at 61. San Antonio-born filmmaker Robert Rodriguez introduced video tributes by Tom Cruise and an emotional Kevin Bacon. The ceremony also honored Jeff Nichols, Sarah Green, Tye Sheridan and documentary filmmaker Hector Galán, a seventh-generation Mexican-American who said he knows people in hiding and it “shouldn’t be that way here.”

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