Nicole Kidman has won many awards over her illustrious 35-year acting career, including an Oscar, two Emmys, and four Golden Globes—but never a SAG Award, despite being nominated nine times since 2001. It appears that the tenth time was the charm, though, as Kidman picked up her very first Screen Actors Guild at the 2018 awards ceremony for her portrayal of domestic abuse survivor Celeste in HBO’s Big Little Lies—while fighting the flu and zero sleep, no less.
“I was working until 1 A.M.—which is a fantastic blessing—last night, but I have the flu and I’m playing a pretty out-there role right now, so I have had a little trouble shedding it,” Kidman said through tears as she accepted the award. “But I’m here and I’m incredibly grateful.”
And despite being ill and exhausted, Kidman still seized the opportunity to deliver a passionate and powerful speech, calling attention to the important shifts towards equality happening in Hollywood and imploring for change to continue. But while her Golden Globes acceptance speech focused more on standing up to abuse of any kind, Kidman used her SAG Awards speech to highlight equal opportunities for women, no matter their age.
“To receive this at this stage in my life is extraordinary,” Kidman said, referencing winning her first SAG Award at age 50. She continued on to cite numerous actresses who have inspired her throughout her career (including fellow nominees Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange). “I want to thank you all for your trailblazing performances you have given over your career, and how wonderful it is that our careers can go beyond 40-years-old,” she said.
“Twenty years ago, we were pretty washed up by this stage in our lives,” Kidman added. “That’s not the case now. We have proven… and so many more are proving that we are potent and powerful and viable. I just beg that the industry stays behind us, because our stories are finally being told. It’s only the beginning, and I’m so proud to be a part of a community that is instigating this change.”
Read the inspiring speech in its entirety below:
“Oh, wow! Yikes! I’m crying. It means a lot to me. I have been working since I was 14 years old. Thank you, SAG AFTRA, for giving me something incredibly nervous. This is reality colliding with fantasy right now. I was working until 1:00 A.M—which is a fantastic blessing—last night, but I have the flu and I’m playing a pretty out there role character right now, so I have had a little trouble shedding it, but I’m here and I’m incredibly grateful.
“To receive this at this stage in my life is extraordinary and at this time in the industry when these things are going on and for this role. I would like to acknowledge the other actresses in this category, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, my girlfriends, first and foremost, my beyond talented acting partners, I share this with you. And also I want to say Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange, I revere you, I watched you and I have learned from you and there are others, Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda, Judy Davis, Shirley Mcclain, Judi Dench, the list is so long.
“I would like to say so many names, I can’t right now. I want to thank you all for your trail blazing performances you have given over your career and how wonderful it is that our careers today can go beyond 40 years old. Twenty years ago, we were pretty washed up by this stage in our lives, so that’s not the case now. We have proven and these actresses and so many more are proving that we are potent and powerful and viable. I just beg that the industry stays behind us because our stories are finally being told. It’s only the beginning and I’m so proud to be a part of a community that is instigating this change, but I applaud the writers, directors, and financiers behind our stories. We can continue to do this but only with the support of the industry and that money and passion. Also, I do have trail blazers in my life, Chris, Leslie, Katie, Miranda, lizzy, to my family, I’m nothing without you. Thank you to all of the actors that gave me the chance to say this.”