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Rousing speech from Halle Berry, Billy Crystal has fun at Critics Choice Awards

The 27th annual Critics Choice Awards celebrated the best in television and film at a glittering ceremony here at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel. Jane Campions ‘The Power of the Dog’ and the comedy drama series ‘Ted Lasso’ led the night’s winners with four trophies each. The dark comedy series ‘Succession’ took home three awards.

The night’s big moment came when Halle Berry received the See Her Award from Issa Rae, who joked that the Critics Choice Association, the organisers of the awards, only fed the attendees hummus and wine, so reading the teleprompter might be a little challenging, reports ‘Variety’.

Berry, however, delivered a passionate speech of her own, thanking Rae for inspiring her with her work. “You have rearranged the way we see ourselves as women of colour on television and in the world,” she said.

As she reflected on her career, Berry revealed that she used to think she was “winning” by playing a part for a white man. But those roles didn’t really work. Why?

“Because I’m not a white man,” she said, according to ‘Variety’. “So, for those roles to work, they would have to be substantially changed. It would have to be written with the reality of my journey, in all of its beauty, and all of its pain.”

Berry continued: “This is why I am so grateful to be standing and living in this moment where women are standing up and we are telling our own stories. … We will write, we will produce, we will direct and — if we’re brave enough — will star in it all at the same time. We will use our emotional intelligence, and we will tell stories that don’t fit preconceived notions.”

On a night of inspiring speeches, ‘Ted Lasso’ star Hannah Waddingham, standing alongside cast mates Brett Goldstein and Juno Temple, became emotional as she spoke about the Ukraine war. (Waddingham and Goldstein nabbed back-to-back honours for supporting actor and actress.)

“It would be remiss of us to not throw the focus to the most important thing that is happening in the world at the moment,” she said. “Our beautiful brothers and sisters and for me more importantly, the babies in Ukraine, who are being decimated at the moment from this putrid, putrid torrent of abuse.”

Waddingham continued: “Please think of them as much as you can and give as much as you can. We are so grateful for this, but may this stop. May this stop, please.”

During the telecast, late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel was on hand to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Billy Crystal — one day before the showbiz icon’s “seventy-blank” birthday, reports ‘Variety’. He later noted he’ll actually be “74 tomorrow; I just can’t remember.”

After teasing Kimmel that he’d really requested [Jimmy] Fallon to present the award, Crystal said that watching the clip reel made him think of only one word: “residuals”.

“This is a lifetime achievement award, which is a little scary when they say they want to give it to you. So I called my doctor and said, ‘Do they know something that I don’t?’ But to me, it’s a creative achievement award. My lifetime achievement award is my family.”

Other highlights included the acceptance speech from ‘Dopesick’ star Michael Keaton (winner of best actor in a limited series or movie made for television), who joked about needing to go to the bathroom again, a nod to his SAG Award win when the actor had to sprint to the stage to receive his trophy.

“I love this time of year because it’s springtime, it’s awards season, and you can just smell that fake humility out there,” he joked, reports ‘Variety’.

Keaton then delivered an emotional tribute to the real people affected by opioid addiction, especially those near where ‘Dopesick’ was filmed in Virginia.

“One thing I’m proud about regarding this series is I think we really treated all those folks down there and in the world with real dignity,” Keaton said, referring to a woman in her 70s who worked at a coffee shop in the area. “And she told me … she was taking care of her [grandchild] because the parents, who are in their 20s, could not because they’re incapacitated because of addiction. And I think of all those women, like my mom and my sisters.”

Another heartfelt moment came from Jean Smart, who was a double winner, as ‘Mare of Easttown’ was named best limited series, and she won the comedy actress prize for ‘Hacks’.

On-stage, Smart called ‘Hacks’, the HBO Max comedy drama series, a “gift on a silver platter”, before dedicating her trophy to the creators Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs, who had their first child, a boy, on Saturday.

Smart revealed that, on Friday, Aniello was at home on her computer, watching a remote feed and directing an upcoming Season 2 episode between contractions: “I kid you not. This woman is my idol.”

CELEBRITY GALLERY

Nora Fatehi

Karan Kundrra

Himanshi Khurana

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