Tiffany Haddish Gives 17-Minute Acceptance Speech With Life Advice and a Deleted 'Girls Trip' Scene
"That might have been too much information, but I don't care," said the 'Girls Trip' honoree. "I'm teaching y'all something today."
Generally, it's frowned upon to give a notably long acceptance speech during an awards ceremony — unless you're Tiffany Haddish.
The Girls Trip star and seasoned stand-up comedian delivered a 17-minute, R-rated speech at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards on Wednesday night that was packed with hilarious jokes, heartfelt gratitude and juicy details of the hit comedy's cut scene.
"This is not a grapefruit; it's a microphone and I'm much better with that," said Haddish, who was presented with the group's supporting actress honor by Girls Trip director Malcolm D. Lee. She approached the Tao Downtown podium with a Tiffany Toast cocktail, the event's signature drink: "It's delicious — I had two, and I do feel like magic."
After double-checking that her name was spelled correctly, Haddish began to list all that she's thankful for — "I want to thank God, because without God, my mom and daddy wouldn't have put their two uglies together and made me; they put two crazy people together to make one awesome crazy person" — but went on a tangent about the venue's 20-foot statue behind her.
"All night I've been staring at this bitch. I'm trying to figure out, who is this bitch?" she said of the Quan Yin Buddha and its 24 outstretched arms. "When I look her, I feel like I'm looking at myself: She's taking a nap, but she's doing a lot of stuff, all at the same time! That's what my life has been like that last year. I'm asleep, but I'm woke."
She then resumed her list of acknowledgments by thanking the critics in the room. "I'm thankful for the critics. I'm learning a lot about you guys. The only critics I knew before this were Siskel and Ebert, and when they passed I was like, 'Oh well,'" she said, punctuating her punchlines with sips of her drink. "If you say something, thank you. I don't care if it's positive or negative. I appreciate you. I'm glad you see me, because it's been so many years when nobody saw me. When you're a little kid going through the system, you wonder, 'Does anybody even know I'm alive?'" she said. "To be able to be this example to so many people like me, that you guys have no clue about, but they're coming, because I kicked the fucking door open."
Haddish also shared that she learned of the project Girls Trip because eight crewmembers from her last movie — the 2016 comedy Keanu, which was also shot in New Orleans — urged her to get an audition and sent her the script. "My agent was like, 'They only want to see names,' and I was like, 'You tell them I've had a name since 1979,'" she noted. Haddish then explained the premise of a particularly vengeful Girls Trip scene, which was ultimately cut from the movie due to worries that it would be executed by viewers.
Between repeatedly addressing fellow attendee Michael B. Jordan and delivering many, many more jokes, she made a few reflections on Hollywood and promised to unapologetically remain true to herself. "I think this whole business is about how you feel, what you put out to the world and how you make other people feel. When you feel good about what you're doing, in my mind, it makes other people feel good," she said. "I hope everybody in here is super happy and super rich, and if you're not happy, change your thought patterns and start having happy thoughts, because it's your fault you're not happy. Nobody's in control of your emotions but you."
"That might have been too much information, but I don't care," she concluded. "I'm teaching y'all something today."
Watch Haddish's entire speech from the night, during which Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread actress Lesley Manville was asked to give Haddish his phone number. "I know everyone wants to work with you now," read the note. "May I cut to the front of the line?"