But a word of caution. Leave room in the broadcast.The speech might run a little long.
The three-time Oscar nominee (“Being Julia,” “American Beauty,” “The Grifters”) wrote and delivered the most amusing and self-deprecating acceptance speech at the recent Premiere magazine “Women in Hollywood” Icon awards.
Hers was hands down the highlight of a long night that also honored Icons Sofia Coppola, Cate Blanchett, and Sally Field as well as Evan Rachel Wood with the Chanel Spotlight Award for Emerging Talent.
A past Icon, Gwyneth Paltrow, who appears with Bening in “Running with Scissors” (“I’m completely jet-lagged and a breast feeding mess”), introduced her idol by gushing about being in awe of Bening, adding “I have never worked with an actor who has as much force as she does.”
Bening then demonstrated her admirable force.
“When I heard that Nora Ephron had written a speech for a past recipient, I felt so jealous because I knew it was probably very witty and funny,” said Bening. “Then I thought, That’s okay. I can write the speech myself because I know Nora and I’ve read her new book, “I Feel Bad about My Neck,” which is so inspired, funny and poignant.”
In “Neck,” Epron mentions ""The Golden Notebook.” So Bening read Doris Lessing’s book that divides the author’s life into notebooks; one a diary, another about writing, another fictionalizes her life and one on her politics.
“The last notebook integrates all aspects of her life and I thought, ‘Self-integration. That’s a good thing to talk about.’ Then I thought, ‘But I don’t really understand it.’ And then I thought, ‘But that doesn’t matter because I’m a celebrity!”
The room sputtered and roared as Bening went on about a a recently conducted study on narcissism and celebrities that she’d read about in the LA Times.
‘The headline of the article was Celebrities: Legends in their Own Minds.” Bening recalled. “And I thought, ‘Well, that’s appropriate. So it’s okay if I talk about integration of self, even if I don’t understand it, because I’m a celebrity and am a legend in my own mind.”
“The article went on to ask if the industry creates the narcissism or if we come in narcissistic to begin with,” Bening said, pausing for “Rest assure, we bring it with us!”
The study also addressed the issue of men being more narcissistic then women. “As you can imagine, in my household,that’s a very touchy subject," Bening admitted. "So Warren and I decided to sit down and discuss it. In front of a mirror, of course. And well, all I can say is that it got very ugly.”
Best runner-up speech? Angelica Huston, who introduced her friend Sofia Coppola:
“Sofia and I share so many things in common.We have Oscar winners in three generations of our families, we’re fans of rock and roll, fascinated with Japanese culture and tend to wear black clothing. We both had grandfathers who sang opera, and adventurous groundbreaking fathers who gave us starring roles in their films which were met with a volley of hurtful criticism at a vulnerable time in our lives when we had not yet grown into our noses.”
Photo Credits: Bening brings down the house at the Women in Hollywood Icon awards at the Beverly Hills Hotel
Photo Credits: Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who’s the most narcissistic of them all in the Bening/Beatty household?
Photo Credits: Evan Rachel Wood, Annette Bening, Sally Field, Sofia Coppola and Cate Blanchett do a group shot at the Premiere WIH Icon Awards.