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Critics’ Choice Awards 2019: Claire Foy reminds us we are so much more than “just the wife”

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Kayleigh Dray
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Claire Foy and Viola Davis at the 2019 Critics Choice Awards

“Our job is to question ourselves,” declares the First Man star. 

Claire Foy may have been replaced by Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s The Crown, but her acceptance speech at the 2019 Critics’ Choice Awards was royally good.

The actress was the recipient of the third annual #SeeHer Award, in honour of the strong, complex female characters she has played over the last few years (think the aforementioned Queenie, Lisbeth Salander in The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall and Unsane’s Sawyer Valentini, to name but four).

“I’ve struggled quite a lot with the idea of me accepting it because I immediately thought, ‘I’ve offered nothing and I have nothing to offer,’” said Foy, after Viola Davis - the inaugural #SeeHer winner - presented her with the award.

She continued: “And it was something that Viola said in that [introductory video] clip, actually, which is the fact that the greatest privilege of your life is to be who you are and I’ve realised that that is all I have to offer. Is myself. 

“All I’ve ever tried to do with anything I’ve ever made, any work that I’ve been in is to, hopefully, make something, which people recognise… that they recognise themselves on screen in some way.”

Foy added: “I accept this award as an encouragement to myself to be brave enough to face and see myself, and by doing, hopefully, I can understand and see others, and ultimately I can help others to see themselves.”

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Foy has generated a great deal of awards show buzz thanks to her critically acclaimed role in the film First Man, in which she plays wife of astronaut Neil Armstrong, Janet Armstrong.

Addressing her character, Foy said: “She lived her life with such bravery and resilience and determination and love.”

“There’s no such thing as just ‘the wife’,” she added. “Our job is to question ourselves, to question what we depict, who we depict and how we depict them.”

Image: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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