With five Oscar nominations under her belt, Frances McDormand just won her second Academy Award, the first since her 1997 win for Fargo.
McDormand, the 60-year-old oddball of this year’s best actress category, has ventured through awards season nearly undefeated. She earned a Golden Globe, BAFTA, and SAG award for her portrayal of tough-as-nails Mildred in Martin McDonagh’s unexpected Oscars frontrunner Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Despite her formidable opponents (Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Sally Hawkins, and Meryl Streep), McDormand ended awards season with an Oscar for best lead actress.
The seasoned actress arrived at the Dolby Theater on Sunday evening wearing a glittering golden gown alongside her dates: her husband, director Joel Coen, and son Pedro.
Like the actress herself, we weren’t sure what to expect from McDormand’s speech. I mean, this was her reaction to winning a SAG award:
In the end, McDormand pulled out an incredible speech.
“I’m hyperventilating a little bit,”ashakyMcDormand began. “If I fall over, pick me up, because I’ve got some things to say,” she continued. “I think this is what Chloe Kim must’ve felt like after doing back-to-back 1080s in the Olympic half-pipe. That’s what it feels like.”
“We are a bunch of hooligans and anarchists, but we do clean up nice,” she said of her Three Billboards co-stars.
McDormand then called to her fellow female Oscar nominees to stand with her during her acceptance speech, inspiring the nominees for best actress to engage in an empowering group hug.
“Look around ladies and gentleman, because we all have stories to tell and projects to finance. Don’t talk to us about it at the parties tonight. Invite us into your office in a couple days, or you can come to ours, and we’ll tell you all about them. I have two words to leave you with tonight,” she concluded, “Inclusion Rider.”
So … what does that mean? An inclusion rider is basically a way actors and actresses can influence diversity in Hollywood.
Actress Whitney Cummings explained on Twitter: "An inclusion rider is something actors put into their contracts to ensure gender and racial equality in hiring on movie sets. We should support this for a billion reasons, but if you can't find a reason to, here's one: it will make movies better."
If all the stars involved in Sunday's Academy Awards made such demands in their next projects, it could incite immediate change in the entertainment industry.
McDormand further explained the phrase after the ceremony, in the press room. "I just found out about this last week," she said. "[This] has always been available to all—everybody that does a negotiation on a film, an inclusion rider which means that you can ask for and/or demand at least 50 percent diversity in not only the casting, but also the crew. And so, the fact that we—that I just learned that after 35 years of being in the film business—we're not going back."
"So the whole idea of women trending, no. No trending. African Americans trending, no. No trending. It changes now, and I think the inclusion rider will have something to do with that," she said. ''Right? Power in rules."
—With reporting by Brandi Fowler