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ShoWest Awards
March 6, 1997

This was a little less formal awards event (as Sinbad's pumpkin orange suit would attest). It was called the ShoWest Awards presented by the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO, the one with all the armies in Europe). I guess this was in LA or Hollywood, sorry, ADD acting up. This was also a leisurely awards show, presenting only two awards in the first half hour! Obviously, this was a vehicle to promote upcoming films and for owners to schmooze with the stars. Claire being in so many big productions of late was a logical choice. It was not only to salute her talent, but I suppose to get her name out there once more (to play the cynic here). Claire's came on fairly early, introduced by Danny Devito. Here's how it went.....

[Devito]: Hi y'....I'm really excited about this one. I'm very delighted to be here tonight to bestow this award on The Female Star of Tomorrow. I'm thrilled at your pick because...and so are my children. See, my kids have their finger on the pulse of tomorrow...and this young woman is definitely our first choice.

I had the pleasure of being in a movie with Claire recently [camera switches to Claire in a very short, blonde streaked, auburn flip, or whatever, that actually looked great (thank you hair gods!)]...and let me tell you, this lovely teenager that you award tonight, is an old pro. She is the cat's pajamas. She burst on the scene in the highly acclaimed dramatic series, MSCL, which was so hip it moved from ABC to MTV. She was nominated for an Emmy and she won a Golden Globe and then the movies grabbed her. Lucky for us. And she's done everything from Willy Shakespeare to Ollie picture, THE RAINMAKER, was based on the best seller by John Grisham, was directed by Francis Ford Coppola. So, Claire has worked with the best and she ate[?] dam good too. And boy, can this tike pack it away. Where does it go? [WHO writes this stuff???? clips begin]

1) Death scene from LITTLE WOMEN, 2) incredible montage from R&J, LITTLE WOMEN, TO GILLIAN, U TURN, 3) Scene from TO GILLIAN where Rachel agrees to move out on Dad, 4) Scene from R&J - "A rose by any other name..." 5) Extended scene from U-TURN with Sean Penn. A Claire in pigtails, tee shirt, cutoffs, and a not-bad southern accent is cajoling Penn to take her away, especially from Joachim Phoenix. A decidedly different role as ditsy trailer park trollop. [clips end]

[Devito]: I'm delighted to present The Female Star of Tomorrow Award to Claire Danes.

Switch to Claire rising from her seat and walking confidently to the stage to the Cardigans' LOVE ME, giving a little dance move with her arms coming up the steps at an angle. Ensemble...a brown, slinky, clingy, spaghetti strap, ankle length gown with a see-thru black blouse, and heavy looking sandal type pumps. (Sounds godawful, but looked very good.) All those practice walks and turns down fashion runways helped her look very model-like and polished.... and oh-so thin. And TALL, even without Devito. And grown-up elegant....not fragile or hesitant at all. Easy to imagine how THIS Claire could break a heart on a whim.

[Claire (takes statue and bends down to kiss Devito on cheek. Exit DD)]: That was the first time [ad-libbing] I saw that U TURN clip. I had no idea what I did in that movie. [laughs with puzzled laughter from audience. Puts award on floor (many did)]

[A little nervous]'s, uh, [referring to note cards]extremely flattering to receive this award. I'm...I'm honored that you at ShoWest have recognized and appreciated the work that I've done so far. And, uh, it's wonderful that you all believe that I'll continue to grow in my work and that I'll have more chances to be involved in interesting projects in the future. [Perfunctory, not much angst to this soliloquy.]

[More confidently] So I've tried to take advantage of the opportunities I've been given, but I could not have come as far as I have if it weren't for a few very special people. Firstly, I want to thank everybody at Sony for having so much faith in me. I also want to thank Peter Rice, Peter Chernan, and Ron Rothman, and everybody else at Fox. Marshall Herskowitz, Ed Zwick, Scott Winant, and Winnie friends from MSCL [small fist pump]. My, ah, my parents. My parents my parents my parents my parents. [A little more emotion.] They've been just unbelievably encouraging and have given me incredibly strong foundation which is necessary to have in this business, I have to say. Um, [reading now] Karen Friedman, Kevin Duvane, Rick Yorn, and Carrie Ross, and my first agency, Writers and Artists. [Uneducated guesses on spelling.]

I've just been extremely fortunate to work with such talented and driven actors. [Rushing a bit now, voice fading a little] And the directors I've worked with have been my most inspiring teachers. [Flipping hair back]. They've included: Gillian Armstrong, Jocelyn Moorehouse, Jody Foster, Billy Hopkins, Michael Pressman, Baz Luhrmann, Teresa Conally, Oliver Stone, Francis Ford Coppola.

[Relatively emotionless] My list of people to thank would be endless, so I'm not gonna bore you. I'm gonna end it here. But, um, I hope all those people who've been generous to me know how much I appreciate their support. Thank you.

Originally transcribed by: Robo