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Aidan Gillen, Chris ODowd and Glenn Close honoured at 14th Oscar Wilde Awards
22 Feb 2019 : News Desk
Chris O'Dowd, Glenn Close and Aidan Gillen at the awards.
The 14th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards were celebrated at Bad Robot in Santa Monica on Thursday night.

Emceed by director J.J. Abrams, the evening’s honourees included Aidan Gillen, Chris O’Dowd and Glenn Close. Melissa McCarthy and Allen Leech joined Abrams in presenting with Irish band VINCI supply music for the evening.

Abrams, who just wrapped principal photography for Star Wars Episode IX, kicked off the night in support of investigative journalism. Trevor Birney, the producer of ‘No Stone Unturned’, was in attendance.  Abrams noted that Birney and journalist Barry McCaffrey were arrested in Northern Ireland in relation to their important documentary about murders that occurred in Northern Ireland in 1994, and that the pair recently won permission in the High Court in Belfast to challenge the legality of the search warrants. Speaking about the importance of their work, Abrams said “Now more than ever, investigative journalists need to be supported.”

Allen Leech, who stars in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ with honouree Aidan Gillen, introduced his fellow Irishman, noting his Tony nomination, his memorable role as Baltimore mayor Tommy Carcetti in HBO’s ‘The Wire’, Lord Baelish in ‘Game of Thrones’, and his current roles in BBC’s ‘Peaky Blinders’ and the History Channel’s UFO show, ‘Project Blue Book’, which Leech pointed out “was just picked up for a second season, so pints are on Aidan.” 

Previous Oscar Wilde Award honouree Melissa McCarthy presented Glenn Close with her award, jokingly casting doubt on Close’s “sketchy” Irish heritage. McCarthy emotionally recalled her Glenn moment – “when I was 18, and it was Dangerous Liaison and there’s a scene … when everyone had turned on her and I watched her go pale, I watched her weirdly blush through all that white makeup and white powder and I didn’t know what it took to get there, and I remember I knew I was watching someone do something that you’re not supposed to be able to do … it was magic.”

Close, in accepting her award, said she is Irish in her heart.  She spoke of how she adored her time in Ireland making Albert Nobbs, “it was one of the greatest experiences of my career.”  She joked that she and co-star Janet McTeer used to love to go into the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, dressed in character, and got a big kick out of “being so repellent.” 

J.J. Abrams presented Roscommon native Chris O’Dowd with his award on the night. When accepting his award, O’Dowds said: “(I am) painfully aware that my journey from home to here has been immeasurably smoothed by the colour of my skin and the contents of my purse. To witness the bombardment of terms like border wall, caravan and separation camps breaks my heart. I’m reminded of Oscar’s words – ‘the world’s a stage, but the play is badly cast.’ My humble advice to those in the lead roles, to paraphrase our friend J.J. - ‘Please, I beg you, act better.’ Your children are watching. And for those with names like Hannity, O’Reilly, Mulvaney, Pence, Bannon and Conway, I’d like to remind you that your immigrant ancestors are listening and you’re making their ears bleed. Well-chosen words can garnish your life with immortality. Remember where you came from or you’ll be long forgotten. Choose better words or choose different roles.”

Other previous honourees on hand for the event included Paula Malcomsom, Lionsgate Vice Chairman, Michael Burns, Sarah Bolger, and CAA agent and US-Ireland Alliance Advisory Board member, Hylda Queally. 

Academy Award nominees Ed Guiney, Robbie Ryan and Peter Devlin were on hand, as were Nicole Holofcener, Kathy Griffin, Kerry Condon, Eoin Macken, Jason O’Mara, Victoria Smurfit, Simon Quarterman, Nora-Jane Noone, Victor Burke, Tara Flynn, Wunmi Musaku, Rick Famuyiwa, and John Cho.

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