The US-Ireland Alliance’s 17th annual Oscar Wilde Awards, held at the Bad Robot studios on March 9 in Santa Monica, celebrated some of the best Irish talent of 2022.
The Oscar Wilde Awards celebrate the creative endeavors in entertainment of those of Irish descent. This year’s honorees were Irish actors Kerry Condon, Jessie Buckley, and Eve Hewson, as well as “An Cailín Ciúin,” the first Irish-language film to be nominated in the best international feature category.
“I think that Trina Vargo, when she founded the US-Ireland Alliance, it was to connect these two countries and I think that the fun of it is always, whether they’re nominees or not, the fun is always celebrating people of and from Ireland who are doing work in this medium,” the night’s emcee, J.J. Abrams told Variety on the green carpet adding, “And it’s always fun to have so many nominees, makes it that much more fun, because it’s just nice to see all this work.”
Hewson’s dad Bono and mom Ali Hewson teared up as their daughter received the Wilde Card Award. The award is given to those considered to be up-and-coming talent and was presented to her by her friend and fellow actor Charlie Hunnam. “Eve brings to each of her roles an authenticity and a fire that makes her truly impossible to take your eyes off her,” Hunnam said.
One of the many reasons she has likely been considered such a talent, at least in Hunnam’s eyes is the amazing advice she once gave him as he recalled her telling him some special acting advice as he mentioned her thoughts to him being, “Your only job as an actor is to love your character. No matter how unlikable or f***ed up they might be on the page, if you love them and love them well, there’s a good chance the audience will love them too.”
The “Bad Sisters” actor returned the kind words, calling Hunnam, “A fucking legend.” She was also quick to address and thank her parents mentioning, “Thank you dad for taking the L so I can bask in all this glory undisturbed.” She said of her mother, “Thank you for your guidance and your wisdom, for teaching me what hard work looks like and for building such a privileged life for me and my siblings that we are almost impossible to like.” She added one more zinger and got many laughs as she spoke of what her parents didn’t give her and her siblings saying, “Thank God we’re not all tall or we’d all be models and everyone would really, really fucking hate us.”
Kerry Condon, fresh off a BAFTA win, received her Oscar Wilde Award for her performance in “The Banshees of Inisherin,” by “Better Call Saul” star Rhea Seehorn. “I thought I’d tell you about my early days in America. So here we go,” Condon said. “So the first time I came to America, I was 17 years old and it was December 1999 and I just finished filming ‘Rat’ and the director’s daughter invited me to come to New York to celebrate the millennium. And I remember when I landed, everything was like a movie set. The cops at the airport were straight out ‘Die Hard’, yellow cabs and Twinkies.”
She added, “And we drove upstate. I smoked weed for the first time and I remember my mind being blown at ads on the television for all kinds of pharmaceuticals.”
“Women Talking” director Sarah Polley presented Jessie Buckley with the Oscar Wilde Award, describing her as the “most alive actor” she’s ever seen. Buckley, who spoke of her deep Irish pride, recounted how her mother’s love of musical theater changed her life. “I’ve failed a lot and been picked up by others. I’ve been constantly surprised and forever awakened,” an emotional Buckley said. “I’ve become a better woman and a better human. I’ve learned stories and unlearned others. I’ve felt alone in countries and felt more part of a family of strangers than I do in my own family. Sometimes. I’ve watched old films and wished for new ones. I’ve witnessed magic happen in front of me time and time again. And ultimately, the God-man has been replaced by a God-like community of the maddest fuckers.”