Claire Foy’s mantra: ‘There’s no such thing as ‘just the wife’’

Claire Foy has gained international recognition for her powerful portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, Lisbeth Salander in The Girl in the Spider’s Web and now as Janet Armstrong in First Man.

As part of her acceptance speech for the #SeeHer recognition gong at the Critics' Choice Awards, she delivered a moving statement about the complexities of female roles.

She became the third actor to receive the accolade, which was launched by the Association of National Advertisers in 2016.

She followed in Viola Davis' and Gal Gadot's footsteps, winning the award which aims to increase the number of accurate depictions of women across the media.

Foy made sure to speak about how numerous people refer to her role in the 2018 Neil Armstrong biopic First Man as "just the wife", which she strongly opposes.

“I’ve had the opportunity to play some extraordinary women, for all sorts of reasons, and none more so than Janet Armstrong,” Foy said.

"She lived her life with such bravery and resilience and determination and love," she added.

“I can’t tell you how many times during the making of the movie and in the press tour that people said to me, ‘Well that part is normally the part of just the wife’." 

“And there’s no such thing as ‘just the wife’.” This statement got rapturous applause from the star-studded audience, clearly emphatically agreeing with the British actress.

Foy illustrated that it’s an actor’s responsibility to question who they portray, how they portray them and “how we want people to see themselves on screen” to create change.

Viola Davis presented Foy with the award, and Foy explained how she’d previously watched Davis’ acceptance speech for the 2016 #SeeHer award in preparation for her own.

She was eternally inspired by the outstanding Widows actor’s words that “the greatest privilege in your life is to be who you are.” WE STAN.

The actress concluded by saying she hopes the #SeeHer award will give her “encouragement” to be “brave enough to face and see myself”, and that she hopes it will also help others to do the same.

*Passes the tissues around the office*

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