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Leonardo DiCaprio introduces Lily Gladstone Diversity Power of Women, presented by Lifetime, reflects on their time shared as co-stars during the filming of “Killers of the Flower Moon” and praises Gladstone’s acting abilities.
DiCaprio cited many of Gladstone’s critically acclaimed performances in films such as “Fancy Dance” and “Certain Women”, but then revealed that she was “on the verge of quitting acting altogether” when they first met.
“An actor of such profound talent has had to take a long and difficult road to receive this recognition, which reflects the injustices that still exist in our industry today,” DiCaprio said in his speech. “I have full hope that we are entering a new era in which actors like Lilly, who embrace this authenticity and undeniable truth in their storytelling, take center stage. Because Lily is not just an actor, she is also an activist.
In addition to discussing his personal relationship with Gladstone, DiCaprio acknowledged the actress’ dedication to uplifting her community. Gladstone is being honored for her work advocating for the rights of Indigenous women, working closely with the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Centre. The grassroots organization addresses the disproportionately high rates of violence against Native women. Some of Gladstone’s advocacy efforts with NIWRC include teaching sculpture garden workshops as a means of violence prevention.
Gladstone said of NIWRC, “Their work provides essential resources for grassroots cultural organizations to address these issues.” For example, the nonprofit does so through a database to help families and advocates find state laws related to missing and murdered Indigenous women. She added, “It is designed for indigenous communities in a culturally sensitive way that puts women, who are the backbone of sovereignty, at the center.”
DiCaprio and Gladstone shared the screen in Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon”. The film chronicles a string of murders targeting Osage County in the 1920s, told through the love story between DiCaprio’s Ernest Burkhart and Gladstone’s Molly Kyle. Although Ernest’s actions could not be more contradictory, the two reaffirm their love for each other throughout the film. DiCaprio and Gladstone together deliver a nuanced performance to convey the complexity of their romance.
DiCaprio concluded his speech by calling Gladstone an “intelligent, kind and gentle soul.” “A tremendous talent, an incredibly important voice for change.”