Shirley MacLaine affirmed her commitment to making films about older people as she accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Texas Film Awards. “I am so thrilled now at my age to be part of the independent film world,” she said. “I want to thank you for reminding me that I am not going anywhere, and anyway I would come back right away.”
In his introductory remarks, Austin-bred filmmaker Richard Linklater touted “Terms of Endearment,” “The Evening Star,” and his own more recent film, “Bernie,” as three Texas films starring MacLaine that made her “an honorary Texan.”
The beloved actress opened her acceptance speech with a political joke, suggesting that Austin progressives “Should build a wall around this city.” Taking a more serious turn, the actress affirmed her commitment to making films that “serve the quadrant that is forgotten and underserved,” films that “reflect what you don’t see on the screen when you’re elderly.” Noting the potential commercial demand for such films, the actress added: “I want to do things with older women, of course, but I want to do things that celebrate…the wisdom that’s left.”
Presented by the Austin Film Society, which Linklater founded, The Texas Film Awards are considered the unofficial start to SXSW, and held annually the night before the festival begins. MacLaine was doubly honored when the Oscar-winning 1983 tearjerker “Terms of Endearment” was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame.