Variety has issued its annual Women's Impact Report, highlighting women who have made an impression at all levels of entertainment. Just like last year, the list includes executive powerhouses, household-name performers, and lesser-known talents. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be spotlighting some of the women whom I find particularly noteworthy. Today's pick: musician and actress Marketa Irglova.
Irglova made her grand entrance as a performer in Once, the 2006 film starring her and Glen Hansard as a pair of musicians who spent a week writing their own love story in song. But she made an even bigger splash at the Oscars, when she and Hansard won the award for Best Original Song. Hansard got to speak, but Irglova didn't, and she was initially ushered offstage. But then, in a moment that several of you called an Oscar favorite, Jon Stewart brought her back onstage, where she delivered a brief speech on the nature of hope and art.
Variety didn't get to speak with Irglova for the Impact Report story, but that one speech was enough to earn her a mention, so it's worth reproducing part of it here:
This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, it's just to prove no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don't give up.
Irglova and Hansard, who play music together as The Swell Season, are currently touring and are reportedly at work on another album. In the meantime, I highly recommend checking out this NPR interview with the two of them, which left me with an even greater appreciation for their music and their own love story.
You can watch Irglova's entire acceptance speech and a video of the two of them performing "Falling Slowly" live if you read more.