You broke my streak. The last... I was at an affair recently—thank you so much for this by the way—I was at a ceremonial-type thing like this recently, and I didn't have a speech. I kept going into my pocket for a speech, but I never wrote one. But now I got one. It's here, and I should have had a little water before I got on because my mouth's dry. But I thank you and I just have to say...
First, I don't know where he is in the house, I can't pick him out, but I got to thank him. I'm completely indebted to Marty Brest who directed the picture and who had such great love for this character I played. And that love is what he communicated to me every day, so I thank you, Marty, for that. I thank Bo Goldman, who wrote such a complicated, interesting, funny guy that could be and would be any actor's dream part. That part was so great. I thank Chris O'Donnell, my co-star in this. He made every day a pleasure for me. And I thank the wonderful support of cast and crew, of course. I also want to thank Tom Pollock and Casey Silver at Universal Pictures, and my agent Rick Nicita who urged me to do this part and actually threatened me if I didn't do it, 'cause I didn't want to do the part for some reason. Ira Lewis, my friend and my colleague, who helped me, Ira Lewis. And The Associated Blind for their generous support to me.
If you'll indulge me for a minute—I'm just not used to this, so I had to write this down. I had this thought, and I thought if I ever got up here I would say it. I've been very lucky. I found desire for what I do early in my life and I'm lucky because I had people who encouraged that desire, from Lee Strasberg, to my great friend and mentor Charlie Laughton, to the great writers and filmmakers that I've been fortunate enough to work with. Now, recently a young girl came up to me. I was at a function for the South Bronx, which is where I'm from. And she said that I had encouraged her, and that's not necessarily by my work but just by the fact that we came from the same place. And I just can't forget that girl, and I can't forget the kids out there who may be thinking tonight that if he can do it, I can do it. So this is really a proud and hopeful moment for me, because I want to thank the Academy for giving us a gift of encouragement. And this is a gift, a great gift to me. I thank you all, really. Thank you.