If this is your first time hearing about the American Cinematheque Award, it is “presented annually to an extraordinary artist currently making a significant contribution to the art of the moving image.” As is understandably a big deal, Blake and his two oldest daughters supported Ryan at the ceremony.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Blake began his speech by praising Ryan’s “art, his heart, his philanthropy, his humor, his integrity, his unmatched work ethic, his self-deprecating levity, his hard-earned depth, and his grace.”
Since the award is American, Blake gave recognition to Ryan’s birthplace, Canada. “Many of those impressive qualities come from his homeland of Canada, and giving back to the country that gave him life is central to who he is as a person,” he continued.
In fact, Ryan used to drive home to Canada every weekend when he first moved to Los Angeles, a practice Blake called “essential to keep you grounded, to keep you sane, to keep you connected.”
“Now I’m his home, and his girls are his home, and just like that 19-year-old guy you run home with, whether it’s from the other side of the world or a meeting across the street, you’re scheduled to get home,” he said. continued.
“If he came home from the set and it wasn’t in his wardrobe, we’d be so worried: drenched in mud, fake blood, real blood, prosthetic scars, superhero suits, tap shoes or clown makeup, dad always comes home.”
Blake went on to emphasize how Ryan constantly “shows up” for his family “in the way that he does silently and invisibly, all the time.”
In closing, Blake said he wanted to leave the crowd “not with the details of his actions, but with the DNA of who he is. That DNA is clearly Canadian, spun one magical night in 1976 between the sheets of Jim and Tammy Reynolds. I’m looking at you, Tam-Tam, you little shameless!
Ryan began his own speech in characteristically flippant fashion, saying, “Anyone who knows me knows how much I love an evening dedicated entirely to me.”
“I’ve never taken myself too seriously, as many of you know, and it creates quite a confusing paradox when I’m celebrated at a very serious awards show with a prestigious company like this.”
“Most importantly, I get to spend my days working with my favorite collaborator, my wife Blake. You are the greatest ghostwriter in Hollywood history, you have literally written to me right now,” she added.