In an emotional 2024 Spirit Awards speech, Jeffrey Wright expresses his love for his family by saying, “I Am Nowhere Without You”


“My family, your sister, and you are the sun that I revolve around,” the “American Fiction” actor said to his son Elijah, who was seated next to him at the awards ceremony.

Jeffrey Wright at the Independent Spirit Awards for Film in 2024. Image: Getty/Keven Winter

A heartfelt acceptance speech was delivered by Jeffrey Wright at the 2024 Film Free Spirit Awards.

The 58-year-old actor showed signs of emotion as he accepted the best lead performance award for his portrayal of Thelonious “Monk” Ellison in Modern Fiction at the Santa Monica gala on Sunday.

Wright thanked Colman Domingo, his costar from Rustin, for presenting the prize after he had taken the stage, telling the actor, “To get something like that from you as well, Colman, man, was just a beautiful gift.”

It’s strange how you kind of become tired of these award events after attending them. When you get one, though, that kind of throws the atmosphere off,” Wright jokingly said.

In the category, Jessica Chastain, the Danielle Lysette, Natalie Portman, Julia Reyes, Franz Rogowski, Ian Scott, Teyana Taylor, who is Greta Lee, and Teo Yoo were recognized for their “beautiful work” by the Hunger Games alum.

Then, he talked about his very first Spirit Oscars performance, which, in his words, “adds to wonderful memories” of the event.

Jeffrey Wright at the Independent Spirit Awards for Film in 2024. GETTY/WINTER KEVIN

Muhammad Ali, who was there with his movie When We Were Kings, remarked that I had the pleasure to meet him for the first time the last time I was here, or rather, the first time I was here for the Independent Spirit Awards. He was, of course, and still is, an absolute hero of mine.

The recipient then acknowledged his family with a tearful nod and thanked all of the cast members who contributed to the movie, including costars Sterling K. Brown, Tracee Ellis Ross, Karina Alexander, and John Ortiz.

He said, “My son is there, Elijah, I love you,” as the camera panned towards his son, who was seated next to him the entire time.

My family, your sister, and me are the sun that I revolve around. He continued, “I am nowhere without you,” and Elijah started to show signs of emotion.

Lastly, Wright expressed his gratitude to Hugh Everett, the writer of Erasure, from which his screenplay was adapted, and Cord Jefferson, the American Fiction screenwriter who had earlier in the evening received the inaugural Spirit Award over best screenplay.

According to Wright, Percival Everett authored a stunning account of a family and a man overcoming both cultural and personal obstacles, some of which date back as far as our nation. To see that this work is still being done, all you have to do is glance at the news from the realm that passes for our politics.

“American Fiction” starring Jeffrey Wright. Claire Folger

But Cord, I appreciate you and thank you all for what you accomplished, at least of all, which was to give us a chance to have fun at the goddamn total dumb silliness of it all.

The plot of American Fiction centers on Monk (Wright), a Black poet who is irate that his works aren’t selling as well as books with racial stereotypes.

He makes the decision to publish a novel under a pseudonym that parodies popular novels, and when it turns out very successful, he gets entangled in a web of deception that could have disastrous repercussions.


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