“I just want to dedicate this award to a true independent spirit and actress that I have looked up to and will continue to look up to for the rest of my career: Helen McCrory,” Mulligan, 35, said as she accepted Best Female Lead on Thursday for her work in Promising Young Woman. “Thank you to her for everything she gave us.”
The Great Gatsby actress was nominated alongside Viola Davis, Frances McDormand, Nicole Beharie, Sidney Flanigan and Julia Garner, all of whom she thought were equally deserving of the award. “I’m shocked and in awe and honored to be in this group of extraordinary women and I’m so floored by each and every one of their performances,” Mulligan said.
Her thoughtful message to McCrory came nearly one week after the Peaky Blinders star’s husband, Damian Lewis, confirmed that she passed away “peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family” at 52 after battling cancer.
“She died as she lived. Fearlessly,” the Homeland alum, 50, wrote in a statement via Twitter on April 16. “God, we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.”
The British actors tied the knot in July 2007. They shared daughter Manon, 14, and son Gulliver, 13. Lewis penned an emotional eulogy for his late wife, who he heralded as “an even more brilliant person than she was an actress.”
His dedication, which was published in the Sunday, April 18, edition of The Sunday Times, continued: “I’ve never known anyone able to enjoy life as much. Her ability to be in the present and enjoy the moment was inspirational. Nor was she interested in navel-gazing. No real interest in self-reflection; she believed in looking out, not in. Which is why she was able to turn her light so brightly on others. … She’s shown no fear, no bitterness, no self-pity, only armed us with the courage to go on and insisted that no one be sad, because she is happy. I’m staggered by her. She’s been a meteor in our life.”
McCrory was widely known for her performance as Draco Malfoy’s mother, Narcissa Malfoy, in the final three Harry Potter films. Following the news of her death, Tom Felton, who portrayed Draco in the series, was “so sad to say farewell so suddenly” to such a big inspiration in his life.
“I never took the chance to tell her, but she helped shape me as a person so much — on & off screen,” he wrote via Instagram. “She was always relentlessly herself — razor sharp wit – silver tongued – kind & warm hearted — she suffered no fools yet had time for everyone — thank you for lighting the way forward & holding my hand when I needed it xx.”
Jason Isaacs, who played Narcissa’s husband Lucius Malfoy, also honored his former colleague’s memory with a photo of the Malfoy clan. “Decades ago Helen and I auditioned together for a film. I came home and said to [my wife] Emma, ‘I think I’ve just met the greatest actress I’ve ever seen,’” the 57-year-old actor wrote in an Instagram tribute. “After years of watching her mesmerize audiences, I don’t think that anymore… I know it.”
The OA alum continued: “As continually starstruck as I was on the Harry Potter films, being screen-married to and giggle with the great Helen McCrory will always be a highlight. Her proudest achievement, though, was building and loving the family that was her bedrock. They’ve lost so much and I send all my love to Damian and the kids. xxx.”