May 21st, 2017       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

Dame Helen Mirren cheered the Tulane University Class of 2017 with a speech that was funny, sometimes bawdy and always heartfelt Saturday (May 20) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. She told Tulane graduates she knew they would fix the world – and to help with that, she doled out advice, one-liners, a dig at LSU and a drink order: “vodka martini straight up with a bit of lime. The bit of lime is because, you know, I’m a bit of a health fanatic,” she said. She received an honorary degree from the university, as did saxophonist Branford Marsalis, research psychologist Shelley Taylor and civil rights leader Diane Nash. Graduation speeches are supposed to be relatable, she said. So “today’s speech will contain advice for any of you born in England, who decided to become Shakespearian actresses and end up doing nude scenes in 10 films.” She added, “I just mentioned that just to see if any of your fathers are getting out their phones right now to Google me. Dads, stop it. Inappropriate. Put it away.” A pause: “I mean the phone.” In fact, her speech contained ample guidance for a far wider audience, which lapped it up. You can read the whole speech over at the university’s official website, pictures can be found in the photo gallery and the speech is also in the video archive.