Hollywood stars praise 'badass' Pelosi at award ceremony
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSekulow indicates White House not interested in motion to dismiss impeachment articles Overnight Health Care: Trump restores funding for Texas program that bars Planned Parenthood | Trump to attend March for Life | PhRMA spent record on 2019 lobbying Key House committee chairman to meet with Mnuchin on infrastructure next week MORE (D-Calif.) was praised by Hollywood actors and actresses Wednesday evening while receiving a public service award from the LBJ Foundation.

Pelosi was this year’s recipient of the Liberty & Justice For All Award, given to “America’s most dedicated public servants, to recognize those who try every day to carry on President Lyndon Johnson’s commitment to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people,” said PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff, who emceed the event.

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President Johnson “loved the legislative process, and he was a master of the machinery of government. So is Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” Woodruff said.

The evening featured Hollywood stars reading speeches from Pelosi and Johnson, including Tony Goldwyn, who portrayed a U.S. president on ABC’s “Scandal,” and Jayne Atkinson and Michael Gill from Netflix’s “House of Cards.”

All three spoke highly of Pelosi in brief interviews with The Hill.

Gill, who is married to Atkinson, said Pelosi is “an inspiration … on a number of fronts.”

“She’s badass. She is everything you could want, in a way, out of a strong, vulnerable, powerful woman,” he said.

Atkinson called Pelosi “amazing” and “a maverick,” adding that when she and Gill met her, “she had quite a sparkle in her eye when she met my husband.”

But Atkinson joked that she wasn’t jealous, saying she told her husband to “sparkle away for Nancy Pelosi.”

Goldwyn added that Pelosi is “an extraordinary woman.”

“Anytime she asks me to do anything, I show up,” he said.

Goldwyn also spoke about the House impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial MORE.

“I think it needs to do just what it’s doing,” Goldwyn said. “All that matters is the facts come out and the truth comes out in a reasonable and efficient way.”

Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk (D), who spoke on stage with Pelosi, pressed the Speaker on the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

“Nobody I ever knew or know goes into public life to impeach a president of the United States,” she said. “This is sad for our country. It has to be done prayerfully, and carefully [and] solemnly.”

“We do believe that there is a risk to the republic if we do not maintain what our founders put forward: three co-equal branches of government, separation of powers with a check and balance on each other, so we didn’t have a monarchy,” she added.

Pelosi is the ninth person to receive the annual award, established in 2010. Past recipients include former Presidents Carter and George H.W. Bush and the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMartha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter Meghan McCain blasts NY Times: 'Everyone already knows how much you despise' conservative women GOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials MORE (R-Ariz.), whose daughter Meghan McCainMeghan Marguerite McCainMeghan McCain blasts NY Times: 'Everyone already knows how much you despise' conservative women Sanders aide hits 'millionaires on "The View"' after segment on Warren dispute Meghan McCain blasts Trump for 'bullying widows at a public rallies' MORE accepted the award on his behalf just two months before he died in August 2018.