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Virtuosos Award Recipients
updated: Feb 05, 2014, 1:00 AM

By the Dedicated Staff of edhat.com

The 2014 Santa Barbara Film Festival's Virtuosos Award recipients were highly entertaining, including Jared Leto confronting a crowd heckler.

The honorees include Daniel Brühl (Rush), Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is The Warmest Color), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station), Brie Larson (Short Term 12), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) and June Squibb (Nebraska). Brühl, Exarchopoulos, and Isaac were unable to attend on Tuesday evening so the crowd was able to hear more from the other award recipients.

Academy Award nominee for Dallas Buyers Club, Jared Leto was met with enormous cheer from the Santa Barbara Film Festival crowd, until he sat down. One heckler near the front of the theatre shouted at Leto after he thanked the crowd. "You don't deserve this award!" the heckler screamed. Leto took the time to address this woman asking why she felt this way. The heckler stated it was because he is a man playing a trans-woman and perpetuating "trans-misogyny." Leto was quick to respond by asking, "Because I'm a man, I don't deserve to play that part? So you would hold a role against someone who happened to be gay or lesbian - they can't play a straight part?" The crowd cheered in support of Leto as he continued to say, "Would you then deny a LGBTQ person a role that's different?" Leto explained that he played this role to bring awareness for the transgender community and asked if they could continue this conversation off stage. Additional reports state that Leto did meet with the heckler for a 15 minute conversation after the event. Leto plays Rayon, a transgender woman who is also HIV-positive, in Dallas Buyers Club.

Prior to the heckle event, the evening began with moderator Dave Karger giving an introductory speech that was also briefly interrupted, but this time it was by an adorable dog walking across the stage. The crowd burst out in laughter and the dog was politely escorted out of the limelight. Whose dog was it? We still don't know but Ed is determined to get to the bottom of it.

Actor Michael B. Jordan from The Wire, Friday Night Lights, and most notably Fruitvale Station was the first actor on stage. The crowd viewed an intense scene from Fruitvale Station depicting the true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Oakland resident whose 2008 death created was filmed on a cell phone and created controversy. Jordan stated that he felt familiar to Oscar and was responsible to tell his story.

Brie Larson from United States of Tara, and 21 Jump Street was honored for her role in Short Term 12, a film about a A 20-something supervising staff member of a residential treatment facility who navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend. Her character had suppressed a lot of emotion and when asked how to prepare for this aspect of the role she stated that "Norwegian black metal and coffee" helped.

June Squibb was the last honoree for her role in Nebraska with Bruce Dern. Squibb plays the wife to an aging, booze-addled Dern who makes a trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son. The 84-year-old veteran actress described the hilarious nature of the character she played. Her confident and short answers brought unexpected laughs from the crowd. When asked if there was anything this character said or did that made her uncomfortable, Squibb's only response was, "No." To all of those Lena Dunham fans, Squibb will be making a guest appearance on "Girls" as Dunham's grandmother.

Christopher Lloyd presented each actor with their award at the close of the event. -LB

---------- UPDATE ----------

By John Palminteri

As the Virtuosos Award event began last night during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, a dog appeared on stage for a few moments, and casually walked off. It wasn't an honoree but received a warm applause! It was a DOG GONE enjoyable moment. I found out the dog is named Winston, and belongs to a stage hand for the Arlington Theatre. A short time later it was near the snack bar in the lobby.


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