Jared Leto Heckled at Tribute, Invites Heckler Backstage

Jared Leto Heckled at Tribute, Invites Heckler Backstage

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Oscar nominee has “heart-to-heart” with person who challenges his right to play transgendered character

“Dallas Buyers Club” actor Jared Leto was heckled on Tuesday night in Santa Barbara by an audience member who yelled that as a man, Leto didn’t have the right to play a transgender character.

But before the brief and awkward exchange was over, Leto had invited the heckler to continue the conversation backstage – which they did as soon as Leto left the stage during the “Virtuosos” tribute at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Leto was honored with the SBIFF award alongside June Squibb from “Nebraska,” Michael B. Jordan from “Fruitvale Station” and Brie Larson from “Short Term 12.” Not only did he get the loudest reaction from the audience when he was introduced by moderator Dave Karger, but his arrival onstage prompted shouts of “We love you!” and “We love Rayon!,” the latter a salute to his trans character in “Dallas Buyers Club,” for which he won an Oscar nomination.

Also read: Jared Leto's Career Evolution: 16 Roles Before His Oscar Nomination (Video)

But one person toward the front of the Arlington Theater yelled, “You don’t deserve an award!” as Leto took his seat, followed by “Trans misogyny does not deserve an award!”

The actor immediately stopped and asked the audience member – who witnesses said appeared to be a transgender woman – to clarify the comments.

“You’re a man!” the heckler shouted. “You shouldn’t play a transgender role!”

Leto, who appeared to be genuinely interested in and never irritated by the heckler, gently suggested that the logic would also prevent gay actors from playing straight roles, “You’ve made sure that people who are gay, that the Rayons of this world should never be able to turn the tables,” he said, to applause from the audience.

He then invited the heckler to continue the conversation after the onstage interview. “The door is open,” he said.

During his interview with Karger, Leto spoke of touring with his band Thirty Seconds to Mars and meeting a 14-year-old German boy who had been born a girl, and how that inspired the character of Rayon.

“To me, I thought it was an opportunity to put a different kind of character onscreen,” he said.

Also read: Why Jared Leto Dropped His Guitar and Put on a Skirt for ‘Dallas Buyers Club’

And when he finished his onstage interview, Leto immediately pointed into the audience and motioned for the heckler to meet him backstage. There, they had what one witness described as a “heart-to-heart” talk.

The exchange grabbed in the spotlight in an evening that might otherwise have been notable for its no-shows. Before Oscar nominations came out, the festival announced that its “Virtuosos” panel – an annual tribute devoted to actors who’ve given breakout performances in the past year – would honor an unprecedented seven people: Leto, Jordan, Larson, Squibb, Daniel Bruhl from “Rush,” Adele Exarchopoulos from “Blue is the Warmest Color” and Oscar Isaac from “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

Of the seven, only Leto and Squibb received Oscar nominations. And of the five who didn’t get nominated, only Jordan and Larson showed up on Tuesday. Bruhl, Exarchopoulos and Isaac begged off, citing their work schedules.

Similarly, Emma Thompson, who was scheduled to receive the festival’s Modern Master Award on Saturday, opted to remain in rehearsals for “Sweeney Todd” after failing to land an Oscar nomination. (Had she been nominated, she was planning to take a couple of days off to attend the Santa Barbara tribute and the Oscar nominees luncheon.)

“That’s just the breaks,” shrugged festival director Roger Durling at a party following the Virtuosos presentation.

In addition to Jordan and Larson honoring their commitment despite the lack of nominations, the surprise Oscar omissions Oprah Winfrey and Robert Redford are both going through with planned SBIFF tributes this week.

29th Santa Barbara International Film Festival -  Virtuosos Award to Daniel Bruhl, Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jared Leto and June Squibb

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During the other interviews on the Virtuosos program, Jordan talked of how he’d built a relationship with the family of Oscar Grant, the young father from Oakland who was shot and killed by a transit officer on New Year’s Eve, 2009, and who Jordan played in “Fruitvale Station.”

“That’s a relationship that doesn’t go away after awards season,” he said.

Also read: ‘Fruitvale Station’ Director: My Story of an Inner-City Killing Is About Humanity, Not Politics

Larson talked of preparing for her intense role as a counselor for abused teens in “Short Term 12” by drinking lots of coffee and listening to lots of “Norwegian black metal, death metal” music.

And the 84-year-old Squibb got a big laugh when asked if there was anything her hilariously blunt and profane character said in “Nebraska” that made her uncomfortable. “Not a thing,” she said with a smile.

She also spoke of Philip Seymour Hoffman, with whom she’d worked in “Scent of a Woman,” one of his first movies. “He was just very sweet,” she said. “It’s so hard to know that he must have had so many demons.”

At the end of the night, when all four actors received their awards from actor Christopher Lloyd, Leto took the microphone again.

“I do want to dedicate this tonight to the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman,” he said. “A brave and fearless genius – someone who was a compass for all of us, and someone who will really be missed.”

  • Benjamin Roussey

    Do you know why jobs
    continue to leave liberal states for conservative ones? Because conservatives
    and conservative states are business friendly. As long as black people continue to complain about life
    (just like Arabs continue to complain about America) they will continue to
    suffer, leave their families, drop out of school, not accomplish much, and not
    focus on being successful.

  • Benjamin Roussey

    The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest
    calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $17.4 trillion.

    It's the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president.

    The national debt increased $4.9 trillion during the eight-year presidency of
    George W. Bush. The debt now is rising at a pace to surpass that amount during
    Mr. Obama's four-year term.

    • Jay

      Could that be because of the big mess left by the republicans? The GMC, AIG, bailouts. Home Mortgage crisis, all of this because of deregulations. Without regs the weathly prey on the poor and get richer and richer.

      • Benjamin Roussey

        No. It is because Democrats want to increase the size and scope of the federal government. They are socialists.

        • Benjamin Roussey

          “Less taxes bring is more government revenue because less
          taxes stimulates economic activity. This has been proven throughout history,”
          says George Gilder. Why cannot liberals understand this basic fact?

          • Benjamin Roussey

            Obama covered up a missile attack from Iran in international
            waters on one of our drones. This happened about 1 week before the election
            date. So much for transparency from our nation’s president who spits out lie
            after lie.

          • Benjamin Roussey

            Is Barnie Frank really
            going to get away with destroying Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and devastating
            the housing sector? I guess so.

          • Benjamin Roussey

            ·
            Obama has crushed the dreams and hopes
            of many. Obama does not care about poor people. If he did he would stop
            increasing their numbers! He wants people to receive more free handouts so we
            become more dependent on him. That is the Democrats plan and it works. Millions
            of people depend on their handouts to survive because Democrats have been
            pushing this culture of dependency. Obamacare is a huge example.

          • Benjamin Roussey

            The
            KKK could not think of a better way to hold black people down than Obama's
            economic policies, big government agenda, and nanny state interests. The KKK
            could not ever dream of a better way to keep black people uneducated than our
            Ted Kennedy and liberal educational curriculum. The funny thing is, or ironic,
            or frightening, is that blacks still mainly vote for liberals and support race
            mongers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. The job creators and pushers are on
            the right, not the left. See broken California, not thriving Texas.

          • Benjamin Roussey

            The more you talk the more jobs leave California and go to Texas and the more jobs leave America and go overseas.

          • Benjamin Roussey

            If you want to create jobs you need to make this a business friendly
            environment. How do you do this? You curtail Sarbanes Oxley, the EPA,
            Dodd/Frank, lower taxes, and cut out other job killing regulations. If you want
            businesses to create jobs, this is what you do. Why do think you businesses are
            going to hire in America when you are attacking them every day? Obama is
            assailing the private sector every day, Obama does not understand profits and
            he does not understand how businesses work. This is why 15 million black people
            are unemployed and they deserve to be because they continue to vote for tax and
            spend liberals.

          • Benjamin Roussey

            TEN
            POOREST CITIES (over 250,000 population)

            City,
            State, % of People Below the Poverty Level

            1.
            Detroit , MI

            32.5%

            2.
            Buffalo , NY

            29.9%

            3.
            Cincinnati , OH

            27.8%

            4.
            Cleveland , OH

            27.0%

            5. Miami
            , FL

            26.9%

            5. St.
            Louis , MO

            26.8%

            7. El
            Paso , TX

            26.4%

            8.
            Milwaukee , WI

            26.2%

            9.
            Philadelphia , PA

            25.1%

            10.
            Newark , NJ

            24.2%

            What do
            the top ten cities (over 250,000 population)

            with the
            highest poverty rate all have in common?

            Detroit, MI (1st) hasn't elected a
            Republican mayor since 1961.

            Buffalo , NY (2nd) hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1954.

            Cincinnati , OH (3rd) hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1984.

            Cleveland , OH (4th) hasn't elected a
            Republican mayor since 1989.

            Miami , FL
            (5th) has
            never had a Republican mayor.

            St. Louis , MO (6th) hasn't elected a
            Republican mayor since 1949.

            El Paso , TX (7th) has never had a
            Republican mayor.

            Milwaukee , WI (8th) hasn't elected a
            Republican mayor since 1908.

            Philadelphia , PA (9th) hasn't elected a
            Republican mayor since 1952.

            Newark , NJ (10th) hasn't elected a
            Republican mayor since 1907.

            Einstein once said:

            ‘The
            definition of insanity is doing the same thing over
            and over again and expecting different results.’

            It is the poor who habitually elect Democrats yet they are still
            POOR!

            “You
            cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.You cannot strengthen the weak by
            weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging
            thrift.You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.You
            cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.You cannot build character
            and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.You cannot help
            people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do
            for themselves.”

          • Benjamin Roussey

            ·
            Obama is an epic failure.
            He cares more about rich white woman like Daryl Hannah and not black people
            that is why he sided with her in the Keystone pipeline debacle.

          • pyrespirit

            Because it's bullshit, and actually has not been proven even slightly.

            The time of greatest economic growth for the US has been during the 80s, when taxes were at their highest.

            Low taxes have simply starved essential civic functions of funding, and resulting in decaying infrastructure, while padding the pockets of the wealthy.

            Trickle-down economics has been an unmitigated failure.

          • Benjamin Roussey

            Revenue could be hid overseas and so on much better than it can now. See what the IRS is doing to overseas revenue and Swiss banks now. Sorry, you are wrong.

          • Benjamin Roussey

            Trickle down economics? Not sure what that is. I do know your socialist policies have destroyed LA, Detroit, Chicago, Spain, Italy, Greece, and New York.

          • Benjamin Roussey

            You are correct though, Reagan was outstanding.

          • Benjamin Roussey

            Do you know why jobs
            continue to leave liberal states for conservative ones? Because conservatives
            and conservative states are business friendly. As long as black people continue to complain about life
            (just like Arabs continue to complain about America) they will continue to
            suffer, leave their families, drop out of school, not accomplish much, and not
            focus on being successful.

          • Dervid

            Fail. That's not true at all. American industrial might happened after the Civil War until WWI, where we quickly surpassed much of the already industrialized world in all fields (including education, etc..). We had NO income tax, and very little government meddling at that time.

      • Benjamin Roussey

        The two Boston bombers received
        $100,000 in welfare benefits. The liberal Democrat governor in Massachusetts
        tried to keep this information secret but it has been recovered and now is
        being reported. Another indication how disgusting liberals are. Glad I am not a liberal.

  • Benjamin Roussey

    If you want to create jobs you need to make this a business friendly
    environment. How do you do this? You curtail Sarbanes Oxley, the EPA,
    Dodd/Frank, lower taxes, and cut out other job killing regulations. If you want
    businesses to create jobs, this is what you do. Why do think you businesses are
    going to hire in America when you are attacking them every day? Obama is
    assailing the private sector every day, Obama does not understand profits and
    he does not understand how businesses work. This is why 15 million black people
    are unemployed and they deserve to be because they continue to vote for tax and
    spend liberals.