Jared Leto praised for putting Dallas Buyers Club heckler in her place
Story by Jack Foley
JARED Leto has been winning praise left, right and centre for his portrayal of a transgender suffering from AIDs in Dallas Buyers Club – but now he’s also getting the thumbs up for how he’s dealt with a heckler.
The incident came to light while he was being honoured for his breakthrough performance at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Tuesday, February 4, 2014.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, an unidentified woman got up and stated: “Trans-misogyny does not deserve an award.”
Leto immediately responded by asking: ““What do you mean by that?”
To which she replied: “You don’t deserve an award for portraying a trans-woman, because you’re a man.”
His reply? “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?”
That response drew a round of applause from the rest of the attending audience. But Leto went one step further, later meeting with his heckler and her friend for what has been described as a “cordial conversation” on the issue. It was said to have lasted for about 15 minutes.
In that regard, you have to hand it to the actor. A lot of awards pundits have been writing think-pieces about the potential pitfalls faced by both Leto and Matthew McConaughey while campaigning during this season’s awards activity because of the sensitive nature of Dallas Buyers Club and AIDs. Many warned that it would be easy to put a foot wrong on the issue.
Leto, it seems, knows exactly how to handle things and has yet to put a foot wrong. He has already won a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for his portrayal of a character named Rayon and his grip around both the BAFTA and Oscar looks to be getting firmer by the day.
We can only stand back and applaud – just as we did when we first witnessed his striking performance.