We have been in the full-swing of awards season for a couple months now. If there was ever a lock for any of the categories, it appears to be Jared Leto for his work in "Dallas Buyers Club". Rightfully so, he brilliantly went through an insane physical transformation as well as emotionally captivated one. It appears that not everyone feels Leto deserves this award however, as indicated recently at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's Virtuosos Award.
While Leto was accepting his award, an unidentified woman in the audience stated, "Trans-misogyny does not deserve an award."
"What do you mean by that?" Leto asked, and the heckler responded, "You don't deserve an award for portraying a trans-woman, because you're a man."
Leto continued, "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 argument went back and forth between the two, until Leto got the final word with his eloquent response, "Then you've made sure people that are gay, people that aren't straight, people like the Rayons of the world would never have the opportunity to turn the tables and explore parts of that art." That was the end of the interruption in which the audience awarded Leto with a well-deserved applause.
Should Michael Fassbender not have played a slave owner in "12 Years a Slave" because he has actually not ever owned slaves? Should Benedict Cumberbatch not have voiced a Dragon in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" because he doesn't know what it's like to be a dragon? Extreme examples sure, but becoming someone or something else, in as seamless of a way as possible to do the character justice, is the point of film and art. If we feel a connection to these characters, especially in the case of being based on real people, they are gaining a chance to be heard and seen in a way they may not have been before.
What do you make of Leto's comments? Let us know in the comments section below!
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