Jared Leto was recently heckled at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival by a woman who criticized him for getting an award for playing a transgender woman and HIV-positive patient Rayon in "Dallas Buyers Club," a role that has also earned him his first Oscar nomination.
The 42-year-old actor and Thirty Seconds To Mars singer had attended the Tuesday event in California to accept the Virtuosos Award, which was also given to six other actors -- Daniel Bruhl (of "Rush," Adele Exarchopoulos of "Blue Is The Warmest Color," Oscar Isaac of "Inside Llewyn Davis," Michael B. Jordan of "Fruitvale Station," Brie Larson of "Short Term 12" and June Squibb of "Nebraska."
As Leto sat down on a stage with a moderator, he told the crowd, "I love you too, in the words of Michael Jackson," and then, in Rayon's feminine voice, "I love you all, so much. It's good to see you. I've missed you."
"I am Rayon sometimes. I do miss her. Does anybody miss Rayon?" he asked the cheering audience. "Rayon has fans, as she should. She deserves it. If you work hard to look that good, you deserve to have some fans."
A woman in the crowd then yelled, "You will never be Rayon!"
"What's your point? what are you heckling about?" he asked her.
"Trans-misogyny does not deserve an award," she replied. "You don't deserve an award for portraying a trans-woman, because you're a man."
"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?" Leto said. "Then you make sure that 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 that aren't central to who they are."
He then invited the woman and a person she was with to "have a conversation" after the event. The Hollywood Reporter said Leto later had a 15-minute "cordial" chat with the pair.
Leto has already won a Golden Globe and a Critics' Choice Movie Award for his role in "Dallas Buyers Club," which received 6 Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture and Best Leading Actor for Matthew McConaughey (check out a full list.)
Watch the video of Jared Leto responding to a heckler at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival above.