Author of Dark Fiction
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“For those of you out there who have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love, tonight I stand here in front of the world with you and for you.”
These were the closing world of Jared Leto’s acceptance speech for having won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for playing HIV-positive transgendered woman, Rayon, in the film The Dallas Buyers Club. This is very exciting for transgendered people everywhere. It signals a level of acceptance by society that is gradually becoming mainstream.
The Dallas Buyers Club is based on true events of Ron Woodroof, a Texas man who was diagnosed with AIDS, sought alternative medicine, and eventually started the Dallas Buyers Club, selling medicine that hadn’t been approved by the FDA to other patients. Woodruff is played by Matthew McConaughey. Rayon and Woodreff become friends, and Rayon eventually (and reluctantly) becomes Woodroof’s business partner.
Jared Leto displayed a tremendous amount of sensitivity in playing the transgendered Rayon. In interviews he said that he had only two weeks’ notice before starting the role of Rayon. In that time he completely starved himself, and that act f starvation put him in touch with his character’s vulnerable condition. He needed to stay in character during the entire shoot in order to maintain his focus.
The Dallas Buyers Club was nominated in several categories: best picture, best actor, best supporting actor, costumes, editing, makeup and hairstyling, and original screenplay. The Dallas Buyers Club did win the Oscar for best costumes, and Matthew McConaughey won for Best Actor.
In his acceptance speech, Leto gave special thanks to his mother Constance. She’d been a single, teenage mom, but still she found the resources and courage to raise her children to be hardworking, creative people who weren’t afraid to pursue their dreams. Leto further said, “To all the dreamers out there watching this, in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela, we are here, and as you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible, we’re thinking of you tonight.”