Jared Leto engages film festival heckler

JARED LETO refused to let a heckler at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) in California ruin his big night and even invited the disgruntled attendee backstage to discuss the issues in person.

The actor/musician attended the event on Tuesday (04Feb14) to accept an award for his Oscar-nominated portrayal of transgender HIV patient Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club, but faced shouts from the crowd when he took to the stage for an interview about his work.

A member of the audience at the Arlington Theater yelled, "You're a man! You shouldn't play a transgendered role", according to Thewrap.com.

Leto addressed the unidentified heckler, reportedly a transgender woman, and questioned the comments, saying, "You've made sure that people who are gay, that the Rayons of this world should never be able to turn the tables" prompting applause from the audience.

The star then invited the heckler to meet him after the interview to continue the conversation in person, saying, "The door is open".

Reports suggest Leto did meet the audience member for a talk backstage.

At the end of the evening Leto stepped into the spotlight again by dedicating the event to late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman following his death over the weekend (01-02Feb14) from a suspected drug overdose.

He told the audience, "I do want to dedicate this tonight to the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman. A brave and fearless genius - someone who was a compass for all of us, and someone who will really be missed."

SBIFF awards were also handed out to stars including Nebraska actress June Squibb, Fruitvale Station's Michael B. Jordan, and Brie Larson for her role in Short Term 12.

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