Things We Learned at the Gothams, Jared Leto Edition By MELENA RYZIK
As expected, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” was a big winner; filmmaker Benh Zeitlin took home two trophies, breakthrough director and the inaugural Bingham Ray memorial prize, which comes with $25,000. “Making this movie, I had unprecedented freedom,” Mr. Zeitlin said on his first trip to the podium. “I think that freedom has been what people have responded to.” He added that he hoped more filmmakers got the chance to make movies unencumbered by financial and creative constraints, as he did. (See the list of winners here.)
As usual there were comments about low budgets – Mark Duplass, a star and producer of “Your Sister’s Sister,” which won best ensemble, noted that his Hollywood co-stars, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt, worked for just $100 a day, “because they wanted to make a cool piece of art with us” – and that indie film was underappreciated. As the host, Mike Birbiglia, put it in his opening monologue: “We’re here tonight because if we don’t give ourselves these awards, who will?”
Still, the evening, which functions as a convivial get-together as much as an awards show, offered some high points and new tidbits. Here, a list of the things we learned at our fourth consecutive Gothams, Part 1:
Jared Leto is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Under the pseudonym Bartholomew Cubbins, Mr. Leto, the actor and frontman of the band Thirty Seconds to Mars, made “Artifact,” the story of the group fighting to get out of its contract with the record label, EMI, which sued it for $30 million. The suit was later settled and the band made a concept album, “This Is War.” The film had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and picked up the audience award at the Gothams. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Leto, sporting a ponytail and nail polish, thanked his mother, for teaching him how to lead a creative life.
Jared Leto has a lot of devoted Twitter fans. Upon learning of his win online, many replied that they were in tears, especially at his thanking of his mom. Mr. Leto and his date were seated at the Bagger’s table; they did not return after he won.
Jared Leto is starving himself – apparently for a role in “Dallas Buyers Club” with Matthew McConaughey, about the first users of the AIDS drug AZT – and yet still has a sense of humor
“I haven’t eaten in 21 days,” he told Mr. Birbiglia, after his opening monologue, “and that made me laugh.”