Actors Viola Davis, Rosemarie DeWitt, Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leo and Michael Shannon took honors Wednesday night at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival at its second “Virtuosos Awards,” which recognizes actors who had “breakout” performances in the last year. Of the group, four are up for next month’s Oscar nominees and three are up for Film Independent’s Spirit Awards.
During a conversation with AP’s Michael Cidoni, the group wondered aloud about the meaning of “virtuoso,” and vet actor Richard Jenkins contemplates being “an overnight sensation,” while Viola Davis shies away from whether her phone rang the day after Meryl Streep said, “somebody give her a movie” at the recent Screen Actors Guild Awards. An exchange from the chat:
Rosemarie DeWitt: For me (this group is) like a master class in acting. You remember to have a sense of danger, like Michael (pointing to Shannon), or (turning to Davis and Leo) these two, ferocious, ferocious women in performances.
Richard Jenkins: And what about me?
Rosemarie DeWitt: Subtle stillness, and so much beauty.
Davis is being honored for her portrayal in “Doubt,” while Leo is taking honors for last year’s Sundance fav, “Frozen River.” Michael Shannon is being lauded for his role in “Revolutionary Road,” and 61 year-old Richard Jenkins is being recognized for “The Visitor.” DeWitt is taking praise for her part in “Rachel Getting Married.”