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Jared Leto lets journalists fondle his Oscar

2014-03-03 09:32
Los Angeles - Newly minted Oscar winner Jared Leto delighted journalists on Sunday by promptly inviting them to fondle his coveted statuette.

The 42-year-old star picked up the ultimate accolade of an honour-laden awards season for his performance as an AIDS-stricken transgender woman in Dallas Buyers Club.

(Jared Leto won best supporting actor at the 86th Academy Awards. AP)

"Pass it around but if you have swine flu, please don't touch it," Leto joked to reporters after giving away his best supporting actor award.

"If anyone wants to get a selfie with the Oscar, go for it," he added.

When Leto invited reporters to take selfies, he was cautioned by an Academy representative that no photography was allowed in that particular room.

"If you want to get media, let the media do what they do," he replied, drawing cheers and applause.

Leto's onstage acceptance speech had included a reference to people involved in social upheaval in Ukraine and Venezuela, issues which the star  who is also the frontman of rock band 30 Seconds To Mars said were dear to his heart.

"When you're on that stage, you can make it about yourself, or you can hold up a mirror and shine a light and that's what I chose to do tonight," Leto said.

"Because I'm in a band, these global issues impact us in a really direct way. We have a show in Ukraine in a couple of weeks. We have a show in Thailand in a few weeks. We had a show in Venezuela. So these things, social unrest, affects us in a really immediate way.

"I thought it was important to address those things."

Leto meanwhile insisted that he had never imagined his role in Dallas Buyers Club would lead to the biggest success of his acting career.

(Jared Leto in a scene from Dallas Buyers Club. AP)

"Nobody talked about awards," Leto said when the film went into production.

"I never ever dreamed in a million years that I would be standing here talking to you. It wasn't even a fantasy because it was too far-fetched."

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