Matt Damon, Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Jared Leto and more turned up at the Independent Film Project’s 22nd annual Gotham Awards in downtown New York City last night to honor the best of independent cinema. Girls actor Alexander Karpovsky may have been a presenter at the event, but he was most excited about watching host Mike Birbiglia take the stage. “I’m a huge Mike Birbiglia fan so I’m looking forward to his jokes,” he said on the red carpet.
When we caught up with Birbiglia, he said he prepared for the gig with a little help from his followers. “I wrote some jokes, then I threw a lot of them out and then I got my Twitter followers to write jokes so I don’t have to take credit for mean things.” Birbiglia also revealed that he worked as a coat-check person at the Gotham Awards when he first moved to New York City 12 years ago. “They paid me more then than I’m being paid tonight,” he quipped, while adding he didn’t bring a coat to the event “out of respect.”
For filmmaker and actor Mark Duplass (Your Sister’s Sister), the biggest draw of the night was reuniting with fellow independent filmmakers. “This is kind of like camp for us where everybody comes back together for the summer, you haven’t seen everybody for awhile, so I look forward to getting roaring drunk and doing inappropriate things with my old friends,” explained Duplass, who said he wasn’t nervous at all about his two nominations. “I”m competing against myself so no matter what happens tonight I’m going to lose.” (From the glass-half full perspective however, Duplass ended up winning an award for Best Ensemble Award performance, along with Your Sister’s Sister co-stars Emily Blunt and Rosemarie Dewitt).
Jared Gilman, the young star of Moonrise Kingdom, picked up more than an award for the film, he also picked up some dressing tips while on the set. “Bill Murray taught me how to tie a tie, which really came in handy because next year was the big year of all the bar mitzvahs,” explained the actor.
When asked about whether he’d like to get endorsement deals, like career-tribute recipient Marion Cotillard, Jack Black said he’s already on his way. “I’m wearing a Calvin Klein that they just gave me to because they knew I was going to be here, so I’m already getting a taste of the Cotillard treatment.” As for whether fans can expect any products endorsed by the actor, Black has one in mind: “I invented a meal. It’s called the cheeseburger burrito, so there might be a Jack Black burrito coming your way.”
While Black was peddling cheeseburger burritos, Jared Leto, who picked up the audience award for Artifact, revealed that he was fasting. “I’m kind of lightheaded because I’ve been fasting for a role. I have no eyebrows too,” said Leto, who explained that he had to wax his entire body to play a transsexual woman in an upcoming film. “It was quite an adventure.”
Best Feature: Moonrise Kingdom
Gotham Independent Film Audience Award: Artifact
Best Ensemble Performance: Emily Blunt, Rosemarie Dewitt and Mark Duplass, Your Sister’s Sister
Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
Breakthrough Actor: Emayatzy Corinealdi, Middle of Nowhere
Breakthrough Director: Behn Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Best Documentary: How to Survive a Plague
Spotlight on Women Filmmakers “Live the Dream” Grant: Stacie Passon, Concussion
Bingham Ray Award: Behn Zeitlin