Jared Leto's acceptance speech was one of the most emotional at the Academy Awards Sunday.
And it was all thanks to the actor's mother Constance, who he said always encouraged him to follow his dream of one day becoming a star. (Via ABC / "The View")
"And I just want to say, I love you, Mom. Thank you for teaching me to dream." (Via Clip Courtesy A.M.P.A.S © 2014)
Leto was accepting the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as a transgender woman in "Dallas Buyers Club" when he thanked Constance for always nurturing his artistic side. (Via Voltage Pictures / "Dallas Buyers Club")
It wasn't always easy. Until he turned eight, Leto says he, Constance and his older brother Shannon led a "dirt poor" life, moving from state to state trying to find a place to call home. (Via Warner Bros. / "The Ellen DeGeneres Show")
It wasn't until Constance met and married Dr. Carl Leto in 1979 that the little family finally found some stability. Carl adopted both Jared and Shannon, and they took his last name.
Carl told the Daily Mail in an exclusive interview that he knew Jared was talented early on. "Whether it was music, art or film-making you could see he was very talented. He was just a very intelligent boy and very dynamic. He loved music and would later love film."
Constance obviously agreed, and, during his acceptance speech, a now 42-year-old Leto gushed about how much he encouraged him to express himself through music and acting.
"She was a high school dropout and a single mom, but somehow she managed to make a better life for herself and her children. She encouraged her kids to be creative, to work hard and to do something special. That girl is my mother and she's here tonight." (Via Clip Courtesy A.M.P.A.S © 2014)
Leto's touching tribute to his family received thunderous applause from the Dolby Theatre's audience. But not everyone was too pleased with what he said next.
"To all the dreamers out there around the world watching this tonight in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela, I want to say we are here, and as you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible, we're thinking of you tonight." (Via Clip Courtesy A.M.P.A.S © 2014)
According to The Hollywood Reporter, that part of the speech was cut from the Russian telecast of the awards ceremony as tensions between the country and Ukraine continue to rise.
And Leto's speech got some backlash from some transgender people as well. As The Independent points out, he failed to thank the transgender community.
A writer for Feministing wrote, "No matter what 'Dallas Buyers Club' does as a film, the narrative around this movie, the fact that a man in drag is playing a trans woman, perpetuates the stereotype that we are men in drag.”
But regardless of how his speech was received, Leto's part in "Dallas Buyers Club" earned him both an Oscar and a Golden Globe. No word yet on what his next project will be.