Photo Gallery: SBIFF Virtuosos Awards

Posted on Feb 6 by SEASONS Magazine

Actors Timothee Chalamet, John Boyega, Mary J. Blige, Hong Chau, Daniel Kaluuya and Kumail Nanjiani pose backstage with their Virtuosos Awards at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actors Timothee Chalamet, John Boyega, Mary J. Blige, Hong Chau, Daniel Kaluuya and Kumail Nanjiani pose backstage with their Virtuosos Awards at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The 33rd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) celebrated the Virtuosos Awards honoring Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Hong Chau (Downsizing), John Boyega (Detroit), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), Mary J. Blige (Mudbound) and Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name) at the Arlington Theatre. The event was presented by UGG and Dave Karger led a panel discussion and one-on-one Q&A’s with the honorees.

Mary J. Blige at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Alison Buck/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Mary J. Blige at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Alison Buck/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Blige, who made Oscar history by becoming the first person ever to be nominated for an acting performance and an original song in a single year, shared with the audience what went through her mind the morning of the announcement. “I didn’t even watch. I tried to sleep completely through the whole thing and my channel wasn’t on any of the channels that were announcing anything,” she said. “Things like this just don’t happen. I was so grateful.”

Actor John Boyega at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actor John Boyega at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Boyega explained the unique casting process the actors went through for Detroit as they didn’t know who they would play until after being cast. “When they gave us the description for the audition, they told us to read a particular scene and it was from In the Heat of the Night. I was confused for a second, but it was about tone, it was about the message. And after the audition and getting the part, then I found out who I was playing”

Actor Timothee Chalamet at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Alison Buck/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actor Timothee Chalamet at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Alison Buck/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Chalamet, one of the youngest actors to be nominated for an Academy Award, talked about striving to be authentic in acting. “Call Me by Your Name is based on a book and there were already a lot of fans of that book, so the idea of acting in it was just to be as faithful to the adaptation as possible,” he said. “As an actor it becomes your chief responsibility staying as faithful to that and just being true.”

Actress Hong Chau at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Hong Chau at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Chau shared with the crowd her experience of reading the script for Downsizing for the first time and her strong desire to be selected for the role. “I was blown away because it was such a creative story that had so much going on,” she said. “I was ready to cage fight somebody for this role.”

Actor Daniel Kaluuya at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Alison Buck/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actor Daniel Kaluuya at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Alison Buck/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Kaluuya touched on overcoming the challenge which was Jordan Peele’s want to cast an American actor for his thriller Get Out, which focused on racism. “He had reservations because, for him, it felt like an African-American story,” said Kaluuya. “But then I opened up to him about my experience as a black man. I just talked to him about my experiences and my life. I get it, I understand it. That’s my life.”

Actor Kumail Nanjiani at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actor Kumail Nanjiani at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Nanjiani, who wrote the screenplay for The Big Sick with wife Emily Gordon, hilariously expressed how strongly they felt about the project. “Emily and I just really wanted to tell this story. I was like, ‘I want to see this movie and no one else can make this movie.’ You know you when you get old ketchup and you have to slam the back of it and then the congealed piece comes out? And then the rest of it can come out? To me, this story was the congealed piece. If I don’t get this out, nothing else will come out.”

Kumail Nanjiani (right) interacts with fans at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Kumail Nanjiani (right) interacts with fans at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actors John Boyega and Hong Chau speak onstage at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actors John Boyega and Hong Chau speak onstage at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Mary J. Blige (right) interacts with fans at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Mary J. Blige (right) interacts with fans at the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF). Note the local news anchor John Palminteri and his Puppetpalooza lookalike looking over Ms. Blige.

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