Richard E. Grant dedicated his Indie Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor to the generations lost to HIV.
The British actor won the award for his role as Jack Hock in Can You Ever Forgive Me? The biographical film tells the story of lesbian writer Lee Israel who forged personal letters of famous writers. Hock died of an AIDS-related illness in 1994 at age 47.
Grant dedicated the win in an emotional speech on Saturday 23 February to the victims of the AIDS crisis. In particular, he said the person who inspired him the most was Ian Charleson – the lead actor in Chariots of Fire who died from an AIDS-related illness at age 40 in 1990.
Grant said to the audience: ‘I feel absolutely astonished and emotional about this, thank you very very much.
‘The person that most inspired my performance was an actor called Ian Charleson, who played the lead in Chariots of Fire.
‘He died of AIDS at the age of 40 in 1990. This movie more than anything is a homage to that generation of men wiped out by that disease.’
The Indie Spirit Awards are a yearly celebration of the best in independent film. This year’s ceremony took place in a tent on Santa Monica.
As of 2016, around 675,000 people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the beginning of the crisis in the US. The majority of the deaths occurred in the 80s and 90s.
Watch Richard E. Grant’s full speech here: