Harry Styles Accepts His First Acting Award of Oscar Season

Harry Styles
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On the stage at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, Harry Styles is a bonafide rock star, brimming with swagger and self confidence. But Styles, the actor, was more soft spoken while accepting an acting award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Styles was a man of few words as he, along with the cast of “My Policeman,” received the ensemble award at the festival’s Tribute Awards on Sunday.

“Thank you so much to everyone here on behalf of all of us for this wonderful, wonderful award,” said Styles, who stars in the romance drama as a closeted police officer. “We all loved working on this film so much. And we hope you enjoy it.”

Styles, holding the train of his co-star Emma Corin’s long black dress as they walked out, left the event as quickly as they entered the Fairmont Royal York, where the annual gala is behind held.

Lucky for TIFF organizers, Olivia Colman was the next to take the stage and charm the crowd. The Oscar-winner was on hand to bestow Sam Mendes with the Ebert Director Award.

But all she could say before the room went dark to play a reel of Mendes’ film highlights was, “It’s my pleasure to present the TIFF director award to Sam Mendes,” prompting her eyes to widen in shock.

Mendes, whose latest film “Empire of Light,” an ode to movie theaters, is premiering at the festival, was greeted with a standing ovation.

“That was completely unnecessary,” the British director told the crowd.

Since the event isn’t televised, Mendes joked he could talk as long as he wanted. And indeed, the director of “American Beauty” and “Skyfall” gave a lengthy speech about his career and collaboration with talent including cinematographer Roger Deakins. He attributed his career to more than just his work. “You also need a load of fucking luck.

Though the festival is running for several more days, Toronto is hosting its fourth annual tribute awards, with recipients including “The Whale” star Brendan Fraser. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” star Michelle Yeoh will receive the inaugural TIFF Share Her Journey Groundbreaker Award, which honors someone in the film industry who has championed women during their career, while composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, who won an Oscar for scoring “Joker” and recently worked on “Women Talking” and “Tar,” accepted the Variety Artisan Award.

Darren Aronofsky, who directed Fraser in “The Whale,” was on hand as a presenter, along with “Woman Talking” director Sarah Polley and Jason Reitman.

It’s already been an emotional start to awards season for Fraser, who broke down in tears at the Venice world premiere of “The Whale. His performance as a 600-pound gay man confined to a wheelchair is expected to put him at the forefront of this year’s best actor Oscars race.

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From Variety US