Skip to main content

Alexandria native Hawkes wins Best Male Lead at Independent Spirit Awards

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Alexandria-born actor John Hawkes won Best Male Lead for his poignant portrayal as a polio victim in "The Sessions" at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Saturday in Santa Monica, Calif., The Hollywood Reporter reports.

Hawkes had pretty stiff competition in the category. Among the nominees were Bradley Cooper, who is also an Oscar nominee for "Silver Linings Playbook," as well as Jack Black for "Bernie" and Matthew McConaughey for "Killer Joe."

Hawkes' co-star, Helen Hunt, also won a Spirit Award, for Best Supporting Female.

The Spirit Awards were handed out on the beach in Santa Monica Saturday afternoon.

Hawkes, who was born John Perkins in Alexandria in 1959, earned critical acclaim and several Best Actor award nominations  for his role in "The Sessions." He stars in the film as Mark O'Brien, a real-life journalist who sought to lose his virginity despite his severe disability.

"Mark had the movement of his head and nothing else. But after graduating from college at UC Berkley, he made his living using a mouth stick and an early computer to painstakingly write his articles -- but he was happy to be alive," Hawkes told me in a post-production interview. "He did an article about disabled sex and wondered about his own possibilities. So it's really about Mark's journey to becoming a man in his late 30s."

Hawkes previously won a Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for the 2010 crime thriller "Winter's Bone," which also earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.

While Hawkes missed out on an Oscar nomination for "The Sessions" (Hunt is nominated for Best Supporting Actress), he has a key supporting role in the Best Picture nominee "Lincoln" as one of the trio of political operatives who try to secure votes to pass the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery.

Hawkes told me he had only one day of filming with Best Actor frontrunner Daniel Day-Lewis, but it was a memorable one.

"It wasn't a scene that required him to be emotional or chew scenery -- but it was a phenomenal thing to see," Hawkes said. "He embodied the character unlike I’ve seen any actor embody a character. It was a moving thing to be around that day."

See the trailer from Hawkes' "The Sessions" below.

Next Up

Police tape

Woman dies after being shot in Minneapolis

The woman in her 20s died at the scene.

318932855_566492482149686_9036958628999185261_n

Twin Cities liquor store worker offers shoes off her feet to unhoused man

The man asked for boxes to use as makeshift shoes before the woman offered hers.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 2.19.37 PM

St. Paul PD releases footage showing fatal police shooting of Howard Johnson

The 24-year-old died after being shot by a St. Paul officer Monday night.

318945683_10161683635994714_4236667683357316937_n

22 dogs taken in by Animal Humane Society from shuttered breeder

The dogs were taken in after a report stated there were too many on a single property.

COVER

Latest on the 2 snowstorms set to impact Minnesota

The first arrives Thursday night into Friday before a bigger system comes next week.

PepperSprayCopMPD

Cop who pepper-sprayed downtown protesters received $150K payout

Samantha Belcourt said she "feared for her life."

Powerball Minnesota lottery

$1 million Powerball prize won in Twin Cities

The winning ticket was sold in Chanhassen for Wednesday's draw.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 9.16.18 AM

Animales Barbeque Co. looks to open brick-and-mortar location

The popular food truck has partnered with the owner of Billy Sushi.

Christmas presents

Here are some 2022 holiday shipping deadlines to keep in mind

Most deadlines are a few days before Christmas Eve.

Related