Jared Leto confronted a bigoted heckler at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Tuesday (February 4, 2014), who claimed the Oscar-nominated actor should not have played a HIV-positive transgendered woman in Jean-Marc Vallee's Dallas Buyers Club.

Jared LetoJared Leto [L] as Rayon in 'Dallas Buyers Club'

Leto - who was being honored for the performance in Santa Barbara - was speaking about the role when a woman yelled, "Trans-misogyny does not deserve an award.You don't deserve an award for portraying a trans-woman, because you're a man."

Leto responded: "Because I'm a man, I don't deserve to play that part?.... So you would hold a role against someone who happened to be gay or lesbian - they can't play a straight part?"

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the woman argued that straight people always win awards for playing transgender character, to which Leto countered: "Then you've made sure people that are gay, people that aren't straight, people like the Rayons of the world would never have the opportunity to turn the tables and explore parts of that art."

The actor invited the woman backstage to discuss the issue and the pair charred cordially.

Matthew McconaugheyMatthew Mcconaughey in 'Dallas Buyers Club'

Leto stayed in character for most of his time working on Dallas Buyers Club - which features the best lead acting performance of the year from Matthew McConaughey - and the Thirty Seconds to Mars star told MTV News' Josh Horowitz of his dedication to the role.

"As soon as I learned about the role, I really couldn't not play this part. And I felt it was time," he said. "I remember thinking as well - I haven't really admitted this yet, so you're getting an exclusive here, Josh - but it was a test for me to see if I was gonna continue making films. So this was, this was actually a test."

Leto is the huge odds-on favorite to win the Oscar for best supporting actor next month, though don't rule out Captain Phillips' Barkhad Abdi or 12 Years a Slave's Michael Fassbender.