Actor James Martin, the 31-year-old star of “An Irish Goodbye,” joined the film’s producers on stage at the Academy Awards on Sunday. During their acceptance speech for Best Live-Action Short, Tom Berkeley and Ross White pivoted to Martin.
“This award is actually the second most important thing about today because it’s this man’s birthday,” said Berkeley. “He’s out here in Hollywood, wearing a leopard-print suit jacket. We’d love to use the rest of our time up here to sing to James.”
And so they did, leading the entire Dolby Theater in a sing-along in honor of Martin’s 31st birthday.
Martin lives with Down syndrome. Though he’s now the star of an Oscar-winning short, Martin works at a Belfast Starbucks and as a chef at the Italian restaurant Scalini’s.
“Anybody can act, it doesn’t matter if you have Down syndrome,” he told the Daily Mail in January.
After the U.K. government pledged funding to expand abortion in Northern Ireland last October, Right to Life UK explained to the Catholic News Agency “that once abortion services are fully commissioned in Northern Ireland, abortion will be available ‘up to the point of birth’ for all disabilities including cleft palate, club foot, and Down syndrome.”