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14th Mar 2023

Actor who went back to working at Starbucks after starring in movie wins an Oscar

Steve Hopkins

‘I am the first person with Down syndrome going over to America to pick up these Oscars’

An actor went back to working at Starbucks after a movie he featured in went on to win an Oscar.

James Martin had a lot to celebrate at the 95th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood on Sunday. A movie he starred in, An Irish Goodbye, scooped the gong for Best Live Action Short, and it was his 31st birthday.

Taking to the stage to accept the award, co-director Tom Berkeley led the star-studded crowd in singing Happy Birthday to James.

“This award is actually the second most important thing about today because it’s James’ birthday,” Tom explained.

“He’s out here in Hollywood wearing a leopard-print suit jacket. We would love to use the rest of our time up here to sing to James.

The star, who has Down’s Syndrome, was noticeably moved by the gesture and gave a thumbs-up to the crowd. Fellow nominee, Colin Farrell, mirrored the gesture.

In, An Irish Goodbye, James plays a brother who is reunited with his sibling Turlough (Seamus O’Hara) due to his mother’s death.

Despite the short’s success, James chose to go back to a Starbucks branch in Belfast in the weeks before the Academy Awards.

According to MailOnline, he said: “I help out with all the customers. I’ve been doing that a long time. It’s nice.”

The actor keeps himself busy, also working in local restaurant Scalini’s as a chef.

James dad’s, Ivan, earlier said his son was pretty confident that An Irish Goodbye would do well at the awards, with the actor telling his dad “don’t you worry, I just have a feeling we’re going to get nominated”.

And the actor reportedly went to the awards confident the short would win, with Ivan saying the actor “just had this belief” that things were going to turn out well for him.

Brendan Fraser, meanwhile, won the best actor prize, for his performance in The Whale, and Michelle Yeoh won for Everything Everywhere All At once.

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