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This has to be the most inspiring moment of the Oscars


Emma McIntyre / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

James Martin con sus compañeros del oscarizado "An Irish Goodbye".

Cerith Gardiner - published on 03/15/23

James Martin, an actor, barista, and chef, celebrates a world first as he wins an Oscar and unites an audience in song.

It’s incredible to think how much energy and drama goes into the Oscars ceremony. All that showbiz glitz to celebrate a few people. And now that the dust has settled after this year’s awards ceremony, it’s wonderful to see the one event that made our hearts, and the audience itself, sing.

The Irish actor James Martin stepped onto the stage, along with co-star Seamus O’Hara and directors Tom Berkeley and Ross White, to receive an award for the Best Live Action Short, An Irish Goodbye.

As he lifted up the trophy, he became the first person with Down syndrome to receive such an accolade. And while that in itself is a testament to Martin’s powerful acting skills, what really shone was way he managed to unite a whole room of celebrities in song.

In fact, the ceremony landed on another very special day, Martin’s birthday. As Berkeley gave his speech, he pointed out this special occasion and asked the audience to join him in singing “Happy Birthday” to the actor.

Well, the stars of the silver screen were more than happy to oblige, and gave the rather dapper Martin a rousing rendition of the song to wish him the best of birthdays — and if you look at the video, you’ll notice the sheer joy on the face of his fellow actor and countryman Colin Farrell.

While the Oscars were probably the most exciting birthday celebration Martin has experienced, the Irishman didn’t let any of the glory go to his head.

Incredibly, the trained barista headed straight back to work at his job at Starbucks in Belfast, where he’s quick to help “with all the customers,” as reported in the Independent. And along with his job serving drinks, he’s also a chef at an Italian restaurant, Scalini’s, where he states: “I can make garlic bread, meatballs, salads and mussels, chips and stuff like that.”

It seems there is no stopping this Hollywood star, and who knows what the future will hold for Martin. However, it’s certain that he’s put a spotlight on all the capabilities that people who are neurodivergent can still possess, as well as showcasing his impressive work ethic.

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