Sam Rockwell, who is piling up awards for his supporting turn in Fox Searchlight’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, is set as this year’s recipient of the Santa Barbara Film Festival’s American Riviera Award. The honor, recognizing actors who have made a significant contribution to American cinema, will be presented February 7 during the fest’s January 31-February 10 run.
Rockwell plays a disgruntled, jaded police officer who faces off against Frances McDormand in Three Billboards, his latest team-up with writer-director Martin McDonagh. Rockwell won at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice last week, setting him up as an Oscar frontrunner ahead of next week’s Academy Award nominations.
“In Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, audiences are treated to the kind of mesmerizing and extraordinary performance we have come to expect from Sam Rockwell,” said Santa Barbara executive director Roger Durling. “We are long overdue to celebrate this tremendous talent who has lit up the screen for decades.”
This year’s festival will also honor Saoirse Ronan with its Santa Barbara Award, Gary Oldman with its Maltin Modern Master Award, Willem Dafoe with its Cinema Vanguard Award, and Daniel Kaluuya, Gal Gadot, Hong Chau, John Boyega, Kumail Nanjiani, Mary J. Blige, and Timothée Chalamet with its Virtuosos Award.
Jeff Bridges won the American Riviera Award last year.