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'Peanut Butter Falcon' Star Zack Gottsagen Becomes First Actor With Down Syndrome to Present at Oscars

TheWrap logo TheWrap 2/10/2020 Trey Williams
Shia LaBeouf wearing a suit and tie: Shia LaBeouf and Zack Gottsagen © TheWrap Shia LaBeouf and Zack Gottsagen

"The Peanut Butter Falcon" star Zack Gottsagen made history as the first Oscars presenter with Down Syndrome, taking the stage with his co-star Shia LaBeouf  on Sunday to present the award for Best Live Action Short.

While it's great to see LaBeouf back in Hollywood's good graces — 2019 was a comeback year for the actor who also wrote and starred in Alma Har'el's "Honey Boy" — audiences might not have been familiar with Gottsagen.

In the film, Gottsagen plays a man with Down Syndrome who runs away from a residential nursing home in order to pursue his dream of becoming a pro wrestler. On his journey he befriends an outlaw (LaBeouf) who becomes his protector, his ally and his wrestling coach.

The film also stars Bruce Dern, Dakota Johnson and Thomas Haden Church.

"The Peanut Butter Falcon" was written and directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz.

The 35-year-old rising star has won the newcomer award at the Hollywood Critics Association,  an award at the Palm Spring International Film Festival and the outstanding breakthrough performance at the Crested Butte Film Festival.

He appeared in a short film "Bulletproof" before "The Peanut Butter Falcon," and will next appear in "Best Summer Ever," which will show at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival.

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