Jared Leto is having an 'insane' time
05:00 AM, Sep 09, 2013
TORONTO Dallas Buyers Club is one of the most talked-about films at the International Film Festival. And the award for most revelatory performance goes to Jared Leto.
Yes, the same chiseled actor who became famous for playing Jordan Catalano in the 1994 ABC TV series My So-Called Life. This time, he’s a transgender character named Rayon who becomes Matthew McConaughey’s pal in the drama (due out Nov. 1).
“There’s been great drag queens in film. But I didn’t want to put up onscreen this cross-dressing cliché that was the butt of every joke,” says Leto. “I hadn’t worked in a long time and I saw an opportunity there to bring to life a real person, not a cliché. There’s a lot more Rayon in the film.”
Leto attended Saturday’s screening of the film, so surely he knows how well-received the film, and in particular, his performance, was?
“I never expected that. I knew I was very connected (to Rayon). I was in character (on set), which I know is a terrible term because it brings up ideas of pretentiousness. But how could you throw it all away, go have lunch, and then ‘action’? I’d probably be terrible. I’d probably be a cliché. So I quickly transformed myself into this person,” he says.
Leto grins. He’s enjoying himself, for good reason. “The past 48 hours have been insane. I’ve had more effusive praise for this than I’ve had for anything in my life. I’m having a good time. I’ve met with probably 50 to 100 journalists. It’s not work anymore. We can get together and celebrate.”
Leto’s last major film role was in the poorly received 2007 drama Chapter 27, playing John Lennon’s killer, Mark David Chapman. He says all his choices have been based on passion, not money or accolades.
“That’s never been my life. I reserve the right to make bad decisions. But I generally made art films. I was an art school dropout. I studied to be a painter. I don’t even have any plans to make another film. Maybe it will take another five years,” he says.
For now, Leto, 41, is busy with his day job, as part of the band Thirty Seconds to Mars. “We just released our fourth album. We’ve had more success than we ever dreamed of,” he says. “It’s the stuff of dreams.”