Jared Leto, Award Winner – MovieActors.com

Jared Leto in MR. NOBODY.

Jared Leto: Best Supporting Actor, 2013: MovieActors.com

movie-poster- Dallas Buyers Club (Biography, Drama – Rated R)

Jared Leto won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, in which he played Rayon, a cocaine-addicted transgender woman who is HIV positive. Rayon enters into an unlikely alliance with Ron Woodruff, a hard-living Texan (played by Matthew McConaughey and based on a real person) who also has AIDS. Woodruff is initially bigoted and intolerant toward Rayon, but his attitude changes as he struggles against pharmaceutical companies and the U.S. government to get effective but "unapproved" treatments for HIV/AIDS legalized.

About Jared Leto (1971 – )

Jared Joseph Leto was born on December 26, 1971, in Bossier City, Louisiana, to Constance Leto (née Metrejon). His mother has Cajun ancestry. "Leto" is the surname of his stepfather. His parents divorced when he was a child, and he and his older brother Shannon lived with their mother and their maternal grandparents, William Lee Metrejon and Ruby Russell. His father remarried and committed suicide when Jared was eight. Leto moved frequently with his family from his native Louisiana to different cities around the country. "My mom's father was in the Air Force," Leto has explained. "So moving around a lot was a normal way of life." Leto has two younger half-brothers from his father's second marriage.

Constance joined the hippie movement and encouraged her sons to get involved in the arts. "I was raised around a lot of artists, musicians, photographers, painters and people that were in theater," he stated in an interview with Kerrang!; "Just having the art communal hippie experience as a child, there wasn't a clear line that was drawn. We celebrated creative experience and creative expression. We didn't try and curtail it and stunt any of that kind of growth." Leto started playing music with his brother at early age and his first musical instrument was a broken-down piano.

After dropping out briefly in the 10th grade, Leto decided to return and focus on his education at the private Emerson Preparatory School in Washington, D.C., but eventually ended up graduating from Flint Hill School in Oakton, Virginia. He was interested in large-scale visual art and enrolled at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. After developing an interest in filmmaking, he transferred to the School of Visual Arts in New York City. While he was a student there, he wrote and starred in his own short film, Crying Joy.

In 1992, Leto moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in directing, intending to take acting roles on the side. He found minor roles on television shows but his first break came in 1994, when he was cast opposite Claire Danes as Jordan Catalano, her love interest, in the short-lived but well-reviewed ABC teen drama My So-Called Life. The show was praised for its portrayal of adolescence and gained a strong cult following. The same year, he made his television film debut alongside Alicia Silverstone in Cool and the Crazy, then landed his first film role in the 1995 drama How to Make an American Quilt. He later co-starred with Christina Ricci in The Last of the High Kings (1996) and got a supporting role in Switchback (1997).

In 1997, Leto starred in the biopic Prefontaine in which he played the legendary Olympic hopeful Steve Prefontaine. To prepare for the role, Leto immersed himself in the runner's life, training for six weeks and meeting with members of his family and friends. He bore a striking resemblance to the real Prefontaine, also adopting the athlete's voice and upright running style. His portrayal received positive reviews from critics. Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle noted how Leto played the athlete with raw vitality; "With hypnotic blue eyes and dirty blond hair, Leto captures the rock-star style Prefontaine affected, and he looks natural in fiery performances on the track, as well as off, where Pre affected a brash, confrontational style."

After landing the lead role of a British aristocrat in the 1998 drama Basil, Leto starred in the horror Urban Legend. Though poorly received by critics, it was a financial success. The same year, Terrence Malick cast Leto for a supporting role in the war film The Thin Red Line alongside Sean Penn and Adrien Brody. It garnered mostly positive reviews and was a moderate success in the box office. It received multiple awards and nominations, including seven Academy Award nominations; Leto shared a Satellite Award with the rest of the cast.

Leto formed the rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars in 1998 in Los Angeles with his brother Shannon. When the group first started, Jared refused to allow promotors to use his status as a Hollywood actor on behalf of the band. Their debut album had been in the works for a couple of years, with Leto writing most of the songs. Their work drew interest from a number of record labels; they eventually signed with Immortal Records.

In 1999, Leto played a gay high school teacher who attracts the attention of Robert Downey, Jr. in Black and White, and got a supporting role in the drama Girl, Interrupted, an adaptation of the memoir of the same name by Susanna Kaysen. He then portrayed Angel Face in Fight Club (1999), a film adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's novel of the same name, directed by David Fincher. He began dating actress Cameron Diaz in 1999 and the couple became engaged in 2000.

Leto played Paul Allen, a rival of Christian Bale's Patrick Bateman, in the psychological thriller American Psycho (2000). Though the film polarized audiences and critics, Leto's performance was well received. The same year, he starred as heroin addict Harry Goldfarb in Requiem for a Dream, an adaptation of Hubert Selby, Jr.'s novel of the same name, directed by Darren Aronofsky and co-starring Ellen Burstyn, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans. To prepare for his role, Leto lived on the streets of New York City and refrained from having sex for two months prior to shooting. He starved himself for months, losing 28 pounds to more realistically play his heroin addict character. When shooting finished, Leto moved to Portugal and lived in a monastery for several months to gain weight. His performance received critical acclaim by film critics who notably praised the actor's emotional courage in portraying the character's physical and mental degradation. Peter Travers from Rolling Stone commented that Leto "excels by going beyond Harry's gaunt look to capture his grieving heart. His scenes with Ellen Burstyn as Sara, Harry's widowed mother, achieve a rare poignancy as son and mother drown in delusions."

Leto next appeared in the independent film Highway. Set in 1994, Leto is caught with the wife of his employer, a Vegas thug, and flees to Seattle with his best friend Jake Gyllenhaal in the week preceding Kurt Cobain's suicide. Filming finished in early 2000, but the film was not released until March 2002, when it went straight to home video, though it was originally scheduled for a theatrical release.

At this time Leto focused increasingly on his music career, working with producers Bob Ezrin and Brian Virtue on his band's debut album, 30 Seconds to Mars, which was released in August of 2002. It reached number 107 on the US Billboard 200 and number one on the US Top Heatseekers. Upon its release, 30 Seconds to Mars was met with mostly positive reviews; music critic Megan O'Toole wrote that the band managed to "carve out a unique niche for themselves in the rock realm." The album turned into a slow-burning success, eventually selling two million copies worldwide.

Leto returned to acting in 2002 with the thriller Panic Room, which marked his second teaming with director David Fincher. He played the supporting role of Junior, a burglar who terrorizes Jodie Foster. The film was well received by critics and became a financial success, grossing nearly US$200 million worldwide. In 2003, Leto and Cameron Diaz ended their four-year relationship. Leto's next film was the 2004 biographical film Alexander, directed by Oliver Stone. He portrayed Hephaestion, the closest friend of Alexander the Great. The film failed in the United States; Stone attributed its poor reception to disapproval of the depiction of Alexander's bisexuality, but it succeeded internationally, with worldwide revenue of US$167 million.

The following year, Leto starred with Nicolas Cage in the political crime thriller Lord of War. He played Vitaly, the younger brother of illegal arms dealer Yuri Orlov. The film was officially endorsed by Amnesty International for highlighting the issue of arms trafficking by the international arms industry. It was positively received by movie critics and was a moderate commercial success.

It took two years to record Thirty Seconds to Mars' second studio album, A Beautiful Lie, with the band traveling to four different continents to accommodate Leto's acting career. A Beautiful Lie was released on August 30, 2005 in the United States. It has since been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and has reached platinum and gold status in several countries, with a sales total of over four million. The band heavily toured in support of the album and played at several major festivals, including Roskilde, Pinkpop, Rock am Ring, and Download.

In 2006, Leto appeared in the neo-noir crime drama Lonely Hearts, the true story of the notorious "lonely hearts killers" of the 1940s, Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck. Playing Fernandez, Leto co-starred with Salma Hayek who played Beck. The film received mixed reviews, but Leto's acting was widely praised. Heather Huntington from Reelz wrote that his "layered performance as the nattily dressing dandy with no remorse is truly impressive."

The same year, Leto directed the music video for "The Kill", a song by Thirty Seconds to Mars. At a press release, he stated that an "insanely obnoxious Danish albino" named Bartholomew Cubbins directed the video. He later explained his decision to direct with a pseudonym, saying, "I really wanted people to be able to enjoy and experience the video without having any more preconceived notions or distractions, and just to let it be what it was. It wasn't important for me to lay claim to it in that way." Bartholomew Cubbins is a recurring character in the Dr. Seuss universe and one of Leto's favorite characters created by the writer. "The Kill" was inspired by themes of isolation and insanity present in the Stanley Kubrick-directed psychological horror classic The Shining. Leto said, "The idea of isolation, identity, and self discovery were all elements present in the song. I thought this light homage was a good starting point and it soon grew to include many more elements outside of Kubrick's original piece." The short film received a largely positive response and numerous accolades, including an MTV Video Music Award. Leto next directed a short film "From Yesterday". It was filmed in the Forbidden City and became the first ever American music video shot entirely in the People's Republic of China. Hundreds of costumed extras were employed for the shoot, inspired by the empires of ancient Chinese dynasties. Leto drew inspiration from Bernardo Bertolucci's historical drama The Last Emperor (1987) as well as the work of Akira Kurosawa.

In 2007, Leto starred in the biographical film Chapter 27, in which he portrayed Mark David Chapman, the deranged Beatles fan who murdered John Lennon. Leto prepared for the role by relying on interviews with Chapman and on audiotapes recorded by a librarian whom the actor met during a visit to Chapman's hometown. Leto gained 67 pounds to approximate the killer's physique. The abruptness of his weight gain gave him gout. He was forced to use a wheelchair due to the stress of the sudden increase in weight put on his body. After the shooting of the film, he quickly went on a liquid diet. Chapter 27 premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Despite divided critical opinion on the film as a whole, Leto's performance was widely praised. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly considered his acting "a genuine transformation, as the actor submerges himself in Chapman's couch-potato flab and red-rimmed eyes... Leto disappears inside this angry, mouth-breathing psycho geek with a conviction that had me hanging on his every delusion."

In 2009, Leto starred in the science fiction drama Mr. Nobody, directed by Jaco Van Dormael. He portrayed the title role of Nemo Nobody, the last mortal on Earth after the human race has achieved quasi-immortality. The part required him to play various versions of his character, in a range of ages from 34 to 118 years old. He spent six hours daily for the full make-up and adopting the voice of the old version of the character. Mr. Nobody premiered at the 2009 Venice Film Festival. Critics praised the film's artistry and Leto's performance.

The following year, Leto filmed "Closer to the Edge", a short film featuring tour footage, fan commentary and pictures of Thirty Seconds to Mars from their youth, during the band's Into the Wild Tour. In December 2011, Thirty Seconds to Mars entered the Guinness World Records for most live shows during a single album cycle, with 300 shows.

Leto's next project was "Hurricane", an experimental short film exploring personal demons and unlocking secret fantasies in what is believed to be a dream. Leto filmed it in New York City and described it as a "surrealistic nightmare dream-fantasy." Upon release, "Hurricane" became the focus of controversy and was initially censored due to its elements of violence. At the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, it received nominations for Direction, Cinematography and Editing.

In 2012, Leto made his directorial debut with the documentary Artifact, which chronicles the modern music business as it covers the legal dispute between Thirty Seconds to Mars and record label EMI, after the band tried to exit its contract over a royalties dispute. It premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival where it received the People's Choice Award for Best Documentary.

Thirty Seconds to Mars released their fourth album, Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams, in May 2013. Produced by Leto and Steve Lillywhite, it received generally positive reviews and reached the top ten in more than fifteen countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States. Leto filmed the 2013 short film for "Up in the Air" at a now-defunct aerospace manufacturing building in Los Angeles. He described it as a "bizarre and hallucinogenic journey through an incredibly surreal landscape." The short film features several artists, including burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, gymnasts McKayla Maroney and Jordyn Wieber, writer Neil Strauss and a number of animals.

After a five years hiatus from filming, Leto returned to acting in the drama Dallas Buyers Club, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and co-starring Matthew McConaughey. Leto portrayed Rayon, a drug-addicted transgender woman with AIDS who befriends McConaughey's character Ron Woodruff. Once again Leto endured the rigors of shape-shifting, losing 30 pounds, shaving his eyebrows and waxing his entire body for the role. He said his portrayal was grounded in his meeting transgender people while researching the role. During filming, Leto refused to break character. Dallas Buyers Club received widespread critical acclaim and became a financial success. Leto won Best Supporting Actor awards from the Motion Picture Academy, the Golden Globes, and the Screen Actors Guild -- as well as many critical accolades.

In 2014, Leto premiered the documentary series Into the Wild, which tells the story of the concert tour of the same name by Thirty Seconds to Mars that propelled the group into arenas around the world and was certified by the Guinness World Records as the longest running tour in the history of rock music. In December of that year, Warner Bros. confirmed that Leto would play the role of the Joker in Suicide Squad (2016), an upcoming supervillain film based on the comic book series of the same name.

Jared Leto's movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
1995 How to Make an American Quilt Beck
1996 The Last of the High Kings Frankie Griffin
1997 Prefontaine Steve Prefontaine
1997 Switchback Lane Dixon
1998 Basil Basil
1998 Urban Legend Paul Gardener
1998 The Thin Red Line 2nd Lt. William Whyte
1999 Black and White Casey
1999 Fight Club Angel Face
1999 Girl, Interrupted Tobias "Toby" Jacobs
2000 American Psycho Paul Allen
2000 Requiem for a Dream Harry Goldfarb
2000 Sunset Strip Glen Walker
2001 Sol Goode Sage
2002 Highway Jack Hayes
2002 Panic Room Junior
2003 Phone Booth Bobby
2004 Alexander Hephaestion
2005 Hubert Selby Jr: It/ll Be Better Tomorrow Himself
2005 Lord of War Vitaly Orlov
2006 Lonely Hearts Raymond Fernandez
2007 Chapter 27 Mark David Chapman
2009 Mr. Nobody Nemo Nobody
2011 TT3D: Closer to the Edge Narrator (voice)
2012 Artifact Himself
2013 Dallas Buyers Club Rayon
2016 Suicide Squad The Joker

Jared Leto's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
Camp Wilder Dexter
1993 Almost Home Rick Aiken
My So-Called Life Jordan Catalano
1994 Cool and the Crazy Michael
2003 Hollywood High Himself
2006 The Armenian Genocide Narrator (voice)
Into the Wild Himself

Academy Nominations/Awards won by Jared Leto include...

Year Movie Award
2013 Dallas Buyers Club Best Supporting Actor

Memorable Quotes by Jared Leto

“I don't think Requiem for a Dream (2000) is for children, but I think if you went home and looked at the video games that your kids are playing, you'd be much more shocked.”

“I was raised around a lot of artists, musicians, photographers, painters and people that were in theater. Just having the art-communal hippie experience as a child, there wasn't a clear line that was drawn. We celebrated creative experience and creative expression. We didn't try and curtail it and stunt any of that kind of growth.”

“I never look at myself as a closet actor wanting to make music or a closet musician wanting to act -- I'm very proud to do both and I don't put one above the other, I'm very grateful and excited by both opportunities -- it's really a unique opportunity to do both.”

(On living in Haiti) “I was 12. It's the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. It was horrible to see people living in the street, in shacks, and bathing in sewer water and drinking bad water and begging and starving. It was unforgettable.”

“I've talked myself out of auditions a hundred times. I remember auditioning for Terrence Malick and the casting director upended a couch, and we were supposed to hide behind it and shoot imaginary guns! I literally stood up, took a few imaginary bullets and shoved [the casting director]. I said, 'I can't do this. This is like a bad high school play', and I walked out. And then Terrence called me and he's like 'Uh, Jared? I'd love you to be in my film'.”

“I was never interested in 'Teen Beat' like roles. I just wanted to work.”

Things You May Not Know About Jared Leto

His hobbies include snowboarding, skateboarding, hiking, writing songs, reading, and painting.

While preparing for his role as a heroin addict in the movie Requiem for a Dream (2000), Jared lost 28 pounds, starved himself and denied himself the pleasure of then-fiancée Cameron Diaz's bed for two months. Leto admits that playing the part of Harry Goldfarb was "sadomasochistic... the hardest thing I've done".

He gained 62 pounds for his latest role, playing Mark David Chapman, in Chapter 27 (2007). Then lost the weight by going on an all-liquid diet consisting of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water. He lost 20 lb. in 10 days.

He turned down a key role in Flags of Our Fathers (2006) in order to commit his time to his band, 30 Seconds to Mars.

He has English, Cajun (French), as well as Irish, German, Scottish, and distant Spanish, ancestry. "Leto" was the surname of Jared's stepfather/adoptive father.

He is the third actor to have won an Oscar and play the Joker in live-action. The first two are Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger.

Jared Leto in Urban Legend (1998).
Leto in The Thin Red Line (1998).
In Last of the High Kings (1996).
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As The Joker in Suicide Squad (2016).
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Leto in Requiem For a Dream (2000).
In Prefontaine (1997)... the role that made him a star.
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As Junior in David Fincher's Panic Room (2002)... with Forest Whitaker in bottom picture.
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In Mr. Nobody (2009)... middle picture with Diane Kruger.
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With Nicolas Cage in Lord of War (2005).
With Selma Blair in Highway (2002).
With Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted (1999).
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Leto in Fight Club (1999).
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As Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club (2013).
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As Mark David Chapman in Chapter 27 (2007).
In the title role in Basil (1998).
Leto as the unfortunate Paul Allen in American Psycho (2000).
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Jared Leto as Hephaestion in Oliver Stone's Alexander (2004).