December 04, 2013

Jared Leto X Thirty Seconds To Mars - Ladygunn Interview + PHOTOS

Monday, December 2, 2013

Jared Leto is engaging yet abstract, seductive in the manner of a mysterious boy glimpsed in the hallway at school. His face is unmistakably handsome, slightly at odds with its descriptions. The piercing gaze of technicolor blue eyes is the first thing to stand out. His shoulder length, dye-faded brown hair sits parted down the middle, framing his porcelin skin that still, after 41 years, shows the benchmarks of youth. He dresses and moves like a rock star—things that signal his impertinance for fashion. Somehow, you’re aware from the very beginning that no matter how you try, Leto’s probably going to know more about you than you do about him. Not meant to imply he uses this as a tactic to veil his nature, more just a comment on his cryptic charm and enigmatic ability to be interested while being even more interesting.

Leto first became known in 1994 for his portrayal of distant hearthrob Jordan Catalano in the cult-loved teen TV show, My So-Called Life. The same show that launched Claire Danes into the world. A short time after he became ordained into the scrutinzed line of actors-turned-musicians, applying his talents to form Thirty Seconds to Mars with his older brother Shannon and later joined by Tomo Miličević. Leto moved to Los Angeles in 1992 to pursue acting and has lived there ever since. “I had a couple hundred bucks, a backpack…and nothing much else than a shit ton of will. It was the decision of a lifetime. Very glad I made that choice,” Leto admits. “I certainly wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t make the decision to grab that backpack and work my way to California.”

It’s that same daring nature that reverberates through most all of his career choices over the last twenty years. Much about Leto’s critically-acclaimed film career, including REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, FIGHT CLUB, PANIC ROOM, AMERICAN PSYCHO, and PREFONTAINE is just that: daring. Daring, gruesome, beautiful, devastating, and audacious. After a six-year-long break from acting, Leto’s latest role is in DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB alongside Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner—a role as daring as the ones before it. Leto plays Rayon, a transsexual drug-addict/dealer with AIDS who helps smuggle HIV meds in Texas. In Leto’s hands, anything can be inspiration, including perilously shedding more than thirty pounds for the role. With an already slender frame at the onset of his transformation, losing thirty pounds caused him to look like a gaunt skeleton ghost-man, á la Christian Bale in THE MACHINIST. He achieved the loss not through trainers or nutritionists, but with deprivation and self-starvation, same way he lost twenty-five pounds for REQUIEM FOR A DREAM.

“It was brutal, but necessary,” Leto says. “It informed so much about the character: the fragility, the way I walked and talked and even breathed. I wouldn’t recommend it though. Not fun. But transformative to say the least. I always love a good challenge.”

DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB and REQUIEM FOR A DREAM aren’t the only roles Leto transformed himself physically for. In CHAPTER 27, Leto played John Lennon’s chubby-faced killer, Mark Chapman– gaining 62 pounds for the role. As a long-time vegan, he couldn’t consume the red meat usually required to quickly pile on pounds. Instead he would microwave a pint of ice cream, add olive oil and soy sauce and drink it. Seriously. Because Leto gained all that weight by binging on gooey carbohydrates, he developed gout—a painful result of ballooning weight. But viscerally immersing himself into his art is a featured trait that’s made him famous.

Jared Joseph Leto was born in Louisianna, in a city called Bossier, some five hours from New Orleans. Early on, his single mother moved the family around from a commune in Colorado all the way to Haiti, to South America, to somewhere in between. His absentee father remains a mystery to the press, myself included. He attended high school at Flint Hill Prepatory School in Virginia, then enrolled in Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, but shortly thereafter discovered acting and transferred to the School of Visual Arts in New York before moving to Los Angeles at age 20. Less than two years later, he was an international teen heartthrob voted one of the Beautiful People from all the golden gossip rags who lauded him for his genetic perfection. So he worked even harder for roles that would break him out of teen-throb purgatory, with everything from straight-to-shelf indies to award-wining blockbusters.

Read more on Ladygunn and check out the photoshoot HERE.

Thanks Rachel.

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