The Thirty Seconds To Mars frontman went all in for his roll in The Dallas Buyers Club.
Since forming the band with his brother Shannon, Jared Leto, has taken on fewer acting rolls. Prior to his career in music, the actor had taken parts in a film or two per year, since his silver screen debut in 1995. To accommodate the band’s recent and active recording and touring schedule, the singer decidedly has taken on fewer and more strategic acting rolls.
For his latest on-screen adventure, Leto pushed himself physically to co-star opposite Matthew McConaughey. Leto stopped eating for 21 days to lose 30 pounds while his co-star dropped a whopping 38 pounds making tabloid headlines. The recent weight loss marks a 90 lb swing from his heaviest roll as John Lennon’s killer Mark David Chapman in Chapter 27.
In Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey stars as Ron Woodruff, a drug-abusing homophobic womanizer who contracted full blown AIDS in 1986. After doctors gave him 30 days to live, he went on a mission to save himself. After the doctor prescribed drugs showed signs of failing, he moved to illegal cocktails. As these imported concoctions helped and word spread of his success, he formed a “club” where other victims of the disease could purchase the same drugs. As clubs began to spring up throughout the country, the FDA waged war on Woodruff. Six years after being diagnosed with HIV, Woodruff passed away in 1992. Woodruff’s cocktails were eventually legalized.
In the film, Leto plays opposite McConaughey as Rayon, a fur coat-full makeup-wearing transsexual battling AIDS. Rayon, assists Woodruff to smuggle drugs in from Mexico only to end up running into the law.
According to Yahoo News, Leto was almost unrecognizable at the IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards. In addition to the weight loss, the actor took further measures to look the part explaining, “I waxed my entire body, including my eyebrows. It’s been challenging but really inspiring, too. It’s a lot of work to be a pretty little girl,” added Leto.
“I haven’t made a movie in 5 years, Leto tells ETonline. “I thought it was a beautifully written script and a wonderful character, who I just fell in love with. I figured if I was going to come back and act again, this was the one to do it.”
Renowned photographer Terry Richards just released a rather disturbing gallery featuring a gaunt Jared Leto. View his gallery here.
The Dallas Buyers Club is set for release in 2013.
— Jay Tilles, CBS Local