Jared Leto was so convincing in Dallas Buyers Club that Kevin told the actor-musician, “ I want to date you. Is that cool?” Leto responded with “Are you flirting with me?” and then talking about how “amazing” a set of high heels can make you feel. “The wig and the lashes and the lipstick,” quipped Leto to Kevin & Bean. “That little Brazilian bubble butt. I was on fire.”
Leto’s role in Dallas Buyers Club is gaining possible Oscar nomination buzz which would be fateful timing considering this is Leto’s first movie role in almost six years and he almost sacrificed playing the character Rayon because “so much was happening with music.”
For the role, Leto stayed in character so completely that he claims co-star Matthew McConaughey didn’t meet him until they premiered the film at the Toronto Film Festival. The movie took twenty-five days to shoot and Leto claims that the entire time he never deviated from his fictional role of the glamazon junkie transgender woman with AIDS. He lost 30-40 pounds and waxed his entire body, including his eyebrows.
Based on a true story, Dallas Buyers Club is about a conservative Texas party boy named Ron Woodroof who refuses to accept his thirty days to live diagnosis and instead finds a way to smuggle the anti-viral medication, AZT, into the country before it’s legalized.
“My character actually isn’t real. She’s an amalgamation of several people,” explains Leto. “I base her on some people I had met in real life, some transgender people that were really kind and shared their life with me and taught me so much about that world, but I was actually able to have a bit more free rein because it wasn’t based on a real person.”
Leto calls Rayon the “role of a lifetime” twice, saying that most of work with cameras has been behind camera for the This is War documentary and Thirty Seconds To Mars videos. Getting into the character wasn’t easy , probably after such a long-time away from doing movie roles, but also because of his health problems due to his physical strain doing Chapter 27. He admits to Kevin and Bean that he was concerned about his health and “it wasn’t easy.”
“There were a few nights that I had a really difficult time,” explains Leto. “My body was reacting in a pretty intense, bizarre way, but I felt it was incredibly important. You know, when you lose weight like this, it changes the way you walk, the way you talk, the way that people treat you. It adds a certain amount of fragility to the role and it’s a really necessary thing to do.”
In order to keep up with the rigorous role, Leto avoided being seen by fans and “kind of hibernated.” He said he tried to stay focused because he “knew it was an incredible opportunity.”
“This was a really special movie. I think it was the role of a lifetime. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.” Leto said that even the crew knew that something magical was going on. “I think everyone was really supportive and the recognized that there was something really special going on with the film, not just with me and my performance, but with the film itself. You know, we all wanted to contribute the best we could. And you know, we did what we had to do individually in order to focus and commit and contribute.”
Leto said that the movie is a lot more light-hearted than it sounds, which is a good balance for the heavy topic of Thirty Seconds To Mars’ documentary This Is War which is about their $30m lawsuit with their previous record label EMI.
Thirty Seconds To Mars also released a mini-documentary called City Of Angels featuring people like Kanye West, James Franco, Selena Gomez, and Lindsay Lohan talking about “life, love, faith, and dreams” in the City of Angels, and a new label that seems to be going better, although Leto said it’s about “progress not perfection.”
Because we can’t all have both like Leto, although we bet he’d never admit that.
—Nadia Noir, KROQ