Jared Leto is one of the most dedicated actors out there. Time and again, he has taken on challenging roles and has given unforgettable performances. He dives deep into his character and makes it come alive on the screen. It’s true, that his choices of roles are odd and eccentric. Yet, this is what brings out the genius actor in him.
His commitment to his craft can be gauged from the fact that he often goes to extreme lengths to fit his role. He lost 67 pounds for the film Chapter 27 (2007), for instance. The characters he has played are so different and varied that it is hard to fix him down into an image. We take a look at 5 movies where he gave amazing performances and lent credence to the claim that he is one of the greatest actors of our age!
1. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Jared Leto is a method actor and the same was taken to extremes in this movie. He played the role of a heroin addict, who couldn’t shale off his addiction and had to get his hand amputated. The role was intense, and so was his preparation for it! He abstained from sex for a couple of months, lost around 30 pounds, to look the part, and lived as a homeless man to understand the life of an addict. All this work was worth it, and he gave an excellent performance. His depiction of withdrawal symptoms of heroin addiction was quite the work! The depravity and madness of the character were all perfectly portrayed. The Character’s arm got infected and had to be amputated. The scenes where his addiction and illness continue even after losing an arm were terrifying!
2. Dallas Buyer’s Club (2013)
This was perhaps his best performance amongst all the ones listed here. He played the role of a trans person who is suffering from HIV. The film is quite emotional and Leto was amazing. His character was gentle, meek, and afraid of his illness. The misery and pain were all too real. All in all, a performance that solidified his status as a great actor. Oh, and he won an oscar for it. There was some controversy though from trans activists, who argued that trans roles should be played by trans actors. Nevertheless, this remains one of the high points of his career.
3. Suicide Squad (2016)
He played the Joker in this film. Now, the Joker has been played many times by great actors and the role was thus a tall task to pull off. Moreover, the screentime for his role was limited too. Despite all this, Leto managed to do a good job. His Joker wasn’t funny but was a bloodthirsty gangster. He was quite apt for the role and did his best with whatever screentime he was given.
4. Prefontaine (1997)
In this movie, he plays the role of the runner, Steve Prefontaine. Prefontaine was often mocked as a short man who was a bad athlete. Further, he was derided for the different lengths of his legs. Yet, he overcame all these challenges and made his mark. However, he was rude and boastful about his successes. The film does nothing to help his image. On the contrary, it actively depicts him in a poor light and makes him unlikable. This was quite a tricky role that Jared Leto managed to pull off.
5. Mr. Nobody (2009)
This was quite an unconventional film. His role was that of a man, remembering his youth. He was a troubled man, disturbed and wounded by the divorce of his parents. The film was quite melancholic and Leto shined again! Proving his versatility as an actor.