Jared Joseph Leto, born on 26 December, 1971 is the American actor of immeasurable dexterity, a singer-songwriter, and director is considered to be a method actor, known for his constant devotion to and research of his roles.
He often remains completely in character for the duration of the shooting schedules of his films, even to the point of adversely affecting his health. He is also known to be selective about his film roles.
Starting his career with television appearances in the early 1990s, Leto achieved recognition for his role as Jordan Catalano on the television series My So-Called Life in 1994. He made his film debut in How to Make an American Quilt in 1995 and received critical praise for his performance in Prefontaine (1997). Leto played supporting roles in The Thin Red Line 1998, Fight Club and American Psycho, as well as the lead role in Urban Legend, and earned critical acclaim after portraying heroin addict Harry Goldfarb in Requiem for a Dream. He later began focusing increasingly on his music career, returning to acting with Panic Room, Alexander, Lord of War, Lonely Hearts, Chapter 27, and Mr. Nobody.
In 2012, the documentary film Artifact heralded the beginning of his career as a director.
Leto’s performance as a transgender woman in Dallas Buyers Club (2013) earned him an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Leto is the lead vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and main songwriter for ‘Thirty Seconds to Mars’, a band he formed in 1998 in Los Angeles, California, with his older brother Shannon Leto.
Their debut album, ‘Thirty Seconds to Mars,’ their second album ‘A Beautiful Lie’ followed by ‘This Is War’ in 2009 and ‘Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams’ received critical and commercial success.
The band has sold over 15 million albums worldwide, so far. Leto has also directed music videos, including the MTV Video Music Award-winning The Kill, Kings and Queens and Up in the Air.
Jared Leto is a perfectionist, although he has already crossed the highest level of perfection long time ago.
As of now, we are all earnestly waiting for his next movie Suicide squad where Leto is portraying the exploitative, manipulative, obsessed with riddles and shady deeds, the greatest villain of all times, Edward Nygma, the psychopathic Joker. DC comics fans are well accustomed to the ‘moves’ and demeanour of Joker.
Decidedly, Suicide Squad is just the perfect movie for sadistic fans like us. Joker admirers are certainly looking forward to how Leto will express the character. Already our expectations have been amplified several times by the provocative trailers.
We all have seen the macabre mien of Leto as Joker in the trailer, on TV, Facebook, possibly everywhere.
Overlooking the fact that the green back brushed hair, the loud purple snakeskin jacket suits Leto and the jewelled braces suit Leto, the very few scenes of Joker in the trailers reveal how deep Leto has penetrated into that character.
Of course DC fans can notice imaginary lines separating them into factions already; Heath Ledger, or Jared Leto, who’s the better Joker?
Leto lives a vegan lifestyle and supports animal rights. He has been active in several charitable pursuits and has been volunteering at the charity Art of Elysium, which helps children with serious medical conditions.
He has supported the Barbara Davis Centre for Childhood Diabetes, a programme specialising in Type 1 diabetes research and care. Not to mention the millions of young fans who are crazy about ‘Thirty Seconds to Mars’ songs and the countless hearts of women folk that will perpetually belong to him.
Jared Leto is not only just an actor or singer or director, philanthropist, songwriter, rights-activist, but an impeccable genius who just knows how to magnify his skills.
By Alimita Sarkar
Class X, Coordinator, Gokhale Memorial Girls’ School.