Dallas Buyers Club may be one of the most talked-about movies of the year, and it offered Jared Leto a chance to get back into acting. Leto has been focusing on his band Thirty Seconds to Mars for the last few years, but he wanted the part of a transgender AIDS patient who is befriended by Matthew McConaughey's character.
"I knew it was a steep climb," he explained to MTV. "As soon as I learned about the role, I really couldn't not play this part. And I felt it was time. I remember thinking as well — I haven't really admitted this yet... but it was a test for me to see if I was gonna continue making films."
Leto made huge sacrifices for the film, including losing unhealthy amounts of weight. Before he even won the role, he said he wanted it so much that he did whatever he could to make sure he got it — including showing up to the interview dressed as his character, Rayon.
"I was in Berlin, and there was a Skype meeting set up with the director," he explained. "I decided to use it as a test really for myself to see what I had to offer. So I said hello via Skype, we were in Berlin, and it was wintertime. We were playing one of the biggest shows of our lives that night, I remember. I reached out and grabbed some lipstick and started to put it on, and you know, his mouth fell to the floor. I was wearing — I think this jacket — and I unbuttoned it and had on a little pink furry sweater, and I pulled it down over my shoulder and proceeded to flirt with him for the next 20 minutes and then woke up the next day with the official offer. Girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, baby."
The actor's absence from Hollywood meant turning down some big roles, including a part in "one of the biggest movies ever made," but he didn't name those films.
"I may or may not have turned down some superheroes," he hinted. "I don't look that great — I thought I didn't look that good in tights, but now I know, actually."
Leto explained that he isn't over Hollywood but is still focusing on his band. Dallas Buyers Club was an important role for him to take, but it sounds like he hasn't decided whether to make any films beyond that one.
"I haven't read another script since. I always thought Daniel Day-Lewis had it down to go off and make shoes in Italy for a year and then come back and make a movie," he said. "I think that the years off really taught me to be a better actor. It taught me to be a better person, really. You live that much life and then in turn you have that to share. Art is really directly related to the experiences one has. And you can't escape that."
Dallas Buyers Club came out in theaters Nov. 1.
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