Jared Leto

  • Actor

Dec 26, 1971  in Louisiana, United States Of America

Also Known as: Jared Joseph Leto

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Jared Joseph Leto, better known as Jared Leto, is an American actor, singer-songwriter, and director. The actor is known to be a method actor and is extremely picky about his roles. Before stepping foot in the movie industry, Leto started his acting career in the early 1990s with television. It was his role in television series My So-Called Life in 1994 that gained his popularity and recognition. After a brief stint on television, Leto made his movie debut in 1995 with the movie How to Make an American Quilt. He has also been seen in several lead supporting roles, for which he has earned immense critical acclaim. He won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Award for the Best Supporting Award for his performance of a transgender in Dallas Buyers Club in 2013.

Apart from being an actor, Leta is also a singer-songwriter. He is the lead vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and main songwriter for the American rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars in 1998, which he founded with his brother Shannon Leto. The band’s debut album, 30 Seconds to Mars, released in 2002. However, the band only gained worldwide fame and popularity after the release of their second album A Beautiful Lie in 2005. As of 2013, the band released four music albums, all of which went on to become commercially successful and also won critical acclaim. The actor and musician also directed a documentary in 2012 titled Artifact.

Early Life
Born on the 26th of December, 1971 in Bossier City, Louisiana, Leto’s parents divorced when he was a young boy. However, his father went on to remarry. Leto has two half-brothers from his father’s second marriage and has an elder brother Shannon Leto. Jared gets his surname from his stepfather after his mother also remarried. When Leto was only but eight years of age, his father committed suicide. Leto’s mother became a part of the hippie movement and encouraged both her sons to be a part of art. Given the influence the movement had on him, Leto was drawn to music. However, he dropped out of school to focus on music and other interests only to return to Emerson Preparatory School in Washington D.C. to complete his studies. He went on to graduate from Flint Hill School is Virginia. Upon realizing his interest in visual art, he enrolled himself at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. During his course, he developed an interest in filmmaking and hence transferred to the School of Visual Arts in New York City. While studying, Leto wrote and starred in his own short film titled Crying Joy.

Personal Life
Leto has not only dated a number of ladies in his life but has also been linked to a series of leading ladies. He was in a serious relationship with Charlie’s Angels actor Cameron Diaz between 1999 and 2003. After their split, Leto went on to date The Avengers star Scarlett Johansson in 2004, although the two never confirmed to having dated. However, the affair did not last very long, with Johansson hinting that Leto was never available for her, which led to their split. He was also rumored to have a fling with the one-half of the Olsen twins, Ashley Olsen, in 2005. Making it to the list of his hookups, pictures of hotel heiress Paris Hilton and Leto kissing at the Sundance Festival surfaced on the Internet in 2008, sparking rumors of the two having a fling. Among his other linkups are singers Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus. As on 2015, Leto is reportedly dating Russian model Valery Kaufman.

Singing Career
Jared Leto and his brother Shannon Leto co-founded the band Thirty Seconds to Mars in 1988. The band was later joined by Tomo Miličević. The band has released four studio albums in all along with three extended plays, thirteen singles, three promotional singles, one video album and thirteen music videos. The band released their first album, 30 Seconds to Mars, in 2002, which ranked 107 on the US Billboard 200 and number one on the US Top Heatseekers. After their debut album, their second album A Beautiful Lie released in 2005 and ranked number 38 on the US Billboard 200. Their third album This Is War was at number 18 in the US and also reached the top 10 in various other countries. After the release of their 2009 album, they dropped their fourth album, Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams, in 2013, reaching the top 10 in more than 15 countries worldwide.
Acting Career
Leto first appeared in television doing small roles until he was cast in ABC’s teen drama My So-Called Life in 1994. Although the series was canceled after only one season, Leto’s performance garnered immense praise. The same year, he was then seen in the television series Cool and the Crazy starred alongside Alicia Silverstone, after which he bagged his first movie role in How to Make an American Quilt in 1995. Known to be a method actor, Leto immersed himself in the life of Olympic hopeful Steve Prefontaine by training for six weeks for the 1997 biopic Prefontaine.

Leto starred in the 1998 drama Basil, where he played the role of a British aristocrat, following which he starred in the horror flick Urban Legend. The following year, the actor was seen sharing screen space with Robert Downey, Jr. in Black and White, where he played the role of a gay high school teacher. He appeared in supporting roles in the movie adaptations of the drama Girl, Interrupted, and Fight Club. In 2000, he was seen in the psychological thriller American Psycho, which despite failing to wow the audience earned Leto’s performance praise. In order to play the role of a heroin addict in Requiem for a Dream, Leto lived on the streets of New York City and also abstained from having sex for two months before beginning with his shoot. Not only that, he also lost 28 pounds by starving himself to make his character look more realistic.

In 2002, the actor was seen in the thriller film Panic Room, which went on to become a commercial success with Leto’s performance being well-received by critics as well as the audience. He then appeared in the 2004 biographical film Alexander, where he played the role of Alexander the Great’s closest friend Hephaestion. Although the movie bombed in the US, it went on to become a commercial success globally. The actor was then cast alongside Nicolas Cage in the crime thriller Lord of War, where he plays an illegal arms dealer’s younger brother. In his next, the neo-noir crime drama Lonely Hearts, based on the true story of the notorious lonely hearts killers of the 1940, Leto played the role of Raymond Fernandez while Salma Hayek played Martha Beck. The movie opened to mixed reviews but Leto’s performance was immensely praised.

He then played the role of David Chapman, a diehard fan of The Beatles and also the murderer of John Lennon, in the biographical movie Chapter 27 that released in 2007. The actor prepared for his role by gaining approximately 67 pounds to seem more like Chapman. However, due to the sudden gain weight, Leto suffered from having a gout, forcing him to use a wheelchair. In the 2009 sci-fi drama Mr. Nobody, Leto had to play the role of the last living thing on Earth after the human race achieves quasi-immortality. Playing the titular role of Nemo Nobody, Leto’s role required him to play all the different phases of his character, spending six hours daily in makeup and also making an effort to sound like an old-aged man. The movie premiered at the 2009 Venice Film Festival where the movie and Leto’s performance received critical acclaim.

Leto went on to focus on his music career and only returned to movies after five years with Dallas Buyers Club in 2013. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, Leto plays the character of a drug-addicted transgender woman suffering from AIDS. To be able to portray the character, Leto lost 30 pounds, shaved his eyebrows, and also waxed his entire body. The movie won worldwide success and critical acclaim, and Leto’s performance won him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, among many other accolades. Jared Leto’s 2016 project was the highly anticipated Suicide Squad where he plays the role of the supervillain, the Joker. His co-stars Will Smith and Margot Robbie said that Leto was never seen out-of-character during the time of their shoot, and Will Smith went on to say that he did not know what the real Jared Leto was like. Director David Ayer confessed to have been terrified by Leto’s portrayal of the Joker. His 2017 releases include the action drama film The Outsider, directed by Martin Zandvliet, co-starring Tadanobu Asano, and Rory Cochrane, and director Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049 with Ryan Gosling in the lead.