The ‘craziest’ actor in all of Hollywood and 30 Seconds to Mars singer, Jared Leto, has become something of an icon in contemporary culture for his wacky behaviour and astonishing performances. Moving to Los Angeles in 1992 to pursue a career in acting, Leto has admirably worked his way up the industry to eventually possess the position of the most unlikeable actor in all of Hollywood.
Though it may seem like his wild method acting exploits started with his Academy Award-winning performance as Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club, in reality, Leto’s focus on embracing ‘the method’ was a choice he made from the very outset of his career. Depicting the Olympian hopeful Steve Prefontaine in the 1997 drama Prefontaine, Leto captured the physical and mental attributes of the athlete, immersing himself in the runner’s life, training for six weeks.
Such led Leto down a spiralling path, achieving an increasing amount of fame on every rung of the industry ladder as he went from appearing in The Thin Red Line by Terrence Malick, to Fight Club by David Fincher. At this point, Leto was a burgeoning young actor with a lot of industry promise and enthusiastic chutzpah, producing career-best performances in American Psycho from Mary Harron as well as Requiem for a Dream where the actor lost 28 pounds to accurately portray a heroin addict.
Perhaps it was his award-winning success as Harry in Requiem for a Dream that would legitimise his method acting behaviour in each film that followed, with Dallas Buyers Club marking Leto’s most considerable success as an actor 13 years later. Featuring as the supporting character of Rayon, Leto played a trans woman and HIV sufferer, once again shedding weight and shaving his entire body to dedicate his body to the role.
In receiving an Academy Award for his supporting performance, Leto was given an injection of arrogance, after all, he was now known as one of the most culturally prominent actors in contemporary Hollywood. Ever since, ego has shrouded the acting potential of Leto as he has taken method acting to new, astonishing levels of idiocy. Blurring the line between art and nonsense, method acting is quickly becoming the standard by which we judge modern performances, with Leto being a pioneer of such drivel.
Whilst some celebrated Leto’s dedication to his role of the Joker on the set of Suicide Squad in 2016, his antics have aged like a bad fart, with reports that he sent his fellow actor’s used condoms and dead rats being seen as a desperate attempt to seem ‘radical’. Such behaviour continued in his most recent performance in Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci where Leto was reported to have snorted lines of arrabbiata sauce in the middle of a scene, presumably all in the name of ‘art’.
Speaking to i-D magazine about his dedication to the role, Jared Leto stated: “If you took a biopsy of my skin, it would come back as parmesan cheese! This is my love letter to Italy”. Indeed I’m sure the Italian people would appreciate the sentiment.
In Jared Leto’s own pursuit for acting supremacy, he has become a victim of the same method acting that made him such a star in the first place. Perhaps, instead of a grand, existential exercise of performance, Leto’s method is merely to navel-gaze and attempt to mythologise one’s self as one of Hollywood’s most crazy actors. Marlon Brando he is not.
Evidently on edge about the legitimacy of his own craft, the actor recently told Entertainment Weekly, “I’m an artist at the end of the day. If I do something risky and you don’t like it, basically, you can kiss my ass”.
Though, of course, sending someone a used condom whilst your face is painted like a clown holds little risk at all.