What were your initial thoughts when you read the part?
Jared Leto: I didn’t have time to do it at first. I was really busy. I’ve been really busy. I haven’t made a film for years. I don’t hate films or anything, I just don’t have time. When I first got the script though I didn’t want to read it because I knew I had no time to squeeze it in. Eventually I got a nudge and then read the script and loved it.
I planned to chat with Jean-Marc [Vallée] on Skype actually to turn it down, because of the time issue. But then I did something interesting. I wanted to see if I could actually do the role so when I got on Skype with him, I started putting on lipstick. Then I changed my voice a bit and undid my jacket a little and was being a little flirty with him. The next day I got the call saying they were offering me the part [laughs].
A lot of critics are saying that you’re completely unrecognizable in the film, they don’t even know that it’s you until the credits come up. How do you feel when you hear that?
Jared Leto: It’s a major compliment. I appreciate it. Maybe it’s not the path to movie stardom, but it’s the path to delivering a good, solid character.
How was it to return to acting after so long away from it?
Jared Leto: The break from acting was actually the best thing that I’ve ever done for me as an actor. It’s almost like I started again from the beginning in some ways but with a greater sense of confidence. I became a much better actor because of it.
Are you here to stay now or are you headed back to your music career once you’re done promoting Dallas Buyers Club?
Jared Leto: This is the last film I’ll ever make.
Jared Leto: No, I’m just kidding [laughs]. I don’t know to tell you the truth.
Are you excited about the Oscar buzz surrounding your performance?
Jared Leto: Oh wow, I’m not even thinking that far ahead. I’m just happy to be talking to you guys about a movie. I never thought I would be getting this kind of response though, it’s great.
Have your bandmates seen the film?
Jared Leto: No, they’re off making music in another part of the world.
Did you base your performance off of anyone?
Jared Leto: No, a lot of it was just my imagination. It was just me. If I had walked that path that’s what you would get. I did meet with people though and listened a lot and learnt a lot of valuable things. It was hard though finding the voice and the walk and just that commitment over a long period of time. The commitment, the concentration and focus was the hardest part of this film for sure.
Can you talk a bit about working with Matthew McConaughey?
Jared Leto: He may be the biggest reason I made the film. I thought to myself that if he’s willing to walk down this path then there’s gotta be something there, right? It’s gotta be something special. He was a force to be reckoned with on this film though. It’s incredible what someone else can do for you in a scene. It really is. Matthew is just so great and he was so generous and kind throughout the whole shoot. I hadn’t been on set for almost 6 years and he was just so welcoming.
That concludes our interview but we’d like to thank Jared for his time. Be sure to check out Dallas Buyers Club, in theatres this Friday!