This is Jared Leto.
Leto moved to Los Angeles in 1992 to pursue a career in music, with the hope of picking up acting gigs on the side. Leto made his acting debut in the form of guest spots on the short-lived TV series Camp Wilder (1992), Almost Home (1993), and Rebel Highway (1994). But Leto's next role would be the one that would forever alter his career. While he was looking for film roles, he landed a role on My So-Called Life (1994) (TV Series 1994-1995). Jordan Catalano, played by Leto, was the main love interest of Angela, played by Claire Danes. Jordan was a handsome, dyslexic slacker. Leto made a contribution to the film's score and made such an impression on the show's creators that he remained a regular cast member until the series' conclusion.
Leto also started acting in movies. How to Make an American Quilt (1995), an ensemble film starring Winona Ryder, Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, Jean Simmons, and Alfre Woodard, was his first film to be released in theaters. The film was based on a novel of the same name. The film was moderately successful and led to Leto landing his first leading role in Prefontaine (1997), which was inspired by the life of long-distance runner Steven Prefontaine. Leto's subsequent film, The Last of the High Kings (1996), was a flop. Even though critics liked it (especially Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert), the movie bombed at the box office. He also appeared in Switchback (1997), an action thriller starring Dennis Quaid, but the movie bombed.
Leto's name was starting to get around Hollywood, and he was getting more and more roles in movies. Since 1998, the tide has been rising on every front. In this year, Leto, his brother Shannon, and Matt Wachter (who would later leave the band) formed the band Thirty Seconds to Mars; after two guitarists joined and left, they eventually recruited Tomo Milicevic as lead guitarist and keyboardist. Both Leto's fortunes in the movie industry and the success of his now-famous band seemed to be on the upswing at the same time. He played the lead role in the 1998 horror film Urban Legend, which detailed the gruesome murders of a serial killer who modeled his methods of operation after urban legends. The film's box office performance was spectacular, despite the widespread disapproval of critics. Leto also appeared in a supporting capacity in the 1998 film The Thin Red Line. The film was Terrence Malick's first in almost twenty years, and it starred a plethora of A-listers like Sean Penn, Woody Harrelson, John Travolta, Nick Nolte, and Elias Koteas. Several actors were cut from the final cut of the film, but fortunately, Leto was able to stay. Even though it was only a moderate financial success, the 1998 film The Thin Red Line was nominated for seven Academy Awards. Suddenly, Leto was a household name. His supporting roles in Girl, Interrupted (1999) by James Mangold and David Fincher's cult classic Fight Club (1999) explored masculinity, consumerism, fascism, and insomnia, respectively. Leto played a supporting role and went blond because Edward Norton and Brad Pitt were in the lead roles. Although many still praise the film, Leto was already venturing into more politically charged fare at the time. Both Christian Bale's American Psycho (2000) and Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream (2000) feature him in pivotal roles. which required Leto to put in grueling work to play a heroin addict trying to make his plans a reality and get out of hell. Both movies were huge hits, despite their divisive receptions.
Leto's career in film expanded in the 2000s. Oliver Stone's epic passion project, Alexander (2004), and the subsequent reunion with David Fincher in which Leto starred, were both box office successes. Even after a Final Cut was released that vastly improved the film in every way (and the movie made back its budget through DVD sales and international profit), it was still largely rejected by American audiences. Lord of War (2005) was a successful comeback for Leto. in which Nicolas Cage played a weapons merchant who sent weapons to conflict zones and Jared Leto played Cage's morally ambiguous sibling Although it provided an eye-opening look at the arms industry, the film did not do well at the box office. When Leto played "Ray Fernandez," one of the two infamous "Lonely Hearts Killers" of the 1940s, in the period piece Lonely Hearts (2006), his string of successes came to an abrupt halt. Financially and critically, the film was a bust. Leto then put on a lot of weight to play John Lennon killer "Mark David Chapman" in the film Chapter 27 (2007). Even though Leto did a fantastic job channeling Chapman’s mannerisms and speech patterns, the film was a commercial and critical failure. During this time, Leto prioritized his band over acting roles, passing on roles in films like Flags of Our Fathers (2006), directed by Clint Eastwood, about World War II.
But with Mr. Nobody (2009), Leto made his acting comeback. In the role of "Nemo Nobody," Leto had to act as though he were as old as 118, all the while questioning whether or not his life turned out the way he had planned. Financial backing came primarily from Belgium and France, and the film was only released in select countries. However, the film's artistic merits and Leto's performance in it have been praised by critics.
In 2012, he made his debut as a director with the documentary Artifact.Thirty Seconds to Mars still has Leto as their lead singer, multi-instrumentalist, and primary songwriter. 30 Seconds to Mars (2002), their debut album, was met with critical acclaim but moderate commercial success. After the release of their second album, A Beautiful Lie (2005), the band became famous all over the world. Critical and commercial success continued with their subsequent albums, This Is War (2009) and Love, Lust, Faith, and Dreams (2013). After a five-year hiatus from acting, Leto made his return to the screen in the Jean-Marc Vallée–directed drama Dallas Buyers Club (2013), opposite Matthew McConaughey. Leto played Rayon, a transsexual woman with AIDS who becomes close friends with Matthew McConaughey's Ron Woodroof. Best Supporting Actor wins for Leto at the Oscars, the Golden Globes, and the Screen Actors Guild. Leto shed 30 pounds, waxed his entire body, and shaved his eyebrows for the role. He met transgender people while doing research for the role, he said, and those interactions informed the portrayal. Actor Jared Leto stayed in character throughout the entire shoot. After the critical and commercial success of Dallas Buyers Club, Leto was honored with several acting awards. These included the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. He won multiple awards for the role, including the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.
The supervillain film Suicide Squad (2016) featured him as The Joker.
Leto is known for his total immersion in his roles and his meticulous preparation for them, so much so that he has earned the label of "method actor." His health has suffered in the past because he often stays in character for the entirety of his film's production schedule.
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