Buzz has been circulating around Jared Leto as of late for a couple reasons. First of all, he blew everyone away with his Oscar-winning performance as an HIV-positive transgendered woman in Dallas Buyers Club. Leto has always been a powerhouse in Hollywood as well as on stage with his rock band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, but I don't think anyone ever expected him to crank out such an unforgettable and heartbreaking performance.
The second reason is no doubt when moviegoers were shocked by his casting as #TheJoker in the upcoming Warner Bros. film, #SuicideSquad. So far, a majority of viewers are skeptical and worried because they don't think Leto can step up to the performance we got from Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight in 2008. Not to mention he was rumored for the role of Doctor Strange over at Marvel and many wondered why that didn't happen.
The truth is Jared Leto is truly a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood and aside from Dallas Buyers Club, he has given us some fantastic performances to prove it. Given the fact that he is so selective with his filmography and splits his professional time between Hollywood and the music industry, the fact that he can give us such quality performances is impressive on its own. With this list we'll focus on Jared Leto's top 7 performances. Some choices might surprise you as well as the order, but given Leto's limited filmography it's not easy to go beyond seven choices. That is unless we include television because let's face it, Jordan Catalano was the best part of My So-Called Life.
7. Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Girl, Interrupted isn't a film Leto observers think of too often given the fact that he wasn't a major character. However, he was essential to Winona Ryder's character, Susanna's, recovery. He blends an equal mixture of sweet and fearful playing a Vietnam War draftee hopelessly in love with a mental patient. It's heavy stuff and he is quite heartbreaking despite his minor role.
6. Fight Club (1999)
Another minor role for Leto, the role of Angel Face is still rather unforgettable among Fight Club enthusiasts. Highly recognizable by his bleached hair and eyebrows, he is the main subject of jealousy and his character arc doesn't end well. Wait, what am I saying? We never talk about Fight Club.
5. Panic Room (2002)
Cornrows aside, this is not a bad outing. It's also one of the few where he is a main character that lasts throughout the duration of the film. Playing a robber who enters the house of a woman with a hidden panic room, he struggles through execution of the job and the woman and her daughter fighting back. Plus, it's always fun to see Jared play a villain.
4. American Psycho (2000)
If you've seen American Psycho, you know that the story is essentially a blend of craziness and humor. That is what made Leto perfect for the role of the cocky, sarcastic Paul Allen. It's just a shame that we didn't see too much of him. Those were some spiffy business cards, after all.
3. Mr. Nobody (2009)
Mr. Nobody is one of those movies you have to see. Even then, you might find yourself completely confused when the credits roll. Leto plays the adult form of a 118-year old man named Nemo as he recounts the events of his life in the year 2092. It leaves you with a sense of mysticism and you wonder if the things that you assume are real are just a simple illusion.
2. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Dallas Buyers Club is a heartbreaking story all around, but the way he brought the character, Rayon, to life was something we've never seen from him before. It was with this performance that we see how powerful and captivating he can be on screen. It also gave us a glimpse of how dedicated he can be to the physicality of his characters, as he lost over 30lbs and waxed off his eyebrows and body hair. Tabloids thought for months that Leto was ill due to his emaciated appearance.
The hard work paid off physically and emotionally as he brought audiences, including myself, to tears. In the end, he walked away with over 60 awards for his performance, including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Rayon may be fictional within the true story of Ron Woodruff, but that fact alone is enough to give all the credit in the world to Leto for the ability to create such a beautiful character.
1. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Requiem for a Dream is yet another testament to Leto's dedication and severity of his acting methods. He managed to lose 25lbs for the role, befriended real heroin junkies on the streets of Brooklyn, and deprived himself of sex and sugar to put himself farther into the mindset of an addict. The hard work paid off once again as Leto delivered a stellar performance full of heartache, sadness, and delusion. Before Dallas Buyers Club came along it was often considered to be his best performance to date. For me personally, I still think Requiem for a Dream is his best film and that the humanity brought to the character of Harry Goldfarb is hypnotizing to watch.
Chapter 27 (2007), Lord of War (2005), Highway (2002)