Jared Leto has been one of Hollywood's most talked about stars for quite some time and he even has an Oscar to show for it. But his casting as The Joker in the upcoming DC villains film, Suicide Squad, seems to have people talking about him nonstop. Whether it's regarding his shocking appearance as the famous DC villain or his somewhat uncalled-for acting methods, there is no denying that Jared Leto is definitely one of the most buzzworthy celebrities in Hollywood right now.
Even with all of that, there are a lot of people who don't really know everything that Jared Leto is and has been capable of. Many are doubting his abilities to play The Joker given the stellar performance we got from Heath Ledger in 2008, but I don't think he should be counted out at all, and not just because he's an Oscar winner. His overall devotion to his work is a testament to the fantastic outcomes we have all seen and he's considered by many to be one of the most versatile actors of his generation.
We have already explored the actress behind our first film portrayal of Harley Quinn (read all about it here), but with this article we will have some more fun focusing on getting to know more about the man behind the new Joker. It would seem as though this devoted actor is a lot more than just a great onscreen presence.
13. He's quite the philanthropist
In addition to his career in the spotlight, Leto is very active with several charities. He works closely to raise funds and awareness for AIDS, human rights violations, disaster relief, and Habitat for Humanity. He was also named an official ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). You don't hear much about it because he chooses to operate independently and out of the spotlight.
12. He lived in Haiti as a child
Leto moved to Haiti when he was just 12 years old because his mother, Constance, was working with a medical charity. After the 2010 earthquake, he traveled back to Haiti to aid and assist the people. He also published a book filled with photos and experiences from his trip and donated all of the profits to Haitian charities.
11. He is a vegan
Luckily he doesn't appear to be one of those vegans who remind us of their diet every 15 minutes, but Leto has been a vegan for over twenty years. He has credited his diet as being the reason for his apparent eternal youth. He was also crowned as the sexiest vegetarian alive by PETA in 2014.
10. He is a major science and technology buff
It's truly hip to be square. Not only has Leto built his own computer and frequently gives tips on how to enhance a lot of popular apps, he is a big fan of NASA and space travel and used to sell his own rocket toys online. He is also a key investor in startups and several promising tech companies such as Surf Air and Nest. Maybe it's safe to say that he would no doubt pursue a STEM career if he wasn't famous.
9. His breakthrough role was on television
I bet you always wondered why Jared Leto looked so familiar, but couldn't put your finger on why. Well, if you ever were a fan of My So-Called Life, that's most likely it, as Leto starred as Jordan Catalano. He also contributed to the show's soundtrack and remained a series regular until its end in 1995.
8. His way of method acting has severely impacted his health
It's no secret that Leto puts his body on the line for his work. For his role as Harry in Requiem for a Dream, he lost 28lbs and was celibate for two months. He also put himself through extreme fasts to lose weight for Dallas Buyers Club, along with waxing off his eyebrows and body hair. On the flip side, he gained 67lbs to play Mark David Chapman in Chapter 27 by drinking melted ice cream mixed with olive oil and soy sauce. One big consequence of his liquid diet? He developed gout and was temporarily confined to a wheelchair.
7. He's also a pretty big rock star
Leto has been a part of the Billboard Award-winning band 30 Seconds to Mars since 1998. The band has released a total of four studio albums, completed several concert tours, and has won awards such as Billboard Music Awards, Fuse Awards, Kerrang! Awards, and MTV awards. Basically all of the times we haven't seen Leto on the big screen, we could have been rocking out to his band in a venue somewhere.
6. He passed on the chance to work with Clint Eastwood
Leto was offered a key role in Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers, but he was forced to turn it down because he had already committed to a tour with his band, 30 Seconds to Mars.
5. He named his guitars after Greek mythology
While performing live, Leto only uses one of two custom made McSwain guitars. His two guitars are named Artemis and Pythagoras and are both engraved with a gryphon that Leto illustrated himself.
4. *Spoiler Alert* His characters are often maimed in some way
He doesn't have that many film credits to his name, but a majority of his characters have been maimed or disfigured in some way. His character in Fight Club is beaten beyond recognition, he was killed with an axe in American Psycho, severely burned in Panic Room, and had his arm amputated in Requiem for a Dream. Who knows what is in store for The Joker in Suicide Squad.
3. He utilizes a pseudonym
Leto has chosen to utilize a Dr. Seuss-influenced pseudonym from time to time. He is also known as Bartholomew Cubbins when he must credit himself in a video or film that he's directed himself. He claims the reasoning behind the pseudonym is so the viewers aren't distracted by the fact that he also was in the director's chair.
2. He's in the Guinness Book of World Records
In 2011, Leto and his 30 Seconds to Mars bandmates were entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for giving the longest concert tour by a rock band. The band toured for two straight years at over three hundred shows in support of their 2009 album, This is War. Leto also holds a Guinness record for having the highest documented score for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the SEGA Mega Drive.
1. He initially turned down his Oscar-winning role
Leto's Oscar-winning performance as Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club almost didn't happen. After his 2009 role in Mr. Nobody, Leto stepped away from acting once again to focus on his band, 30 Seconds to Mars. When he was originally offered the role of Rayon, he declined due to his touring commitments. Luckily, he changed his mind!