Actor plays HIV-positive transsexual woman in the critically acclaimed drama
Jared Leto had pretty much given up acting when he was sent the script for “Dallas Buyers Club,” also starring Matthew McConaughey and considered one of the most solid releases of the year. He fell in love with the script and went on to make the movie, but he still can’t believe his performance is getting Oscar buzz.In “Dallas Buyers Club,” Jared is far from the handsome rocker / actor we’ve all come to know and love, as he plays an HIV-positive transsexual woman who befriends the character played by McConaughey and helps him set up the “buyers club,” and bring HIV drugs from across the border and thus offer HIV patients a better chance of survival.
To promote the film, Leto sat down for an interview with Nylon magazine, which is accompanied by a gorgeous photoshoot. Even if you don’t like his movies and / or his music, you will probably agree that Leto makes for a very good-looking model – he and his perfect ombre hair.
Back to the topic of the Oscar buzz, Leto says he didn’t even think this would happen when he accepted the offer for the part. For those not in the know, he’s considered a strong contender in the Best Supporting Actor category.
“I never thought in a million years I would be mentioned with either ‘buzz’ or ‘Oscar.’ It’s completely mind-blowing. You don’t do it for that, but buzz is an indication that something worked. Like, maybe this one won’t be a heartbreak,” he tells Nylon.
The heartbreak he’s referring to might be the critically panned “Chapter 27,” for which Leto gained so much weight that he was completely unrecognizable and even ruined his health. While his performance was praised by critics, the film as a whole was discarded as an unwatchable mess. Lindsay Lohan was in it, too.
For “Dallas Buyers Club,” Leto starved himself to look as skinny and as unhealthy as possible – after all, he was playing an HIV patient. He also had to dress in drag, wax his entire body, wear high heels and wigs and makeup, and he explains for Nylon that, what with being a Method actor, this proved quite a challenge.
“There was a time when I walked through the Whole Foods, and I remember getting three distinct looks: The first was ‘Who is that?’ The second was ‘What is that?’ And the third was ‘I don’t know what the [expletive] that is and I don’t like that. That’s disgusting.’ And it was great to get all of those things. Especially the third one – to feel the condemnation and the judgment. That was important,” Leto recalls.
Embedded below is an older interview Leto did with Ellen DeGeneres talking about the role. You can see that, then too, he was very gracious about the Oscar buzz, which he found rather shocking.