Jared Leto

The Dallas Buyers Club actor, who is featured in W’s 2014 Best Performances portfolio, opens up to W Editor at Large Lynn Hirschberg in his latest Screen Test.

Released on 1/7/2014

Credits

Starring: Jared Leto
Editor: Lynn Hirschberg

Transcript

00:04
My first professional job,
00:05
it's a toss-up if it was selling weed
00:08
or working at a barbecue restaurant as a dishwasher.
00:13
At the barbecue restaurant, I got paid $2.50 an hour
00:16
and I had taxes taken out which I'm fairly certain
00:20
was illegal at the time.
00:21
I was just happy to have a job.
00:23
That meant freedom to me.
00:26
The weed could have paid better than the dishwashing
00:28
but the problem is
00:30
is getting high on your on supply
00:32
and breaking that golden rule.
00:35
I didn't have a very glamorous beginning.
00:37
I always thought I would be a visual artist.
00:39
I went to art school,
00:41
but at some point,
00:41
I fell in love with film.
00:43
I thought
00:46
that I would get a job as a director
00:48
if I got a job as an actor first.
00:51
That was my plan.
00:52
When I got my first job,
00:56
I was
00:58
auditioning like crazy.
01:00
Auditioning is probably akin to boiling
01:03
your own testicles in vegan butter
01:05
or sawing off your butt lip and chewing on it
01:08
like it's tobacco.
01:10
That's another thing you can compare to auditioning.
01:12
No, I remember being in one audition.
01:14
Every casting room has the worst vibe
01:16
you've ever felt in your life.
01:19
There's maybe a dentist in Tijuana
01:21
that has a more comfortable setting
01:24
than a casting office.
01:25
There was a couch overturned.
01:27
I was asked to hide behind the couch
01:29
and shoot imaginary bullets at an unseen enemy.
01:35
I remember standing up in the middle of that
01:37
as I was shooting bullets and being shot at.
01:40
I said, I just, I can't do this.
01:42
I ended up getting the part.
01:43
This is a lesson, yeah, to sabotage.
01:45
I had about three weeks, maybe 3 1/2 weeks
01:48
to prepare for Dallas Buyers Club.
01:51
Because I hadn't made a film in five or six years,
01:53
I hadn't read a script in a few years.
01:57
I had heard about this project,
01:58
it had bounced around forever.
02:02
Someone had sent it to me a few times
02:03
and said, I really think you should take a look.
02:07
So I did and I fell in love.
02:08
I was already very thin.
02:10
I may have got down to 112 or 13 or something.
02:17
I'm a healthy 150 now.
02:19
When you lose weight like that,
02:20
it's a great tool.
02:21
It changes the way that you walk,
02:23
the way you talk,
02:24
the way you think,
02:25
the way you feel,
02:25
the way people treat you.
02:26
It changes everything about who you are.
02:29
I remember sending a note to the producers
02:30
like a week before shooting saying,
02:32
Listen, I really want to make sure
02:34
that this is a transsexual woman
02:36
we're talking about.
02:37
This is not someone who wants to play dress-up.
02:41
If you want that, you should call somebody else
02:43
because I'm not interested in that.
02:45
I don't know how to do that.
02:46
In 1985, I'm sure it was a struggle
02:48
to walk through the supermarket
02:51
dressed as woman.
02:53
Because I was in character all the time,
02:55
I was able to have these really unique experiences
02:59
like I had in Whole Foods
03:01
where I got three distinct looks.
03:03
One was Who is that?
03:06
The other was What is that?
03:09
The last was I don't know what that is
03:12
but I don't like it.