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Jared Leto and his famously wild commitment to acting roles

Never change.

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 04: Jared Leto attends the Vivienne Westwood Womenswear Fall Winter 2023-2024 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on March 04, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images)
Jared Leto poses at the Vivienne Westwood Womenswear Fall Winter 2023-2024 fashion show. (Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images)

Oscar-winning actor and 30 Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto doesn't do things by halves.

Back up on the big screen as The Hatbox Ghost in Disney's remake of Haunted Mansion, as ever, Leto went the extra mile when it came to bringing this apparition to vivid life for director Justin Simien.

"It's part stunt person on set, it's part CG, it's part motion-capture and it's part Jared Leto's brilliant vocal performance," the latter told Metro.

Read more: Method acting: Actors who took it to the extreme from Jared Leto to Leonardo DiCaprio

"His physical performance was captured and kind of translated on top of what we had done on set already. It was a wild thing to come together – actually, it was quite like animation – and amazing to see Jared Leto so dedicated to this character, down to what he had in his mouth!"

Apparently, the Blade Runner 2049 star applied a pair of fake teeth "that you would never see", but they came to shape the way he spoke, dressed and even prepared for the role.

HAUNTED MANSION, Hatbox Ghost (voice: Jared Leto), 2023. © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection
The Hatbox Ghost of Disney's Haunted Mansion remake. (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Everett Collection)

For anyone who's closely followed Leto's electric career thus far, you'll know that this is a tried-and-tested approach to his work in Hollywood.

Cast your mind back to 2000's hellish drug drama Requiem for a Dream - in which he played heroin addict Harry Goldfarb - Leto not only shed 25 pounds and slept on the streets of New York City, he also went abstinent from sex to give his character's suffering another level of authenticity.

He admitted during an interview with the BBC: "I was in a constant state of hunger like my character. I was miserable. It was a painful, dark place, but it was rewarding.

"There were a couple of moments towards the end where I had hallucinations. I'd look up at the sky and I'd get a feeling of complete serenity."

MARLON WAYANS, JARED LETO, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, 2000
Marlon Wayans and Leto in Darren Aronofsky's adaptation of Requiem for a Dream. (Lionsgate)

Seven years later, he took on the part of Mark David Chapman (real-life killer of The Beatles icon John Lennon) in the movie Chapter 27.

60 pounds of added weight was where he went with this one, but the physical ramifications were enough to put Leto off for life.

"I'd never do it again," he shared with Digital Spy around the time of its release. "Towards the end of the shoot, one of the glaring issues was the pain I had with my feet. I couldn't walk for long distances; I had a wheelchair because it was so painful.

"My body was in shock from the amount of weight I gained. It took about a year to get back to a place that felt semi-normal."

Lindsay Lohan and Jared Leto at the Central Park in New York City, New York (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Lindsay Lohan and Leto on set at Central Park for Chapter 27. (James Devaney/WireImage)

Then there's the gig which earned Leto that prestigious golden statuette: Dallas Buyers Club.

To portray trans HIV patient Rayon opposite Matthew McConaughey's real-life pharmaceutical smuggler Ron Woodroof, the 51-year-old waxed and shaved his whole body alongside a dramatic 40-pound weight cut.

"For me, it was about how it made me feel, how it made other people treat me," he reflected while speaking to The Guardian.

Read more: 'WeCrashed': Jared Leto puts 'House of Gucci' behind him with riveting performance

Prior to shooting, which Leto spent the entirety of in character, he "road-tested" Rayon on the public.

"You kind of have to register reactions and things. To get a little judgment, some meanness, a little condemnation was a useful thing for the part. I went to Whole Foods Market to, I guess, just stare at the food, because I certainly wasn't eating a whole lot of it.

"I got three distinct looks from people. One was, 'What is that?' The second one was, 'Who is that?' and the other was, 'I dunno what the f*** that is but I don't like it.'"

JARED LETO, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, 2013
As trans woman Rayon in 2013 true story Dallas Buyers Club. (Focus Features)

Next on the method acting merry-go-round was his toxic green turn as The Joker in David Ayer's blockbuster flop Suicide Squad.

Outlandish presents for his co-stars Margot Robbie and Will Smith were widely reported - including bullets, anal beads, a dead rat, and used condoms - to "create a dynamic and spontaneity" that would mirror the chaos of his Clown Prince of Crime.

Much of this was eventually dispelled, though, when the actor told Entertainment Weekly: "Any of the very few gifts that were ever given were given with a spirit of fun and adventure and received with laughter, fun, and adventure.

"I'm playing a guy called The Joker, it's okay to play some jokes. I'm an artist at the end of the day. If I do something risky and you don't like it, basically, you can kiss my ass."

(L-r) MARGOT ROBBIE as Harley Quinn and JARED LETO as The Joker in Warner Bros. Pictures' action adventure
"I'm playing a guy called The Joker, it's okay to play some jokes". (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Meanwhile, the mesmerising sequel Blade Runner 2049 saw Leto wear clouded contact lenses in order to experience Niander Wallace's blindness.

Director Denis Villeneuve was moved to tears by what unfolded on set, telling The Wall Street Journal: "He was walking with an assistant, very slowly. It was like seeing Jesus walking into a temple.

"Everybody became super silent, and there was a kind of sacred moment. Everyone was in awe."

USA.Jared Leto in the ©Warner Bros. new movie: Blade Runner 2049 (2017).  Plot: Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years. .  Captioned 22nd September 2017. Ref: LMK106-J783-220917 Supplied by LMKMEDIA. Editorial Only. Landmark Media is not the copyright owner of these Film or TV stills but provides a service
Niander Wallace in Blade Runner 2049. (Warner Bros. Pictures)

For legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott's 2021 biographical crime flick House of Gucci, he went hard.

"Bringing Paolo [Gucci] to life was like birthing a bowling ball out of my sphincter," Leto bizarrely revealed to i-D.

"It was a very physical performance. I did it all. I was snorting lines of arrabbiata sauce by the middle of this movie. I had olive oil for blood. This was a deep dive I did. If you took a biopsy of my skin, it would come back as parmesan cheese! This is my love letter to Italy.

"I had an Italian accent and I enjoyed and embraced that, and lived in that space as much as I could, and for as long as I possibly could."

HOUSE OF GUCCI, Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci, 2021. ph: Fabio Lovino / © MGM / Courtesy Everett Collection
The one and only Paolo Gucci. (Fabio Lovino/MGM /Courtesy Everett Collection)

Fortunately for his colleagues, Leto didn't go full-bloodsucker for last year's Spider-Man spin-off Morbius, but he did choose to realise the physical depreciation of Dr. Michael Morbius when the cameras weren't rolling.

His laboured movements were stalling production so much that the crew ended up bringing in a wheelchair to quicken things up.

Commenting on the megastar's divisive process, director Daniel Espinosa shared with Uproxx: "I think that what Jared thinks, what Jared believes, is that somehow the pain of those movements, even when he was playing normal Michael Morbius, he needed, because he's been having this pain his whole life. Even though, as he's alive and strong, it has to be a difference.

"I think it's really mysterious, what they do. Almost all actors, in general, have their own reputation of being an interesting person how he works with their characters. I think that all of them have these traits. If you want a completely normal person that does only things that you understand, then you're in the wrong business."

MORBIUS 2022 de Daniel Espinosa Jared Leto. d'apres le Marvel comics de Roy Thomas & Gil Kane based on the Marvel Comics by Roy Thomas & Gil Kane Prod
Dr. Michael Morbius in Sony's Spider-Man Universe. (Columbia Pictures)

Watch: Jared Leto dresses up as Karl Lagerfeld's cat for 2023 Met Gala