Jared Leto is a top-notch American actor and musician, mostly known for his extreme method acting: after getting a role, he tries to understand the character he's portraying by acting like them, talking like them and almost, in a way, becoming them.
After his portrayal of Jordan Catalano in the tv series My So-Called Life, he debuted on the big screen mostly with secondary roles.
But after Requiem for a Dream (by Darren Aronofsky) came out, he has gained attention from critics.
Afterwards he superbly acted in some more secondary roles as well as collaborated with the directors in Fight Club and Panic Room, and he also had a role in American Psycho.
Other amazing movies he was applauded for are: Lord of War, Lonely Hearts, Chapter 27 and Mr. Nobody.
In 2014 he received a well deserved Golden Globe for his role in Dallas Buyers Club, a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Oscar for the best non protagonist actor.
In 2016 he portrayed the supervillain Joker in Suicide Squad by David Ayer. This one portrayal was particularly criticized, especially by comic readers, but let's not forget that Joker’s characterization, look and script weren't up to the actor.
He's a very versatile actor. He likes to portray different kind of characters although he is very selective when it comes to choosing a role. He's also famous for losing or gaining weight when the portrayal of a certain character requires it, or when it comes to fake accents (english, australian, etc).
His latest roles were in Blade Runner 2049 (which was applauded by critics) and The Outsider, a Netflix original show that wasn't very loved by his audience.
We have many iconic and superb movies in which Jared Leto does a great job in making us fall in love with the movie and his character.
He has always been a good actor, but the movies he's played in haven't always been great, and sometime the writers fail to develop his character well. There are two movies in which both the character development and movie quality as a whole come together to highlight how great of an actor Leto really is:
REQUIEM FOR A DREAM
It was directed by Darren Aronofsky, who perfectly managed to show an addict’s life on screen. Jared Leto is in the role of Harry, a cocaine addict who, just like his girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) and his friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans), would do anything to get some drugs, so they sell anything they can in order to get the money. However, Tyrone begins to suspect that he and Harry are in trouble.
There are quick shots of the drugs and of the characters taking them, showing the characters in a room together, but still on their own because their only reality is their drugs. When they are taking it they’re satisfied, when the drugs are over their only thought is to get money and buy more.
Jared’s portrayal is touching and realistic, he was the perfect actor to portray a story as dark and sad as this one.
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Another heartbreaking story that was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. It had six candidatures and won four Oscars (one to best actor to Matthew McConaughey and another one for best non protagonist actor Jared Leto).
It was “inspired” by the real life of Ron Woodroof and it is about real life problems in our society, from discrimination against the LGBTQ community to the dishonest medical establishment and government.
Woodroof is a committed bigot, a misogynist and homophobe who believed only homosexuals could get AIDs until he was diagnosed with HIV and responded badly to the only medication that was legal at the time. He looked for other medication and then started importing drugs “for free” through a club. His way into the gay community is Rayon, a pre-op transgender person.
The movie walks on a thin line because it is about very delicate topics. But it is after all good to see a “realistic” movie which shows us a deeper look at the people diagnosed with HIV and at the people inside the transgender community, more specifically Rayon, who Jared portrays so tenderly. Ron’s friendship with Rayon is just business, at the start, but we get to see the characters develop as the story goes on. Rayon is a tragic character, she wants to be beautiful and she wants to be happy, but nothing’s ever easy. Jared even lost a lot of weight to portray her, but there's to say that some of her scenes in this movie are probably the saddest and they left a mark. It's a sort of “instructive” movie and perhaps it opens people’s mind when it comes to such social matters.