Anna Lisa Raya is deputy editor of AwardsLine.
After a six-year break—during which he wrote and directed a documentary (2012’s Artifact) and toured the world with his band (30 Seconds to Mars)—Jared Leto dug deep to portray Rayon, a transgendered woman battling AIDS and drug addiction, in Dallas Buyers Club. The film’s star, Matthew McConaughey, wasn’t the only one to completely transform himself for his role. From his first audition, Leto became Rayon, dropping to 116 pounds, spending weeks perfecting her voice, and never coming out of character throughout filming. His heart-wrenching performance has won over critics and generated some long-overdue Oscar buzz.
AwardsLine: How did you initially get involved with this film?
Jared Leto: I hadn’t made a film in five or six years and came across this script—or maybe I should say this script was put in front of me. I kind of blew it off a few times, and then someone convinced me to take a look. I thought the character (of Rayon) was amazing. And what a great team of people—I wanted to be a part of it.