Jared Leto Talks 'Dallas Buyers Club' Transvestite Character with 'V' Mag (Exclusive)
Here’s what the 41-year-old entertainer told director Gus Van Sant, who photographed and interviewed the star for the mag:
On his appreciation for the future: “Yeah, there’s a lot going on right now, which is fantastic. I was reminding myself last night, I went for a run fairly late, around 11 pm, and I was just remembering how great it is to have so many things and how wonderful it is to actually be driven crazy by those things. That actually helped me a lot today, because I’ve been having really full days and a lot going on, whether it’s the interview with you or even driving here and getting lost and trying to figure it out or taking the photo or being in rehearsal right before this, the four meetings that I had…all those individual things, to have gratitude and appreciation for that time that I get to do that. I had a bit of a perspective change last night, it was strange. Not that I hadn’t been grateful before, but I’ve just been feeling on the edge a bit.”
On researching to play a transvestite in Dallas Buyer’s Club: “First of all, I’ve been fortunate in my life to have had contact with all kinds of different characters, I didn’t grow up in a really sheltered way, so the idea of playing a transsexual, a drag queen, transvestite, wasn’t too daunting. It wasn’t like, Oh my god, that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard in my life, which may have been the reaction of some actors. I was like, Well, I think I could offer something here. I did meet with people specifically about the role, a wonderful woman who has been living in Los Angeles for quite some time who’s also from the South and had this beautiful voice and made a choice, maybe a couple of decades ago, to start to live her life as a woman. I met with quite a few people in Louisiana, where we shot as well, great stories, great contribution.”
On his character in Dallas Buyer’s Club: “I didn’t want to play the Hollywood version of a transvestite. You know, someone who’s dancing on the table, balls-to-the-wall screaming out loud, the funniest person in the room, on 12 the whole time. I felt like that had been covered, that had been done before. I was really on my little-—on a journey just to be like, let’s represent a real person here, and hopefully that came across…”
For more from Jared, visit VMagazine.com.