It's been six years since Jared Leto graced the silver screen (well, aside from that Mr. Nobody movie...), and it's safe to say that the head honchos missed him. Last night, Leto snagged the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his role in Dallas Buyers Club. And, rightly so. His portrayal of Rayon, a transgender woman living with HIV, was incredibly poignant and powerful.
We caught up with the actor/musician after the Golden Globes ceremony to chat about his award, his hair, and where he'd like to see himself in 20 years. Welcome back to Hollywood, Jared.
Where are you going to be keeping your award?
"Where am I going to keep my award? I don’t know yet. I'm still trying to breathe right now. This whole thing is kind of surreal. I didn’t expect to win tonight at all. So, I'm shocked and honored and happy just to be here in the company of so many talented people."
A little over a week ago, you said you didn't prepare a speech and that you saw yourself as a dark horse in the Best Supporting Actor category. How do you feel now that you've won?
"I obviously didn’t prepare a speech. You know, I have always been a bit of an outsider, and I don’t think that changes after today. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, either. My character in Dallas Buyers Club, Rayon, was an outsider, and that’s an okay place to be. I'm just very thankful and very, very grateful. It's funny, though; I was really moved when I was up there on stage — just blown away, really blown away."
Did you ever think this movie would get such award season buzz going into it?
"Not for a single second. I hadn’t made a film in so long. I was just focused on not letting anyone down in doing this wonderful project and just doing a good job. That’s really what I was focused on: work, work, work, work. None of us thought about the response to the film at all."
What kind of mindset did it take for you to transform into Rayon?
"You know, something happened when I was making a documentary while on tour. I met a kid named Daniel while I was interviewing young people around the world. It was a really intimate interview: just me, him, and a camera. It turned out that Daniel was actually born a girl. He was 14 when I met him, and living as a young boy. That experience with a person, a transgender young person, really helped educate me. I don’t think I could have played this part if it wasn't for him. I don’t think I could've played the part if I hadn’t taken six years off from film. I think somehow, in some way, I have begun again and am much better for it."
What's the biggest difference between Jared Leto The Rock Star and Jared Leto The Actor?
"Jared Leto the musician doesn’t put on wigs and heels to go to work. Although I probably could; I am a creative person. Anyway, Jared Leto the musician spends time behind the camera directing. I love film and music, so all of it is wonderful."
What're your thoughts on everyone's obsession over your hair?
"(Laughs) That’s a very nice thing to say! I don’t know, though. I can’t answer that question right now. I don’t know how to do that."
If you could project yourself 20 years into the future, would you be singing or acting?
"To be honest, I don’t know if I’ll be doing either. I think it’s a big world out there with lots to explore. If I get so lucky to continue to have these creative experiences, I’ll consider myself a very fortunate person."