Jared Leto Favorite to Take Home Best Supporting Actor Oscar

Jared Leto may not have been privy to the number of film awards in existence, but he has managed to win over 30 of them to date. Of course, the big one is coming on Sunday March 2nd when the 86th Academy Awards commence. Leto has been nominated as Best Supporting Actor for his transcendent performance in Dallas Buyers Club, and is considered by many insiders to be the favorite to bring home the coveted trophy.

Leto has earned wide praise for his work as transgender AIDS patient Rayon, and the physical transformation the actor endured for the role has been well documented. The actor seems genuinely surprised at the critical acclaim that has come his way, especially considering his lengthy hiatus from acting to focus on his musical interests as front man for 30 Seconds To Mars.

After the nominations were announced, Leto expressed his thoughts to PEOPLE. “I think it’s got a nice ring to it. It’s a wonderful thing to have happen, especially for not having made a film for six years,” the actor explained. “To return with this kind of love and support is unexpected. It’s absolutely insane!”

Leto may be taken aback by the attention garnered for his performance, but Dallas Buyers Club itself has been a critical darling, earning a total of six nominations. Among those are Best Picture, as well as a Best Oscar nod to Matthew McConaughey for his portrayal of Ron Woodroof fighting the medical establishment over access to AIDS medication. Leto is clearly pleased with the film and his contribution, stating: “I feel like the luckiest person in the world. It’s a really special story and I feel proud to be a part of it.”

The actor further elaborated on the film and his numerous awards, trying to sound magnanimous in the process. ”It took six years for this to come to me. I wasn’t looking to make a film but I ended up reading the script and fell in love (with it). I don’t want to sound like a jerk right now but someone told me yesterday that I’ve won over 30 awards for it already. I didn’t even know there were 30 awards to win. The big ones were the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards recently.”

While conventional wisdom does place Leto as a frontrunner to win the Oscar due to the very nature of the role, he will face some formidable competition in the Best Supporting Actor category, including Michael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave and Bradley Cooper in American Hustle.