Jared Leto donning a wig and makeup to play an AIDS riddled transsexual woman in Dallas Buyer’s Club was not at all shocking to hear. The actor is known to choose his acting roles carefully while taking risks. The wig and makeup wearing part of the role was not a big risk compared to the shocking weight loss Leto endured to play the role.
When images were first released of Jared Leto’s shocking transformation in November, fans were visibly and rightfully concerned about his health. About his weight, Leto told Vulture: “Your body goes through weird stages…it’s more to represent the character. I’m focused on what it means to be a transsexual woman.”
That was back in November when Leto was a month into production alongside co-star Matthew McConaughey, who lost 30 pounds for his role. Now that he seems to have sort of rebounded from weighing only 116 pounds, Leto opened up more about how the experience was.
It should be noted that Jared Leto has made headlines concerning his weight before. Leto gained 67 pounds to play the killer of John Lennon, Mark David Chapman, for film Chapter 27.
While promoting his film Fast Company Grill at SXSW, Leto explained:
“I just basically didn’t eat. I ate very little.”I had done similar things with weight, but this was different. I think the role demanded that commitment. It was about how does that effect how I walk, how I talked, who I am, how I feel. You know, you feel very fragile and delicate and unsafe.”
While filming it was co-star Matthew McConaughey that garnered most of the attention over his weight loss. Known for his fit body, and clean image, McConaughey at the time said that his weight loss was “If anything, it’s as much a spiritual journey as it is physical.”
Many actors who have gone through dramatic weight changes for roles have experienced medical complications afterward. Yahoo’s Jessica Elliott suggested that Christian Bale’s dramatic weight loss for The Machinist followed by the immediate bulking up for Batman Begins put strain on the actor’s heart and emotional status.
Do you think it’s healthy to go to extreme measures for a film role?