Jared Leto was born on 26 December 1971 in Bossier City, Louisiana. In early 90s he has become an actor and gotten into different kinds of arts like acting, directing, singing and song making. Nowadays Jared Leto is one of the well known young celebrities of show business. He is an actor, director, songwriter and singer.
Jared Leto basicly gained fame with his role “Jordan Catelano” in tv series My So-Called Life (1994). he was 23 years old back then. My So-Called Life was a teen drama of 90s that is created by Winnie Holzman. The series was aired on ABC. The story took place in a fictional high school named Liberty High School which is said to be in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The series told the story of several teenagers’ lifes and loves.Jared Leto’s first movie was How To Make An American Quilt (1995) starring Winona Ryder, Ellen Burstyn and Maya Angelou. In his debut movie, Leto played Beck, a supporting character in the story. After How To Make An American Quilt, Jared Leto had the chance to play in some well known and successful movies of 90s like The Thin Red Line (1998), Fight Club (1999), Urban Legend (1998) and American Psycho (2000) after he gained positive reactions in his second movie Prefontaine (1997). Prefontaine was a biogrophical movie that told the story of Steve Prefontaine, a long-distance runner who died at the age of 24. But one of the biggest roles of his career, without a doubt, was “Harry Goldfarb” in the psychological drama directed by talented director Darren Aronofsky: “Requiem For A Dream” (2000).
The movie became a cult classic in very short period of time and became one of the most life-defining movies of all time. It was articticly stylish psychological drama-thriller and a great hit. Harry Goldfarb was Jared Leto’s second leading role and he was brilliant in it. Other stars of the movie were Jeniffer Connelly, Ellen Burstyn and Marlon Wayans. Ellen Burstyn was nominated for Academy Award for best actress and the movie was screened in Cannes Film Festival.
After 2000s, Jared Leto became quite famous and that was when he also focused his music career. But in that time he didn’t stay away from cinema and played good parts in good movies such as Panic Room (2002)directed by David Fincher, Alexander (2004) directed by Oliver Stone, Lord Of War (2005) directed by Andrew Niccol, Lonely Hearts (2006) directed by Todd Robinson and Mr. Nobody (2009) directed by Jaco Von Dormael.
Jared Lato was into directing since the beginning of his career but his directorial debut was the documentary movie about modern music business: Artifact (2012). the movie was screened in several festivals and recieved positive critics. It was a fair look at the background of the industry and both the critics and the audience liked the movie.
Jared Leto won his first Oscar for his role in the movie Dallas Buyers Club (2013) in which he plated a transgender woman; Rayon. Rayon is a fictional transgender woman with HIV positive and who happens to help Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey). In this role that won Jared Leto an Oscar for best suporting actor was really appreciated and Leto’s method acting was said to be iconic and devoted role. For this role, Jared Leto is also known for loosing grand amounts of weight, which is said to threaten his health.
When it comes to his music career, he is known to be the lead vocal of the music band Thirty Seconds To Mars, which is basicly a rock band. Thirty Seconds To Mars was founded in 1998 by Jared Leto and his brother Shannon Leto who is one year older than Jared Leto. But their first album was released in 2002 titled as 30 Seconds To Mars and recieved positive reviews. Then the band continued to make successful albums like A Beautiful Lie (2005), This Is War (2009) and Love, Lust, Faith And Dreams (2013). Jared Leto continues both his movie career and music career.
Movie Career Of Jared Leto
- From His Birth To His Early Career in 90s
Jared Leto was born in 1971 in Bossier City, Louisiana. Leto is his stepfather’s surname. Since he has no relations with his biological father which later when Jared Leto was eight years old commited suicide, he used his stepfather’s surname. Before his father’s suicide, his father re-married and had two other children.
His mother has cajun ancestry. Cajuns are an ethnic group that lives in Louisina. Cajuns are said to be exiles of Acadians, a French speaking community that settled in Acadia in early 17th century. Cajuns are known for their own dialect and culture of music, cuisine and their own folk cultural features. Jared Leto was born in a special community like this.
Her mother, raised in a special culture of Cajuns before her son, had joined Hippie Movement at a young age. That was another effect on Jared Leto’s artistic personality, because as he stated before he was raised among people who happen to be artists of all sorts like musicians, painters, song writers, singers, actors and actresses, dancers, photographers and so on. He was raised in a community where creativity is appreciated and freedom is comprehended diffirently. That is why, Jared Leto’s first involvement with art was playing music basicly with a broken piano.
School was not a big or so to say a significant part of Jared Leto’s life. But he had a decent education any way. He studied at the private school of Emerson Preparatory School in Washington D.C. Later he attended to Flint Hill School in Virginia. For a time, he also attended to University of the Arts in Philadelphia and studied visual arts there. And he finally graduated from School Of Visual Arts in New York, in which he made his own and first movie. And later he started to be involved in television and cinema. After graduating from School Of Visual Arts in New York, he moved to Los Angeles and start to play in tv series My So-Called Life in 1994.
- From My So Called Life (1994) To Requiem For A Dream (2002)
Jared Leto moved to Los Angeles in 1992. Immediatelly he begin to show up in some television shows. But his first important role came 2 years after he moved to Los Angeles. In 1994 Jared Leto start to play in My So-Called Life which was a popular teen show in early and mid 90s. My So-Called Life created two future stars Jared Leto and 1979 born Claire Danes.
Later released on DVD as well, My So-Called Life is still a popular tv-series, since the show has all the important features of 90s. And it wouldn’t be wrong to say that cult series My So-Called Life has a unique audience. Another reason why My So-Called Life has gained a cult status is that the show was canceled after one year of screening.
In 1994 Jared Leto also appears in a tv-movie with another well-known 90s star Alicia Sinverstone; Cool And The Crazy. But his cinema career starts with the Jocelyn Moorhouse movie How To Make An American Quilt in which he plays a supporting role. A year later, Leto appears in another comedy-drama of the decade; The Last Of The High Kings (1996) directed by David Keating. In this little known coming-of-age comedy-drama movie actors like Jared Leto, Gabriel Byrne and Stephen Rea; and actresses like Christina Ricci and Catherine O’Hara make astonishing early performances of their careers.
After playing another supporting role in 1997 Jeb Stuart movie Switchback (starring Dennis Quaid and Danny Glover), Leto got his debut leading role in a cinema movie, Prefontaine (1997). the movie was a bio-pic that told the story of long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine who hold American record in seven different distance tracks from 2,000 meters to 10,000 meters. This successful sports-man died in a car crash in 1975. when he died he was 24 years old. Leto’s performance in Prefontaine recieved positive reactions and now it is stated that this performance made his way to stardom. But his true first masterpiece was his role in Requem For A Dream (2002).
After some noteworthy roles in great movies like The Thin Red Line (1998), Fight Club (1999), Urban Legend (1998) and American Psycho (2000); Jared Leto made one of the most important decisions of his careed and accepted the role in Requiem For A Dream.
Movie was based on a novel adaptaion of Hubert Selvy Jr., the novel of the same name. The novel was released in 1978 and told the story of durg related sub-cultural life of New York. Although Darren Arronfsky movie takes place in present day in 2000, movie still tells the story of Sara Goldfarb and his son Harry Goldfarb related to New York’s drug sub-culture. In the movie Jared Leto plays the heroine addict Harry Goldfarb.
As a method actor, Jared Leto lived in the streets of New York for several weeks and he literally starved himself and lost 28 pounds. And also he didn’t have sex for 2 months before the shooting. His portrayal of Harry Goldfarb was so realistic that he literally shocked the world and immediately became a cult classic among young adults. After the release of the movie, Jared Leto had to stay in a monastry in Portugal for recovery and gaining some weight.
- From Requiem For A Dream To Dallas Buyers Club
Jared Leto took a break in his cinema career for 2 years. After the break he appeared in independent James Cox movie Highway (2002) with Jake Gyllenhaal. But in fact the movie was shot in early 2000s, but released in 2002. His actual role in 2002 was in David Fincher’s Panic Room with Jodie Foster and Forest Whitaker. Leto portrayed one of the intruders in the movie. The movie recieved positive reactions and it was a total success at the box office.
Two years later Leto played another supporting role in a big budget movie; Oliver Stone‘s Alexander. In the movie he played Hehpaestion, the closest friend of Alexander The Great. The movie recieved mixed reactions. Some of the critics liked the movie, but some of them strictly critcized it for being so childishly written. And the movie was not a big success at the box office neither. Nonetheless, Jared Leto’s performance said to be decent.
In 2005, Leto played in one of the year’s best movies: Lord Of War (2005). In this Andrew Niccol movie Nicholas Cage was portraying the lead character Yuri Orlov, before he totally ruined his career by playing in total garbage movies. Jared Leto is Vitaly Orlov who is the younger brother of Yuri Orlov. The movie recieved positive reactions mostly and many human rights organizations appraised the movie.
In these years leto also supported his music career and traveled to different countries for concerts with his band Thirty Seconds To Mars. But he also continued to making movies. In 2006 Leto with Salma Hayek, appeared another successful movie Lonely Hearts which is basicly a remake of Arturo Ripstein; Profundo Carmesi (Deep Crimson). The movie tells the true story of two lawless lovers, a serial killer couple, Martha Jule Beck and Raymond Martinez Fernandez. The movie was a success but nonetheless recieved mixed reactions. Some critics suggested that the movie was not as dark as Profundo Carmesi.
In 2007, Jared Leto was portraying Mark David Chapman in Jarrett Schaefer‘s bioghraphic movie Chapter 27. The story takes place in 1980 when John Lennon was shot by Mark David Chapman. The movie took mixed reactions and labeled as one of the most controversial movies of 2007 since the movie was one of those love or hate movies.
In 2009 Jared Leto appeared in science fiction drama movie Mr. Nobody which was written and directed by Jaco Van Dormael. In the movie along with Jared Leto, starred Diane Kruger, Juno Temple, Sarah Polley, Linh Dan Pham, Natasha Little and Rhys Ifans.
The movie originally tells the life story of Mr. Nemo Nobody, a 118 year-old man who is the last mortal person on Earth. He is the last mortal because the human race has achieved some kind of immortality. Portrayed by Jared Leto, Nemo Nobody is a confused man about the things happening around him. And the story centers the feelings and confusions of Mr. Nobody. The movie premiere took place at 66th Venice Film Festival and the movie recieved positive reactions from both the critics and the audience.
- Dallas Buyers Club
Dallas Buyers Club is one of the best movies of 2013 and recieved totally positive reactions both from the critics and the audience. The movie is seen an example of Jared Leto returning to the method acting. In the movie both Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey are astonishing and they both use the method acting at its best.
The movie won 3 Oscars including best actor in a leading role (Matthew McConaughey), best actor in a supporting role (Jared Leto) and best achievement in make-up and hairstyling. And several more awards including Golden Globes.
Dallas Buyers Club tells the true story of Ron Woodroof in mid 80s, who was a homophobic person before he somehow got HIV virus and later became one of the biggest supporters of HIV victims and LGBT movement.
Jared Leto plays Rayon who is a fictional trans-gender person and a supporting character. Rayon is portrayed as one of the best friends of Ron Woodroof. As he done it before for Requem For A Dream, Leto lost almost 30 pounds, shaved his eyebrows and waxed his entire body. And as the preperation of the role, he met trans-gender people and listened their stories. The movie and the both actors recieved highly positive reactions both from the critics and the audience. The movie is seen one of the finest work of the director and one of the finest, yet the finest for most people, role of Jared Leto.
Music Career of Jared Leto
Jared Leto was born in a family with Cajun ancestry. Cajuns are known for their artistic abilities, their interest of folk music and their unique culture. As this is not enough, Jared Leto’s mother was a hippie and had some hippie friends as well. As a reason, Jared Leto had the chance to grow up among musicians and all sorts of artists. Leto’s music interest comes from his early life.
Jared Leto has always been interested in music. This interest came up with a music group that he and his brother Shannon Leto founded with Tomo Milicevic in 1998. Their band Thirty Seconds To Mars is basicly an American rock band which has 2000s alternative rock sound. The group has four studio albums and various awards.
First album of Thirty Seconds To Mars was 30 Seconds To Mars (2002) and was produced by Bon Ezrin. Although the the critics liked the album, it had limited success when it comes to commercial success. But the band gained more fame when they released their second album, A Beautiful Lie (2005). And the album was both commercial and critical success. The album was produced by Josh Abraham. Thirty Seconds To Mars’ third album was This Is War (2009) which was released in 2009. This Is War gained more fame than A Beautiful Life and reached more audieces than any other albums of the band. This Is War also hit the lists and reached several top ten lists of some different countries. In 2013, Thirty Seconds To Mars decided to move to Universal Records and they released Love, Lust, Faith And Dreams in 2013 with Universal Records label. And the band sold more than 15 million of albums worldwide which was a total success.
Thirty Seconds To Mars still continues its life. The band is basicly known for its vivd stage performances and nice sound. Thirty Seconds To Mars also is an activist band which likes to take action about environmental issues.
- First Years (1998 – 2002)
Jared Leto and his brother Shannon Leto used to play music together since they were little children. It was kind of a family tradition. In their teen years their music started to form and got a special rock sound immediately. Two brothers then formed their band with Tomo Milicevic. They also addded to the band guitarist Solon Bixler, bassist Matt Wathcer and Kevin Drake, another guitarist. And finally group’s name was formed: Thirty Seconds To Mars.
Jared Leto says it is a metaphoric and futuristic name that signifies being so close to something unknown. Leto suggests that Mars being the god of war also adds a special meaning to the name. Jared Leto and his brother wanted to be a famous group but they did not want to use Jared Leto’s movie career as a promotional strategy.
The band started its career by playing in small clubs and bars. By that time they also continued to work on their first album. Most of the songs were written by Jared Leto himself. But as his television career was also popping up, it took some time to finish the debut album. In 2002, after four years of the band’s foundation, their debut album 30 Seconds To Mars was finally released.
- 30 Seconds To Mars (2002)
The band chose to release the first album same name with the band. 30 Second To Mars was produced by Bob Ezrin and Brian Virtue. It was categorized as a “concept album” which was a decade definer feauture for music. There were many conceptual albums in early 2000s and 2000s in general. The concept was about personal struggle and self-determination.
The album was described as a “high-minded space opera” by Blender. Although Metacritic had a average rating of the album, Blender was describing the album as if Tool was playing its own version of Pink Floyd‘s Dark Side Of The Moon. Another music publication which calls album “a space opera” was AllMusic. AllMusic stated that the album 30 Seconds To Mars was “highly ambitious space-themed concept album”. BBC Music stated that “Thirty Seconds To Mars pushed the boundaries of the sound of the music willingly”. Also Exclaim! stated that “they are stretching their musical borders and representing something that is a little different”.
Thirty Second To Mars’ first album was not a commercial success but the critics really praised the band, which made the band to continue its music career. After the first album, they start to take tours around the country and had the chance to work some well known groups of the time. As an album, 30 Seconds To Mars was a great start for a band.
- A Beautiful Lie (2005)
After the great reactions that thir first album recieved, Thirty Seconds To Mars returned to the studio to record their second album A Beautiful Lie in 2004. this time Josh Abraham was the producer, who produced many names like Shakira, Linkin Park, Slayer and Pink…
Singles like Attack, The Kill, From Yesterday and A Beautiful Lie; managed to get into the charts within the top 30 on the US Modern Rock chart. Yet The Kill and From Yesterday was in the top three.
In their second album, the group’s sound has evolved and they managed to catch the spirit of the time. In mid 2000s alternative rock was the ruling music style and Thirty Seconds To Mars evolved its style from more personal rock to a more maistream alternative rock sound. And the album was praised by critics.
Leto later stated that A Beautiful Lie also was a kind of conceptual album. But this time the songs were coming more from the heart, rahter than the mind. He stated that the songs are about honesty and change. As everything changes, the sound of the band also changed. This modern rock album praised so much that the band had the change to make thier great tour Welcome To The Universe Tour.
This tour was so successful that the band was also became popular in Europe even though the tour was a totally American tour. In 2007 A Beautiful Lie album was released in Europe for the firtst time. After the release of the album, Trirty Seconds To Mars had toured in Europe as well. Same year, the album got the MTV Europe Music Award for best rock album.
- This Is War (2009)
This Is War was recorded in 2008 and released in 2009. the album was great success but yet a bit controversial because of the lawsuit of EMI. EMI filed a lawsuit for $30 million because they were (EMI) claiming that Thirty Seconds To Mars didn’t produce three of the five records as they signed in their 1999 contract. But Jared Leto immediately responded in the suit that under California law, where the contract was signed, one cannot be bound to a contract for more than seven years.
The lawsuit lasted almost one year. In 2009 it is announced that the case had been settled. The band had a defense based on a contract case of actress Olivia de Havilland decades before the actual lawsuit, which is later known as the “De Havilland Law”. Havilland’s lawsuit was against Warner Borss and she won the suit. Later Thirty Seconds to Mars signed a new contract with EMI. Jared Leto stated that they have worked out their problems.
When it comes to musical issues, the album This Is War recived mostly positive reactions. It is said that Thirty Seconds To Mars managed to evolve its sound in every single album. This time the album had the tatse of some pop sound of the time and a little bit electro music. But yet they managed to preserve the basic rock sound. Leto stated that This Is War is somehow another conceptual album and this time it is about struggle.
The album reached the top ten lists of several charts and it got into the Billboard 200 at number 18. The albums first two singles Kings and Queens and This Is War reached the number one on the US Alternative Songs chart. Thirty Seconds To Mars made a a promotional tour in winter 2009. After this short tour, the band launched their Into the Wild Tour in February 2010. The 2 year tour entered Guinness World Records for staging most live shows. And Jared Leto made a documentary tv series about the tour called Into The Wild: tv series by Jared Leto.
Kings and Queens received total four nominations, including Video of the Year and Best Direction, and won Best Rock Video at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. Besides album’s third single which was released later in that year, Closer to the Edge was 2010’s best-selling rock single in UK.
Thirty Seconds to Mars also collaborated with other singers as it is a great trend in late 2000s. The band sang with the rapper Kanye West the song Hurricane. In 2011, Thirty Seconds to Mars recorded a MTV Unplugged program which is a kind of label for unplugged albums. In the show they had the chanve to performe with musicians from the Vitamin String Quartet and invited a gospel choir to join the group for a rendition of U2’s song Where the Streets Have No Name. It was also announced that the band would enter Guinness World Records for being a band that had most live shows during a single album cycle. Their record was 300 shows.
- Love, Lust, Faith And Dreams (2012)
The band’s latest album was released in 2012. 2010 and 2011 were busy years for the band, but yet they did not want to stop and released their fourth studio album. This time the album was produced by Jared Leto himself and Steve Lilywhite. All the Thirty Seconds To Mars albums are diffirent from each other in a way. The band managed to evolve its sound in every single album. But Jared Leto states about the latest album that “it’s not evolving, it is just a brand new start”.
The album is said to have the effects of clasical rock tones and the sound is said to be entirely different from the earlier albums. Yet the album is said to be the best “space opera” or “space rock” album of the band. As a result and a as a promotional strategy, a CD copy of Up in the Air was sent to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX CRS-2.
Thirty Seconds to Mars’ latest album Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams was released through Universal Records in the US. The album received mostly positive reactions and managed to get top ten lists in more than fifteen countries, including UK and US. The Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams Tour began in June 2013. the tour also visited festivals like Rock Werchter, Pinkpop, Rock in Rio, and Rock am Ring.
Up in the Air won the award for Best Rock Video at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. The band still continues to play and sing. Jared Leto stated that “We’re free and excited about the future. It’s the most wonderful place to be.”