Jared Leto - Texas Teen Inspired Jared Leto's Oscar-worthy Transgender Role
Actor/rocker Jared Leto has a transgender Dallas, Texas teen to thank for his transformation in new movie Dallas Buyers Club because a long chat with him helped the star perfect his role as Rayon in the film.
Leto's performance has earned him considerable Oscar buzz and he reveals the role really took off after an emotional meeting with a fan of his rock act Thirty Seconds to Mars.
The actor was interviewing devotees for the group's new Closer to the Edge film and when he said goodbye to one teenager, called Daniel, he knew the kid had more to say.
Leto tells Nylon magazine, "I went to give him a hug goodbye, and I felt, like, a bandage... I said to my camera guy, 'Go get his mom'. And his mom comes over and starts crying and says, 'Daniel has been living as a boy for months now, and I don't know what to do. I want to accept her, but I'm also confused.'
"The girl was bound, hiding her breasts. So we got her back in there and sat down for this phenomenal interview. It was amazing, all the wisdom that flowed out of this young kid , as is often the case with people challenged with these obstacles... That set me off on the right foot.
"In Hollywood, we often see this role as the drag queen, dancing on the table in the feather boa - cliche, a stereotype. That experience with Daniel was one of the reasons I played Rayon as a transsexual and not a drag queen."