When actors go method, they go deep. That seems to be a running theme in Jared Leto movies – in most of his parts he’s undergone some kind of metamorphosis that changes his appearance or character completely, from his role as the assassin Mark David Chapman to his latest Suicide Squad appearance as Joker. We’ve picked out 13 of his most varied roles from right across his 25-year career to show how adaptable he really is.
3. Fight Club (1999) – Angel Face:
The third recruit in Project Mayhem – the underground fight-club set up by Ed Norton’s narrator and protagonist – pretty-boy Angel Face receives a savage beating from the protagonist after Brad Pitt’s Tyler marks him out as a favourite. Norton’s character beats Angel Face’s features into a toothless, rather less angelic pulp.
5. American Psycho (2000) – Paul Allen:
In interviews Leto has recalled being on set for American Psycho for just two days. His character, the stupidly superior Paul Allen, gets axe-murdered while drunk by Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman, after showing him his flouncier-than-thou business card. It’s pretty brutal.
7. Panic Room (2002) – Junior:
Like Fight Club this is another David Fincher film, but it’s a rather different beast: a thriller. Here Leto plays one of three criminals attempting to get at the valuable bonds left inside a safe in the house. Jodi Foster’s character is hiding in the house’s titular panic room, where the safe is. Leto’s character is brilliantly petulant.
8. Alexander (2004) – Hephaistion:
Certainly not the highlight of Leto’s career, but an interesting role nevertheless: he starred opposite Colin Farrell’s Alexander as Hephaistion, friend and lover of Alexander The Great. He wore loads of eyeshadow and, for some reason, had to put on an Irish accent to match Farrell’s – but he did it pretty well, to be fair.
13. Suicide Squad (2016) – Joker:
The one we’re all talking about. Leto’s method preparation for this role built up a legendary level of hype around the DC Comics film about villains being forced to do good. His Joker was a maverick, a malicious and hazy presence loitering at the edge of the action. But when he was on camera, he did his job brilliantly, forging a new and intriguing new direction that differentiated him from Heath Ledger’s Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight – this Joker was more lithe, more wacky and had a great laugh.