Jared Leto documents band’s creative and legal troubles in Artifact by entertainment.ca.msn.com
Jared Leto documents band’s creative and legal troubles in Artifact
30 Seconds to Mars completes album while being sued by label.
Jared Leto film fans hoping that the erstwhile movie star will get back in front of the camera sometime soon are likely to be disappointed. In Toronto to talk up his documentary Artifact, the 40-year-old actor/musician/filmmaker/entrepreneur, who rose to prominence playing Jordan Catalano on the cult TV showMy So-Called Life before becoming a film star with roles in Fight Club and Requiem for a Dream, seems to have pretty much abandoned acting.
“There’s a lot I love about the process,” Leto says. “There’s a lot I don’t like about it; how isolating it can be. I never did plays so maybe theatre actors feel different. But I was always interested in filmmaking. I went to film school, studied to be a director, and my mood was, ‘Oh, I’m going to get a job acting so I can get a job directing.’ So that was really my first love, but there’s something very special about making films and acting. It’s a wonderful thing. It’s just incredibly time-consuming, and I don’t have a lot of time to do it these days.”
Indeed he does not. These days, Leto is splitting his time between writing and recording with his platinum-selling band 30 Seconds to Mars; building start-up companies from the ground up; and finishing work on and publicizing Artifact, a documentary on the creative and legal challenges that surrounded the making of his band’s most recent album, This Is War (2009).
Directed by Leto under the name Bartholomew Cubbins, a Dr. Seuss-derived pseudonym he’s used previously when directing 30STM videos, Artifact began life in 2008 as one camera (with no sound) documenting the recording of what would become This Is War, 30 Seconds to Mars’s follow-up to their hit 2005 album A Beautiful Lie. But that “very DIY production” became slightly more complex after the band’s record label EMI sued them for US$30-million during contract renegotiations.
“We kept the camera rolling knowing that there were some really important things probably that were happening in our world – important to us,” says Leto. “And then it grew a little bit and then one day there were two cameras, not just one, and we starting thinking about it a little bit more.”
Artifact captures the band’s struggles to record This Is War in the face of EMI’s massive lawsuit. That has since been resolved, although Leto admits that stopping the fight once it had been started was not easy. (Leto has promised new 30STM music in 2015.)
“It was really difficult because I believe that if we continued to fight that ultimately we would win, but at what cost? And I debated that minute by minute. There wasn’t an hour that went by that wasn’t part of the conversation in my head. And what you don’t really get in the film is that I didn’t share a lot of this with my brother [Shannon, drums] or the band because I didn’t want it to have to take over their lives as well as mine, and so it was a big burden. It wasn’t a lot of fun. It was really difficult; the most challenging business and creative experience in my life.”
While Artifact will obviously appeal to the band’s fans, known collectively as The Echelon, Leto is hopeful the documentary, which he still considers a work in progress, will be of interest to filmgoers in general.
“We’re in a really fortunate position with Artifact because we don’t have to go out and necessarily find an audience. There’s an audience there that’s invested in the film. But I do still hope that the film works for people that aren’t interested in Thirty Seconds to Mars. I hope that people who are interested in art, people that are interested in creativity and art and commerce and these ideas are interested as well.”
(credits: http://entertainment.ca.msn.com/movies/tiff/jared-leto-documents-bands-creative-and-legal-troubles-in-artifact )